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Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
Research Analyst

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., conducts and synthesizes research on criminal justice policies. She analyzes racial disparities in the justice system, public opinion about punishment, and the scope of reform efforts. Her report, Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies, was featured in outlets including the New York Times and WNYC’s On the Media. She has also co-authored “Can We Wait 88 Years to End Mass Incarceration?” and Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime: A Tale of Three States. She edits The Sentencing Project’s Race and Justice Newsletter.

Dr. Ghandnoosh received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation, “Challenging Mass Incarceration: A California Group’s Advocacy for the Parole Release of Term-to-Life Prisoners,” examined resistance to severe sentences through an in-depth study of a South Los Angeles-based group.

Written By Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
January 31, 2017

Delaying a Second Chance: The Declining Prospects for Parole on Life Sentences

Nationally, over the past three decades many legislators, governors, and parole boards have toughened lifer parole policies and practices—effectively increasing prison terms for the more than 110,000 individuals serving parole-eligible life sentences.
February 16, 2016

U.S. Prison Population Trends 1999-2014: Broad Variation Among States in Recent Years

In the last fifteen years, incarceration trends have varied widely throughout the United States. Some states have seen prison populations have peak and decline slightly, while they continue to grow in other states.
April 09, 2015

U.S. Prison Population Trends 1999-2013: Broad Variation Among States in Recent Years

While the number of people in prison in the United States has stabilized in recent years, incarceration trends among the states have varied significantly.
February 03, 2015

Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System

Like an avalanche, racial disparity grows cumulatively as people traverse the criminal justice system. This report identifies four key features of the criminal justice system that produce racially unequal outcomes and showcases initiatives to abate these sources of inequity in adult and juvenile justice systems around the country.
September 03, 2014

Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies

Coming on the heels of the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, this report demonstrates that the consequences of white Americans’ strong association of crime with blacks and Latinos extend far beyond policing.

July 23, 2014

Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime: A Tale of Three States

Three states – New York, New Jersey, and California – have reduced their prison populations by about 25% while seeing their crime rates generally decline at a faster pace than the national average.