Christy Visher

Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware

Areas of Expertise

  • Communities and crime
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Criminal careers
  • Implementation science
  • Crime prevention strategies
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Incapacitation
  • Drug testing
  • Substance abuse

Key Findings

  • Critically important that the federal government invest in the development and testing of new ideas and rigorous evaluations to determine which interventions are effective at promoting public safety. MORE
  • Fathers who lived with children before incarceration and had regular contact with their children during their incarceration were more likely to be involved with their children after release. MORE
  • Successful reentry requires strong community support networks and comprehensive services, both of which are lacking in urban areas to which most former prisoners return. MORE


Christy Visher, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware, is an expert in crime prevention strategies, drug testing and incapacitation.

Visher served as the science advisor to the director, deputy director of research and research associate at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and served as the principal research associate at The Urban Institute. She was a member of the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council, is active in the American Sociological Association and served as the vice president of the American Society of Criminology. She has received several awards and honors including the most cited female scholar, the Dissertation Fellowship Award from NIJ and Phi Beta Kappa.

Visher has published dozens of chapters and articles in scholarly journals including Criminology, The Journal of Experimental Criminology and Law & Society Review as well as co-authored the book Prisoner Reentry and Crime in America.

She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Indiana University and B.A. from Trinity University.

Follow Christy on Twitter: @cavtowson