Alexes Harris

Alexes Harris, Ph.D., is the Presidential Term Professor and Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington.  Dr. Harris’ work has spanned the criminal justice system, including juvenile justice, case processing outcomes, and monetary sanctions.  Her research is fundamentally centered on issues of inequality, poverty and race in United States’ systems of justice. Her book, A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as a Punishment for the Poor details the ways in which sentenced fines and fees often put an undue burden on disadvantaged populations and place them under even greater supervision of the criminal justice system. The book has received widespread media coverage, including by The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Nation, The New Yorker, and the Los Angeles Times.  Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Ethnography, Crime and Public Policy, and Law and Society Review.  Her current project extends this line of research in eight states with funding from Arnold Ventures. 

Dr. Harris has been appointed to serve on several federal advisory boards, including the Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board and the National Task Force on Fines and Fees, and Bail Practice.  She has also been called to testify for numerous state and federal governing bodies about inequalities in the criminal justice system and sentencing (including speaking at the White House on the issue of poverty and criminal justice).  Dr. Harris has been inducted into the Washington State Academy of Sciences (2017) and is the chair of the Washington State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  She was recently acknowledged for her teaching with the University of Washington’s highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award (2018).  She has also worked with UW Athletics as a member of the Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics since 2011 and has served as the Chair since 2014.  She recently was appointed as the UW Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR).  Dr. Harris earned her B.A degree at the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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