Weaver is broadly interested in understanding racial inequality in the United States, how state policies shape citizenship, and the effects of the growth of the criminal justice system in the United States. She specifically studies the causes and consequences of a large shift in criminal justice policy and practice in the United States. Her recent work is concerned with the effects of increasing punishment and surveillance in America on democratic inclusion, particularly for the black urban poor. Weaver has also researched changes in race relations in the United States. Weaver’s research has been supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Brookings Institution. She has previously worked for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. At the University of Virginia, she spearheaded the Working Group on Racial Inequality.