Jesenia Pizarro

Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Arizona State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Firearm related harms
  • Violence prevention
  • Homicide
  • Violent crime
  • Corrections policy

Key Findings

  • Most inmates released from a supermax facility had recidivism rates similar to ex-inmates who were not in a supermax facility. MORE
  • Compared to ex-inmates of supermax prisons who did not reoffend, those who reoffended were younger, and were more likely to be serving time for a drug offence and to have a history of prior incarcerations and disciplinary infractions while incarcerated. MORE
  • Offenders released from supermax units reoffended in a shorter amount of time if they were gang members, served shorter sentences, and had a history or drug or alcohol abuse. MORE
  • In areas where residents are racially/ethnically homogenous, non-racial factors are the predominant force behind many court outcomes and sentencing decisions. MORE
  • Variables such as perception of offender dangerousness and culpability are more significant predictors of case outcome. MORE


Jesenia Pizarro, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, is an expert in violence, particularly lethal violence committed with firearms and the processing of violent crime in the criminal justice system.

Pizarro has worked with police departments and agencies throughout the country in joint efforts to curb violence, and has managed funded grants from that focus on urban violence and intimate partner homicide prevention, awarded by various federal agencies. Her work  has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Behavioral Medicine, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Homicide Studies. She is currently a member of the Homicide Research Working Group, an officer in the Research Society for the Prevention of Firearm Related Harms, and the editor-in-chief of Homicide Studies: An Interdisciplinary and International Journal. 

She has been published in numerous journals, including American Journal of Public Health, Justice Quarterly, Homicide Studies and Applied Geography.

Pizarro received her Ph.D., M.A., and B.S. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University.