Cara Rabe-Hemp

Professor of Criminal Justice, Illinois State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Diversity in policing
  • Women in policing
  • Police misconduct
  • Perceptions of police

Key Findings

  • Female officers integrate both aspects of “police,” and “woman,” in their daily work. MORE
  • Women reported they brought more skills, empathy, and communication to policing as well as less forceful behaviors to their departments. MORE
  • There is a positive association between female officer representation in police organizations and the number of citizen complaints. MORE
  • Eighty percent of the sampled agencies had written policies for maternity leave, but one-third of the policies are discretionary. MORE
  • About 28% of agencies had formal light duty work policies with 82% of those policies being discretionary. MORE


Cara Rabe-Hemp, Professor of Criminal Justice at Illinois State University, is an expert in gender and policing, small and rural policing, citizen perceptions of the police and police deviance.

Rabe-Hemp’s work has been featured on the RAND Corporation’s Best Practices website for recruiting and retaining quality police officers, in Wiley’s International Women’s Day Research selection and cited in the March 2014 Police Chief Magazine’s article on Overcoming Tokenism and Gender Barriers. She is a member of the Division on Women and Crime within the American Society of Criminology, recipient of the University Research Initiative Award and inductee of the College of Applied Sciences and Technology Academy of Achievement.

She has been published in numerous academic journals including Police Quarterly, Feminist Criminology and the Journal of Criminal Justice.

Rabe-Hemp received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois, M.S. in Criminal Justice at Illinois State University and B.S. in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University.

Follow Cara on Twitter: @cerabehemp