Professor Joanne Belknap
Professor • Honors Program Director
Criminology • Social Justice

Office Location: Ketchum 168



Ph.D., Michigan State University - Criminal Justice, 1986
M.A., Michigan State University - Criminal Justice, 1983
B.A., University of Colorado Boulder - Political Science, 1981

Research Interests

Intimate partner abuse, sexual victimization, incarceration of women and children, criminal legal policy, and feminist and intersectional criminology 

Joanne Belknap received a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University in 1986. She is a Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado and Past-President of the American Society of Criminology. She is also an adjunct professor on the faculty of law at Queensland University of Technology, School of Justice, in Brisbane Australia.  Her research is primarily on gender-based abuse and the trajectory of trauma to offending among women and youth, and the intersections of marginalization and oppression, and social justice. Dr. Belknap published the fourth edition of her book, The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice, in 2015. She has secured almost two million dollars in research grant money, has served on state advisory boards for female offenders and women in prison, on U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's Violence Against Women Committee, gave expert testimony to the Warren Christopher Commission investigating the Rodney King police brutality incident in Los Angeles, and served as a pro bono advisor on criminal justice policy for the Obama presidential campaign. Dr. Belknap has won numerous research, teaching and service awards. Her most recent research work is on jail-to-community reentry and implementing college courses in prisons after being trained by the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (

Selected Publications


Belknap, Joanne. 2015. The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice, 4th Edition.  Belmont, CA. Cengage Learning. (Previous Editions: 2007, 2001, 1996)

Refereed Articles

Belknap, Joanne. 2015. Activist Criminology: Criminologists’ Responsibility to Advocate for Social and Legal Justice. Criminology, 52(1):1-22. To read click here

Lynch, Shannon, Dana DeHart, Joanne Belknap, Bonnie Green, Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, Kristine Johnson, & Wong, M.M. 2017. An Examination of the Associations among Victimization, Mental Health, and Offending in Women. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 44(6):796-814.

Joanne Belknap, Shannon Lynch, and Dana DeHart. 2015. Jail Staff Members’ Views on Jailed Women’s Mental Health, Trauma, Offending, Rehabilitation, and Reentry. Prison Journal, 96(1):79-101.

DePrince, Anne, Susan E. Buckingham & Joanne Belknap. 2014. The Geography of Intimate Partner Abuse Experiences and Clinical Responses. 2014. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(3):258-271.

Belknap, Joanne, Kristi Holsinger & Jani Little. 2012. Sexual Minority Status, Abuse, and Self-Harming Behaviors among Incarcerated Girls.  Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 5(2):173-185.

McDaniels-Wilson, Cathy, & Joanne Belknap. 2008. The Extensive Sexual Violation and Sexual Abuse Histories of Incarcerated Women. Violence Against Women, 14(10):1090-1127. (Winner of the Sage Best Article of 2008 in Violence Against Women).

Contributions to Edited Collections

Eigenberg, Helen, Stephanie Bonnes, & Joanne Belknap. “Managing the Backlash,” in Catherine Kaukinen, Michelle Hughes Miller, & Ráchael Powers (Eds.) Addressing Violence Against Women on College Campuses. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 285-303.

Belknap, Joanne, & Molly Bowers. 2016. “Girls and Women in Gangs,” in Carlos Cuevas & Callie Marie Rennison (Eds.) Handbook on the Psychology of Violence. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 211-25.


News About Joanne

Educating Inmates in an Era of Mass Incarceration 

Inmates, students learn from each other in first CU Boulder course of its kind

Professional Associations

Critical Ethnic Studies Association
American Society of Criminology