Colleen Eren

Senior Fellow

Colleen Eren is associate professor of sociology and criminal justice and the Criminology and Criminal Justice Director at William Paterson University.

A member of the Crime and Justice Research Alliance of the National Criminal Justice Association, Eren’s scholarship focuses on criminal justice policy, social movements on criminal justice issues, white-collar crime, and criminal justice education. She has written three books. Reform Nation: The First Step Act and The Movement to End Mass Incarceration (Stanford University Press, 2023) investigates the nationalization and mainstreaming of the modern criminal justice reform movement, the unusual and unique constellation of stakeholders that comprise that movement, and its future trajectory. Her first book, Bernie Madoff and the Crisis (Stanford University Press, 2017) examined the way in which the high-profile Ponzi scheme, however unrelated to the causes of the financial crisis of 2008, allowed for public discussion of the broader economic problems that led to that moment. She is also co-author of The Impact of Supreme Court Cases on U.S. Institutions: A Sociology of Law Primer (Routledge, 2021), which introduces the history, purpose, function and influence of the Supreme Court, demonstrated through landmark decisions and its impact on family, education, religion, government, and economy. Her opinions on criminal justice policy and higher education have been published in popular outlets like the New York Times, Discourse Magazine, RealClear Politics, and the Foundation for Economic Education. She is currently a contributing writer for Discourse Magazine.

Prior to entering academia, Eren was Director of Organizing at New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, which led a successful statewide campaign to end capital punishment. She is vice president of the board of New Hour for Women and Children, which helps women reenter society after incarceration.
She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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