Christopher Uggen was born in 1964. He earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1995. Uggen has been a prominent sociologist and criminologist for decades and served as University of Minnesota Sociology Department chair from 2006-2012.
He is best known for his work researching felon disenfranchisement and employment and crime. His inquiries into criminal justice, punishment, recidivism, reentry, discrimination and exclusion. In his 2003 article, “Democratic Contraction: Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States”, published with his colleague, Jeff Manza, drew attention to the impacts of ongoing felon voting restrictions after time served. In Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy, they revealed surprising conclusions about how allowing felons to vote seems to be related to a reduction in future criminal offenses.
Uggen continues this work today, advocating for a reexamination of implications of race in criminal justice, employer discrimination against felons, effects of mass incarceration, and the secondary consequences of lasting criminal records. Recognizing the inequalities that exist and suggesting ways of handling justice in ways that allow former felons a way out. He is a Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight Professor at the University of Minnesota. In 2016, he was awarded the Hindelang Speaker Award by the SUNY Albany for his contributions to sociology and criminology.
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Public research university in Madison, Wisconsin., USAview profile
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