Lauren Porter

Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Director of Graduate Studies, University of Maryland

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About Lauren

Porter’s research largely revolves around issues of punishment, but she also studies how the neighborhood environment and residential mobility influence criminal behavior. She has analyzed the efficacy of shame sanctioning, the consequences of incarceration, and the link between residential mobility and juvenile delinquency. Her current work focuses on the link between incarceration and health, the consequences of incarceration for family members, the demography of the correctional population, and understanding patterns of crime and disorder within neighborhoods.


People with Family Members in Prison are Less Likely to be Engaged American Citizens

  • Megan Lee Comfort
  • Hedwig Lee ,

In the News

Guest on NBC News Cleveland, November 28, 2013.


"The Collateral Consequences of Family Member Incarceration: Impacts on Civic Participation and Perceptions of Legitimacy and Fairness" (with Hedwig Lee and Megan Comfort). The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 651, no. 1 (2014): 44-73.
Shows that children who have had a parent incarcerated are relatively less civically engaged and less trusting of the government. The findings also illustrate ambivalence and distrust of the criminal justice system among women who have had a romantic partner incarcerated.
"Incarceration and Post-release Health Behavior" Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2014).
"Residential Mobility and Delinquency Revisited: Causation or Selection?" (with Matt Vogel). Journal of Quantitative Criminology (2013).
Challenges the finding in prior research that moving residences causes an adolescent to be involved in more delinquency. We find that adolescents who move are more delinquent than those who do not, but we find that this relationship is due to pre-existing differences between these two groups. Adolescents who move are already more likely to have backgrounds that increase the likelihood of delinquency, such as being socioeconomically disadvantaged and living in a single parent household.
"Trying Something Old: The Impact of Shame Sanctioning on Drunk Driving" Law & Social Inquiry 38, no. 4 (2013): 863-891.
Examines whether shame punishments (in this case, special license plates intended to shame drunk drivers) have any effect on drunk driving. The study assessed the efficacy of the “party plate” punishment in Ohio, which was made mandatory in 2004 for certain drunk driving convictions. There was a substantial drop in drunk driving rates across Ohio counties after the legislation. Also, counties that used the punishment more frequently exhibited lower drunk driving rates. However, there was a “tipping point” at which increased frequency of the punishment is associated with increased drunk driving levels. The punishment was unrelated to alcohol-related traffic safety.