Sarah Shannon

Sarah Shannon

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Georgia
Chapter Member: Georgia SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Sarah

Shannon’s research investigates how social institutions like the criminal justice system affect social inequality. Her current research examines the relationships between General Assistance welfare programs, crime, and incarceration in the United States from 1960-2010. In other work, she investigates the effects of punishment on work, voting, and community health. She also writes and podcasts for The Society Pages, an online, multidisciplinary social science project designed to bring social scientific knowledge and information to broader public visibility and influence.

In the News

Opinion: "Laken Riley’s Killing Does Reflect a Broader Danger. But It Isn’t ‘Immigrant Crime’," Sarah Shannon (with Charis E. Kubrin), Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2024.
Quoted by Heather Long in "Job Prospects Brightening for Convicts," Portland Press Herald, January 31, 2018.
Quoted by Bill Rankin in "Number of African-Americans Sent to Georgia Prisons Hits Historic Lows," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 25, 2018.
Opinion: "Domestic violence cases drop off after years of consistency," Sarah Shannon, The GW Hatchet, December 4, 2017.
Quoted by Marshall Shepherd in "Three Reasons Prisons and Extreme Heat are a Volatile Mix," Forbes, July 23, 2017.
Research discussed by Alan Flurry, in "Growth in SNAP Retailers Followed Enrollment Spike during Recession, UGA Researchers Report," UGA Today, November 10, 2016.
Quoted by Lee Shearer in "Ferguson Shooting, Aftermath Raise Fundamental Questions for Democracy, Policing," Athens Banner-Herald, November 26, 2014.


"Giving a Voice to Those with Felony Convictions: A Call to Action" (with Shannon R. Lane, Katherine Hill, and Tanya Rhodes Smith). Oxford Academic 65, no. 4 (2020): 406–408.

Reviews the racist history and outcomes of felon disenfranchisement and calls on the profession of social work to act on professional knowledge, ethics, and values by working to end the disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions.

"State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010," (with Christopher Uggen and Jeff Manza), The Sentencing Project, July 31, 2012.
Updates and expands the authors’ previous work on the scope and distribution of felon disenfranchisement in the United States, with the goal of contextualizing and anticipating the potential effects of felon disenfranchisement on the November 2012 elections.
"Imprisonment as a Political Institution in the United States" (with Christopher Uggen), in The New Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, edited by Kate Nash, Alan Scott, and Edwin Amenta (Blackwell Publishing, 2012), 214-225.
Presents a theoretical backdrop for imprisonment as a political and cultural force worldwide and discusses variation in imprisonment rates over space and time, selection into prison, and the effects of incarceration on human and social capital.
"Growth in the U.S. Ex-Felon and Ex-Prisoner Population, 1948-2010," (with Christopher Uggen, Jason Schnittker, Melissa Thompson, and Michael Massoglia), Population Association of America, March 31, 2011.
Extends previous national estimates of the U.S. ex-felon population to 2010 and adds state-level estimates while exploring the consequences of incarceration on the families of ex-felons and their broader communities.
"Embedded Sociologists" (with Hollie Nyseth, Kia Heise, and Suzy McElrath). Contexts 10, no. 2 (2011): 44-50.
Examines interviews with “embedded sociologists” – sociology PhD holders with careers outside the professorate – to illustrate how the study and practice of sociology relates to the non-academic world.
"A Basic Work Opportunity Reduces Crime - But Not Drug Use," (with Christopher Uggen), American Sociological Association, July 31, 2010.
Explains how and why the largest randomized job experiment in the nation’s history affected substance use and crime among serious drug users, and finds evidence that income from a basic work opportunity clearly and significantly reduces predatory economic crime among former drug users.