Jennifer Cobbina

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Corrections
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Female offenders
  • Victimization
  • Recidivism
  • Risks among minority youth

Key Findings

  • Black female offenders more often reported their neighborhoods as unsafe and were more likely to develop socially-isolating crime-avoidance strategies in response to this perceived lack of community security. MORE
  • Women offenders residing in communities where they are socially isolated, economically disadvantaged, and lacking in resources face difficulties in staying clean, sober, and crime-free. MORE
  • Gang-related disputes constituted the largest share of conflicts between African American young men, which were likely to be more violent if they occurred in a group setting and without the presence of an, intervening adult. MORE
  • Three dominant triggers were found to be the largest source of conflicts between African American young women: boys and boyfriends, rumors and gossip, and disrespect. MORE
  • Black youth diverge from the older members of their communities in that they have identified a system and framework that is broken, and they do not try to fit into this system, but rather try to change the status quo. MORE


Jennifer Cobbina, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, is an expert in corrections, prisoner reentry, recidivism, female offenders and victimization risks among minority youth.

Cobbina has consulted with the National Institute of Justice, National Science Foundation and the Michigan State University Foundation. She has received several awards from Michigan State University and was featured as one of the Top 25 Criminal Justice Professors on Forensic Education blog. She is a member of the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network.

She has published in numerous scholarly journals, including Race and Justice, Crime and Delinquency and Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.

Cobbina received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @j_cob24