Sarah Lageson / Digital Punishment Through Online Criminal Records / 10.30.18

Sarah Lageson is a sociologist who studies the criminal justice system, technology, and inequality. Sarah’s current research examines the growth of online crime data, mugshots, and criminal records that remain publicly available, creating new forms of “digital punishment.” Based in New York, Sarah is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice.

Sarah is a grant recipient of the 2017 National Institutes of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Award in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for her study of criminal record accuracy. Her work has appeared in Criminology, Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, Punishment & Society, The British Journal of Sociology, Contexts, and numerous edited volumes.

A former Americorps VISTA volunteer for the Minnesota Prisoner Reentry Program and Research Coordinator for the Council on Crime and Justice in Minneapolis, Sarah is interested in mixed methods research and producing scholarship accessible to policy and broader public debate.

Talk: “‘Digital Punishment’ Through Online Criminal Records”

Abstract: The unregulated and widespread digital release of arrest and booking information, court records, and criminal histories is creating new forms of punishment and social control in the United States. The government production and sale of criminal records to big data vendors has effectively created a new class of criminal record consumers who obtain and spread this information through social media, websites, and commercial background check reports. This study analyzes the forces that have led to this state of affairs and the consequences for understanding criminal punishment in the digital age.

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