Katherine Beckett is Chair and Professor in the Department of Law, Societies, and Justice and S. Frank Miyamoto Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. She is also a faculty associate and steering committee member of the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights.
Professor Beckett’s research analyzes the causes and consequences of criminal legal changes and penal practices. Her research projects have explored the consequences of criminal justice expansion for social inequality, the role of race in drug law enforcement and the administration of the death penalty in Washington State, the assessment of fees and fines, the transformation of urban social control practices in the United States, the proliferation of long and life sentences, and the politics of urban disorder. She is the author of numerous articles and three books on these topics.
Professor Beckett has worked closely with a number of civic organizations, including the Public Defender Association, the Concerned Lifer's Organization, the Racial Disparity Project, and Columbia Legal Services.
Professor Beckett’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Allen Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Washington State Minority & Justice Commission, the Open Society Institute, and others. She has received numerous awards for her research, teaching and service work, including the University of Washington’s Public Service Award. She was elected to membership in the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2016.
- Katherine Beckett. 2018. “The Politics, Peril and Promise of Criminal Justice Reform in theContext of Mass Incarceration.” Annual Review of Criminology 1: 235-59. Download PDF (321.21 KB)
- Katherine Beckett and Marco Brydolf-Horwitz. 2020. “A Kinder, Gentler Drug War? Race, Drugs, and Punishment in 21st Century America.” Punishment and Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474520925145 Download PDF (554.36 KB)
- Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans. 2020. About Time: How Long and Life Sentences Fuel Mass Incarceration in Washington State. ACLU of Washington. Download PDF (7.12 MB)
- Katherine Beckett. 2018. “Review Essay: Mass Incarceration and its Discontents.” ContemporarySociology: A Journal of Reviews 47, 1: 11-23 (January). Download PDF (98.12 KB)
- Katherine Beckett, Lindsey Beach, Anna Reosti and Emily Knaphus. 2018. “U.S. Criminal Justice Policy and Practice in the 21st Century: Toward the End of Mass Incarceration?” Law & Policy 40, 4: 321-45. Download PDF (244.88 KB)
- Steve Herbert, Katherine Beckett, and Forrest Stuart. 2017. “Policing Social Marginality: Contrasting Approaches.” Law and Social Inquiry 43, 4: 1491-1513. Download PDF (161.52 KB)
- Katherine Beckett. 2016. “Violence, Mass Incarceration, and the Myth of Monstrosity.” The American Prospect, August 18, 2016. Download PDF (222.25 KB)
- Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans. 2016. "Race, Death, and Justice: Capital Sentencing in Washington State, 1981-2014". Columbia Journal of Race and Law, 6:2, 77-114. Download PDF (655.04 KB)
- Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans. 2015. “Crimmigration at the Local Level: Criminal Case Processing in the Shadow of Deportation.” Law and Society Review 49, 1: 241-277.
- Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans. 2013. Immigration Detainer Requests in King County, Washington: Costs and Consequences. Report commissioned by the Northwest Defender’s Association.
- Katherine Beckett. 2012. “Race, Drugs and Law Enforcement: Toward Equitable Policing.” Criminology and Public Policy 11, 4: 641-53.
- Katherine Beckett. 2012. "Mapping the Carceral State: Toward an Institutionally Capacious Approach to Punishment." Theoretical Criminology, 16:2: 221-44. [with Naomi Murakawa]
- Katherine Beckett. 2011. “Courtesy Stigma and Monetary Sanctions: Toward a Socio-Cultural Theory of Punishment” [with Alexes Harris, Heather Evans]. American Sociological Review 76, 2: 234-64.
- Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert. 2010. “Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansionof Punishment.” Law and Social Inquiry 35, 1: 1-38. Download PDF (400.28 KB)
- Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert. 2010. Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America. Oxford University Press. Published in the Crime and Public Policy Series.
- Katherine Beckett. 2008. Race and Drug Law Enforcement in Seattle. Report commissioned by the Racial Disparity Project and the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project.
- Katherine Beckett. 2016. "The Uses and Abuses of Police Discretion: Toward Harm Reduction Policing." Harvard Law & Policy Review, 10(1), 77-100.
Research Advised: Undergraduate Honors Theses
- "Parental Incarceration's Effects on Childhood Eating Patterns". Law, Societies, and Justice, Munizza, E. J., Honors Thesis, 2021.
- "Housing in Crisis: An Analysis of Unlawful Detainer Actions in the King County Courthouse". Andrew Choi, 2020
- 'Criminal History and Public Housing: An Evaluation of Seattle Housing Authority's Applicant Denial and Eviction Practices". Law, Societies, and Justice Group Honors Report.
Research Advised: Undergraduate Honors Theses Publications Reports
Summer 2021 Full-term
Summer 2020 Full-term
- Hotel-Based Intervention: Professor Katherine Beckett and LSJ Alum Ramon Hernandez Work with JustCARE to Address Unsheltered Homelessness in Seattle - May 5, 2021
- Katherine Beckett Weighs in on Law and Order Rhetoric - September 3, 2020
- Letter from Katherine Beckett, LSJ Chair - May 21, 2020
- With coronavirus, prison and jail sentences could become death sentences - April 1, 2020
- Katherine Beckett Named New LSJ Chair - June 10, 2019
- Beckett Helps Make Washington History - October 15, 2018
- LSJ Honors Research Spotlights Harsh Prison Sentences, Raises Questions About Fairness - July 17, 2015
- Congratulations, Class of 2015! - July 6, 2015
- Brown Bag Lunch with Professor Beckett - February 2, 2014