About

I am a sociologist broadly interested in social control, the welfare state, race, and applied statistics. My work explores the causes and consequences of the social 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 in the US. This project uses novel data to provide estimates of mortality risk by race, sex, and place. It also evaluates how institutions and politics affect the prevalence of police violence.

I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University – Newark and a fellow at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University affiliated with the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington in 2017. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 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