Photo of Merry Morash

Merry Morash, PhD


1978 PhD, University of Maryland
1970 MSW, University of Maryland
1968 BA, Mount Holyoke College

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Merry Morash is a professor at the School of Criminal Justice. With funding from the National Science Foundation, she is currently heading up a 6-year interdisciplinary mixed-methods study of the effects of probation and parole services on women. The study integrates theories of communication and psychology with criminal justice theories of effective supervision and reentry from prison. In addition, the current phase of the research is examining women’s identity change in relation to recidivism and other life outcomes. More broadly, Dr. Morash’s research focuses on gender, crime, and justice. She has published books and articles on women and girls in the juvenile justice system, on the experiences of battered women who have immigrated to the United States, and on women who work as police. She has also done extensive research on juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system. She has published 85 articles, 18 book chapters, textbooks, and books. Her articles appear in journals that include Justice Quarterly, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Feminist Criminology, and Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. She is author of the books, Gender, Crime and Justice (Sage) and Women on Probation and Parole: A Feminist Critique of Community Programs and Services (Northeastern U. Press). She is co-editor (with Chesney-Lind) of Feminist Theories of Crime, a volume in Ashgate’s Library of Essays in Theoretical Criminology.

In addition to funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Morash’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the American Sociological Association/Bureau of Justice Statistics , the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Michigan State Police, and the Michigan State University Foundation. In 2007, Dr. Morash received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Division on Women and Crime, American Society of Criminology. In 2008, she was named a Fellow by the American Society of Criminology. Most recently she was named an Outstanding Mentor by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; this award recognized her extensive work with graduate students, including her acting as chair of over 20 completed dissertations. Her students have received dissertation fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice.

Current Research on Women Offenders:

Innovator: Dr. Merry Morash, Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University

Improving Supervision for Women Offenders


Women at the Nexus of Correctional and Social Policies: Implications for Recidivism Risk

Year: 2015 Authors: Morash, M., Kashy, D. A., Northcutt Boyhmert, M., Cobbina, J. E., and Smith, S. W. Journal: British Journal of Criminology

The Effects of Probation or Parole Agent Relationship style and Women Offenders’ Criminogenic Needs on Offenders’ Responses to Supervision Interactions

Year: 2015 Authors: Morash, M., Kashy, D. A., Smith, S. W., Cobbina, J. E. Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior

Doing, Redoing, and Undoing Gender: Variation in Gender Identities of Women Working as Police Officers

Year: 2013 Authors: Morash, M. and Haarr, R. N. Journal: Feminist Criminology

Women on Probation and Parole: A Feminist Critique of Community Programs and Services.

Year: 2010 Authors: Morash, M. Journal: Northeastern University Press