Nathan W. Link

Assistant Professor, Rutgers University-Camden
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About Nathan

Link's research focus on issues in corrections and sentencing, including financial sanctions and debt, prisoner reentry and desistance from crime, mental/physical health, and crime/recidivism control strategies. Link and his coauthors in a recent paper, developed the concept of health-based desistance, arguing that mental and physical health states have important implications for life-course criminology. Link's overarching themes in writings include building knowledge that can improve both public policy and the lives of those in contact with the justice system. Link serves as an investigator or consultant on a range of funded research projects.


In the News

"Criminal Fines and Fees," Nathan W. Link, Opinion, The New York Times, March 5, 2021.
Nathan W. Link quoted on prisoners are constantly being released, especially into poorer neighborhoods already hit hard by the pandemic by Blake Nelson, "N.J. Prisoners Will Have Access to the COVID Shot Early. Corrections Officer Vaccinations Have Already Begun" NJ.com, December 30, 2020.
"Imposition and Collection of Fines, Costs and Restitution in Pennsylvania Criminal Courts:Research in Brief," Nathan W. Link (with Jeffrey T. Ward), ACLU Pennsylvania, December 18, 2020.
"When Ex-Felons Lose the Right to Vote," Nathan W. Link, Opinion, The New York Times, August 12, 2018.
"Your Turn: Allowing prisoners to vote could make NJ safer," Nathan W. Link, Opinion, Courier Post, April 20, 2018.


"How Does Reentry Get Under the Skin? Cumulative Reintegration Barriers and Health in a Sample of Recently Incarcerated Men" (with Daniel C. Semenza). Social Science & Medicine 243 (2019).

Shows that reintegration barriers after release from prison are associated with increased mental and physical health problems.

"Considering the Process of Debt Collection in Community Corrections: The Case of the Monetary Compliance Unit" (with Kathleen Powell and Jordan M. Hyatt). Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice (2020).

Introduces a financially-focused model of debt collection in community corrections. We describe the characteristics of the people subjected to the model and assess this approach's potential advantages and disadvantages.

"Consequences of Mental and Physical Health for Reentry and Recidivism: Toward a Health-Based Model of Desistance" (with Jeffrey T. Ward and Richard Stansfield). Criminology 57, no. 3 (2019): 544-573.

Shows that both mental and physical health states have critical implications for recidivism, employment, family conflict, and reincarceration among a sample of men recently released from prison.

"Monetary Sanctions, Legal and Collateral Consequences, and Probation & Parole: Where Do We Go From Here?" (with Jordan M. Hyatt and Ebony Ruhland). UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review 4, no. 1 (2020).

Reviews the issues of collateral and legal consequences at the intersection of financial sanctions and community correctional supervision. We conclude with some promising avenues to ameliorate the harms brought about by these financial sanctions.

"Criminal Justice Debt During the Prisoner Reintegration Process: Who Has It and How Much?" Criminal Justice and Behavior 46, no. 1 (2018).

Assesses the debt obligations faced by a sample of formerly incarcerated men. Findings show that supervision fees are common and that debt burdens linger after release from prison.

"Paid Your Debt to Society? Court-Related Financial Obligations and Community Supervision During the First Year After Release From Prison" Policy, Practice and Research (2021).

Discusses that among a sample of formerly incarcerated men that debt burdens are likely to result among those released under community supervision (i.e., probation/parole) and that people who owe these debts are less likely to be released from supervision eight months later.