Director, Criminal Justice Studies Program

Sarah K.S. Shannon joined the UGA Sociology Department in 2013 after receiving her PhD (and MSW) from the University of Minnesota.  Sarah’s research focuses on systems of criminal punishment and their effects on social life. Her interdisciplinary research has been published in top journals in several fields including sociology, criminology, public health, social work, and geography.

Sarah is also an award-winning teacher, having received recognition for excellence in undergraduate instruction, research mentoring, creative teaching, and service-learning. She proudly facilitates UGA’s first-ever Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course in partnership with the Clarke County Jail (SOCI 4470S).

As a publicly engaged scholar, Sarah’s research has been cited in several high profile media outlets including The New York TimesThe Economist,  and the Washington Post. Prior to her graduate work, Sarah worked in the non-profit sector. As a result, she cares about doing research that matters for academics, policy makers, and ordinary citizens.

  • PhD, Sociology, University of Minnesota
  • MSW, University of Minnesota
  • BA, Sociology, University of Iowa
Areas of Expertise
  • Criminal justice
  • Criminal punishment
  • Criminology
Honors, Awards, and Achievements
  • Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology
  • Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award
  • Richard B. Russell Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • Creative Teaching Award
  • CURO Research Mentoring Award
Selected Publications

Uggen, Christopher, Jason Schnittker, Sarah Shannon, and Michael Massoglia, 2023. “The Contingent Effect of Incarceration on State Health Outcomes.” SSM – Population Health, 21.
McLaughlin, Heather and Sarah K.S. Shannon. 2022. “Gender Equality and the Shifting Gap in Female-To-Male Prison Admission Rates.” Criminology 60(3):508-537.
Sarah Shannon, Beth Huebner, Alexes Harris, Karin Martin, Mary Pattillo, Becky Pettit, Bryan Sykes, and Christopher Uggen. 2020. “The Broad Scope and Variation of Monetary Sanctions: Evidence from Eight States.” UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review 4(1): 269-281.
Sarah K.S. Shannon, Christopher Uggen, Jason Schnittker, Melissa Thompson, Sara Wakefield, and Michael Massoglia. 2017. “The Growth, Scope, and Spatial Distribution of People with Felony Records in the United States,1948 to 2010.” Demography 54(5):1795-1818.
Sarah K.S. Shannon and Mathew Hauer. 2017. “A Life Table Approach to Estimating Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System.” Justice Quarterly 35(2):330-355.