This award is presented in recognition of the most outstanding student research paper. Eligibility is limited to papers that are authored by one or more undergraduate or graduate students and have not been previously published or accepted for publication at the time of submission. Papers written with faculty members are not considered for this award. Submissions will be judged on five evaluative criteria, including: the overall significance of the work; its research contribution to the field; integration of prior literature in the area; appropriateness and sophistication of the research methodology (if applicable); and overall quality of writing and organization of the paper. Papers should not exceed 30 pages of double-spaced text. References, tables, and figures are not included in the page limit. Please email papers to Danielle Rudes, Student Paper Award Committee Chair, at no later than August 1, 2018. Questions about the awards or nominations process should be addressed to Brandy Blasko, DCS Awards Committee Chair, at

2017 Michael Gibson-Light
“Ramen Politics: Informal Money and Logics of Resistance in the Contemporary American Prison”
2017 Honorable Mention: Matthew Clair
“Resources, Navigation, and Punishment in the Criminal Courts”
2016 Elisa Toman
“Extending research on the victim-offender overlap: Linking prison misconduct and in-prison victimization”
2016 Honorable Mention: Timothy Edgemon
2015 Katherine Kempany
“An initial examination of legal and extra-legal influences of discretionary probation revocation decisions.”
2014 Christina Stewart
“Processing and punishment: Examining the relationship between time to disposition, mode of conviction, and sentence severity.”
2014 Honorable Mention: Nathan Links
“Longitudinal associations between child support debt, employment, and recidivism after prison”
2013 Ryan Labrecque
“An alternative perspective on offender risk prediction: The advantages of subgroup norming.”
2012 Kimberly R. Kras
“Social support for sex offenders: How does social support impact the success or failure of sex offenders returning to the community?”
2012 Honorable Mention: Michelle S. Phelps
“Reconceptualizing the scale of punishment: State variation in mass probation”
2012 Honorable Mention: Christopher Kelly
“Putting the community back into therapeutic community: Examining the role of the treatment group in prison-based substance abuse treatment.”
2011 Ben Grunwald
“Questioning Blackmun’s Thesis: Does Uniformity in Sentencing Entail Unfairness?”
2011 Honorable Mention: Christopher Kelly
“Putting the community back into therapeutic community: Examining the role of the treatment group in prison-based substance abuse treatment.”
2010 M.J. Gathings and Kylie Parrotta (Co-award recipients)
“Accounts as impression management: A qualitative examination of sentencing proceedings.”
2010 Jennifer Lynn Owens (Co-award recipient)
“Capital punishment in the lone star state: A county level analysis of contextual effects on sentencing.”
2009 Jeannette Hussemann
“The impact of gender and culture on perceptions of imprisonment among prison officers.”
2008 Gerald P. Pezzullo, Jr. and Danielle Rousseau (Co-award recipient)
“The criminal construct: An examination of race, gender, and social context on plea questions.”
2008 Patricia D. Breen (Co-award recipient)
“Does process matter in military sentencing? A study of the trial penalty in air force courts-martial.”
2007 Derrick Franke and David Bierie
“Legitimacy in corrections: A randomized experiment and qualitative assessment of a boot camp and prison”
2006 Patrice K. Morris
“Imprisoned in Jamaica: An exploratory analysis of inmate adjustment to prison life.”
2005 Chandra Mullins
“Who is punished more harshly? An examination of race/ethnicity, gender, age, and employment status under U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 1998-2002.”
2005 Honorable Mention: Leonidas Cheliotis
“How iron is the iron cage of new penology? The role of human agency in the implementation of criminal justice policy.”
2004 Dae-Hoon Kwak
“The interaction of age, gender, and race/ethnicity on juvenile justice decision making in Nebraska: the comparisons of White, Black, Hispanic, and Native American.”
2003 Kimberly Collica
“Levels of knowledge and risk perceptions about HIV/AIDS among female inmates in New York state—Can prison-based HIV programs set the stage for behavior change?”
2002 Not Awarded
2001 Brian Daniel Johnson
“Judicial discretion and guideline departures: The conditioning effects of modes of conviction.”