Barkan

Steven E. Barkan

Professor of Sociology, University of Maine
Areas of Expertise:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Race & Ethnicity

About Steven

Barkan’s public policy expertise lies in the field of crime and criminal justice, with a focus on racial prejudice and support by the public for the death penalty and for other punitive criminal justice policies. He has authored an award-winning criminology textbook, now in its fifth edition, as well as other textbooks on criminal justice, law and society, and introductory sociology.

Podcast

Publications

"Racial Prejudice and Support for the Death Penalty by Whites" (with Steven F. Cohn). Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 31 (1994): 202-209.
Finds that racial prejudice among whites contributes to their support for the death penalty; the article has been widely cited, as it was one of the first studies to document the role played by whites’ racial prejudice in their support for harsher criminal justice practices.
"Racial Prejudice and Support by Whites for Police Use of Force" (with Steven F. Cohn). Justice Quarterly 15 (1998): 743-753.
Shows that racial prejudice among whites contributes to their support for undue use of force by police.
"Why Whites Favor Spending More Money to Fight Crime: The Role of Racial Prejudice" (with Steven F. Cohn). Social Problems 52 (2005): 300-314.
Shows that racial prejudice among whites contributes to their likelihood of wanting more money spent to fight crime.
"Presidential Address: ‘Toward a New Abolitionism: Race, Ethnicity, and Social Transformation’" Social Problems 57 (2010): 1-4.
Calls for a new wave of activism to reduce racial and ethnic inequality in a Presidential address for the Society for the Study of Social Problems (a national association of sociologists and other social scientists).
"U.S. Corrections Policy since the 1970s" in Criminal Justice Policy, edited by Karim Ismaili (Jones and Bartlett, 2011), 135-157.
Summarizes corrections policy.
Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 5th Edition (Prentice-Hall, 2012).
Summarizes the sociological evidence on crime and criminal justice for undergraduates and is written in an engaging style. Awarded the 2006 “Texty” Textbook Excellence Award for Humanities/Social Sciences from the Text and Academic Authors Association.

In the News

"The Hurtful Racial Truth about Criminal Justice in the U.S.," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, November 7, 2017.
Steven E. Barkan quoted on guns in America in Editorial Board, "Violence Has Declined in America, but Increased Fire Power Makes Shootings More Deadly" Bangor Daily News, October 5, 2017.
"More Guns Won’t Make Our Universities and Colleges Any Safer," Steven E. Barkan (with Michael Rocque), Bangor Daily News, June 4, 2017.
"The Non-Alternative Facts about ObamaCare," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, March 14, 2017.
"4 Reasons to Doubt the ‘Ferguson Effect’ and Claims of a National Crime Wave," Steven E. Barkan (with Michael Rocque and Chad Posick), Bangor Daily News, June 10, 2015.
"At $385 Billion, Tax Fraud Amounts to the Theft of a Nation," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, April 14, 2015.
"Why It Makes No Sense to Put More People in Jail," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, June 24, 2014.
"Mass Incarceration: The Great American Folly," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, February 5, 2013.
"School Employees aren’t the Problem," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, March 20, 2000.
"Men Not Primary Victims of Domestic Violence," Steven E. Barkan (with Saundra Gardner), Bangor Daily News, November 6, 2000.
"Speak Out against Hatred," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, September 21, 2001.
"Taking Aim at Three-Strikes Laws," Steven E. Barkan, Bangor Daily News, March 10, 2003.
"Same-Sex Couples are Families, Too," Steven E. Barkan (with Stephen Marks and Robert Milardo), Bangor Daily News, September 21, 2009.