I am a sociologist broadly interested in social control, the welfare state, race, and applied statistics. I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University – Newark and a postdoctoral fellow at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University affiliated with the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.

My work explores the causes and consequences of the distribution of state violence and coercion. I am currently pursuing this line of research through two major empirical projects.

The first draws attention to child protection systems as key sites of family disruption. This work shows that American child protection systems are tightly intertwined with carceral and welfare policy systems, and that race and colonization play a central role in explaining the spatial and social distribution of family separation.

The second provides detailed analyses of the prevalence of police-involved killings and analyses of the causes of heterogeneity in rates of violence across police agencies. This work shows that police violence is common, and that both Black men and women face dramatically higher likelihoods of being killed by police than do white men and women. I evaluate how local political and institutional arrangements impact the rates at which police departments kill civilians.

I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington in 2017. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Sociological Review, The American Journal of Public Health, Children and Youth Services Review,  Annual Review of CriminologyThe Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences and other outlets.

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contact: frank.edwards@rutgers.edu