Aaron Kupchik

Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware

Areas of Expertise

  • School safety
  • School policing
  • School punishment
  • Correctional facilities
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Sociology of childhood

Key Findings

  • Being suspended in school increases the likelihood that a student will experience criminal victimization, criminal involvement and incarceration as an adult. MORE
  • Young adults with a history of school suspensions are less likely to vote and volunteer in adulthood. MORE
  • Suspension undermines the development of individual skills needed for democracy. MORE
  • School security practices are harmful and negatively affect all aspects of student life, including the family unit. MORE
  • Security practices can have harmful long-term effects including civic participation in adulthood, higher rates of incarceration, arrests and unemployment. MORE
  • There are costs to having increased security in schools such as increased misbehavior and violence from students. MORE
  • Student behavior worsens with strict punishment policies. MORE
  • Schools with larger proportions of racial/ethnic minorities are significantly more likely than others to have metal detectors, an exclusionary security mechanism. MORE
  • Elementary, middle and high schools with low-income students and non-white students have more exclusionary school punishments. MORE


Aaron Kupchik, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware, is an expert in the punishment and policing of youth in schools, courts and correctional facilities, inequality among juveniles, juvenile delinquency and the sociology of childhood.

Kupchik has consulted with the National Academies of Science and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, and his work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice. He is the recipient of several awards from the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and from the ASC Division of Corrections and Sentencing. He is a member of ASC and the American Sociological Association.

He has been published in numerous academic journals and is the author of The Real School Safety Problem: The Long-Term Consequences of Harsh School Punishment, Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear, and Judging Juveniles: Prosecuting Adolescents in Adult and Juvenile Courts.

Kupchik received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from New York University and B.A. in Psychology from Boston University.

Follow Aaron on Twitter: @aaron_kupchik