The Justice Lab at UW-Madison focuses on ending racial, economic, and health disparities across the rural-urban interface.

Jessica Simes


Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston University

Jessica Simes is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of Research at the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. She is co-Principal Investigator of the Pennsylvania Solitary Study with Bruce Western, a field study of men living in solitary confinement. Her work uses administrative data from state prisons to track spatial and demographic inequalities in community exposures to the criminal justice system. Her work on imprisonment, solitary confinement, and reentry has been published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, the Journal of Urban Affairs, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and City & Community. Her forthcoming book, Punishing Places: The Geography of Mass Imprisonment in America (University of California Press, 2021), describes in unprecedented detail the consequences of mass incarceration for neighborhoods in the United States. Current projects include a study of racial disparities in police contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey experiment deployed to a national sample to examine the criminal immigrant stereotype, and an analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on police contact. Jessica received her B.A. with honors in sociology from Occidental College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.