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Sandra Susan Smith

  • Social Sciences
  • Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and the Daniel & Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice at Harvard Kennedy School
Portrait of Sandra Susan Smith
Photo courtesy of Sandra Susan Smith

Sandra Susan Smith is a Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and the Daniel & Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice at Harvard Kennedy School, where she also directs the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. An expert on urban poverty, race and ethnicity, and social capital and social networks, Smith’s most recent work has focused on criminal case processing, especially the consequences of pretrial detention and diversion. She is the author of Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010) and The Cultural Logics of Job-Matching Assistance (forthcoming) along with many scholarly articles, and she was coeditor of The Criminal Justice System as a Labor Market Institution, a special issue of the Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences (March 2020).

Before joining Harvard, Smith was a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has also held visiting scholar appointments at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Russell Sage Foundation. Smith earned a PhD and an MA, both in sociology, from the University of Chicago and a BA in history and sociology from Columbia University.

Boston’s Gang Database Should Be Dismantled (Boston Globe, 1/31/22)

Jobs and Jail (Harvard Magazine, May–June 2021)

In Nubian Square, Black Bostonians Exhale after Chauvin Verdict, But Fear Unjust Police Killings Will Happen Again (GBH News, 4/21/21)

Solving Racial Disparities in Policing (Harvard Gazette, 2/23/21)

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