Frank Edwards

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University-Newark

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About Frank

Edwards' research focuses on social control, the welfare state, racism, public health, and applied statistics. His work explores the causes and consequences of the social distribution of state violence through two projects. The first draws attention to child protection systems as key sites of family disruption. This work shows that these systems are tightly intertwined with carceral and welfare policy systems, and that racism and settler colonialism play a central role in explaining the spatial and social distribution of family separation. Edwards' second line on work provides detailed analyses of the prevalence of police-involved killings in the US.


In the News

Research discussed by "Fatal Encounters with Police Should Be Documented Nationally," The Boston Globe, August 8, 2018.
Opinion: "Police Kill About 3 Men Per Day in The US, According to New Study," Frank Edwards, The Conversation, August 6, 2018.
Research discussed by Carolyn Crist, in "Police-Involved Deaths Vary by Race and Place," Reuters, July 31, 2018.
Opinion: "States Which Have Harsher Incarceration and Less Generous Welfare Policies Tend to Place More Children in Foster Care," Frank Edwards, LSE American Politics and Policy Blog, October 5, 2016.
Interviewed in "Mother and Child Disunion," Arkansas Times, June 9, 2016.


"State-Level Variation in the Cumulative Prevalence of Child Welfare System Contact, 2015–2019" (with Youngmin Yi, Frank Edwards, Jane Waldfogel, Christopher Wildeman, and Natalia Emanuel). Children and Youth Services Review 147 (2023).

Provides new estimates of spatial and racial/ethnic variation in children’s lifetime risks of child welfare system involvement, as well as relative risks of these events. Discusses In the U.S., state-level investigation risks ranged from 14% to 63%, confirmed maltreatment risks from 3% to 27%, foster care placement risks from 2% to 18%, and risks of parental rights termination from 0% to 8%, with great racial/ethnic variation in all of these.

"Risk of Police-Involved Death by Race/Ethnicity and Place, United States, 2012–2018" American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 9 (2018): 1241-1248.

Estimates the risk of mortality from police homicide by race/ethnicity and place in the United States.