Natalie A. Pifer

  • Associate Professor, Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Chafee Hall, Rm 225
  • Phone: 401.874.2256
  • Email:


Natalie Pifer is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice who researches punishment, prisons, and policing. She uses a variety of methods in her work –including interviewing, ethnographic observation, and archival analysis – to understand how criminal justice laws and policies are negotiated, implemented, and experienced on the ground. Substantively, her research examines the criminal justice system’s relationship to public health issues, including extreme conditions of confinement, gun control laws, and policing and punishing vulnerable groups such as the mentally ill, the disabled, and the unsheltered.


  • Criminal justice policy
  • Criminal & civil rights law
  • Extreme punishments
  • Legal history
  • Policing
  • Prisons & jails
  • Qualitative research methods


  • Ph.D.: Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine
  • J.D.: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • M.A.: Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine
  • BA: Journalism and Politics, New York University

Selected Publications

Professor Pifer’s publication trajectory reflects her interdisciplinary approach to research; her work appears in criminology, law & society, and public health outlets, including Justice Quarterly, Law & Social Inquiry, and the American Journal of Public Health.

Google Scholar Profile