Ben FisherAssociate Professor

My work focuses on school criminalization, which refers to the ways that the strategies, technologies, and logics of the criminal legal system appear in schools. I focus on issues including police in schools, school discipline, and schools’ use of a variety of security measures. Much of my research in these areas addresses issues of racial equity with an eye toward making schools more just and equitable places for students. I use a variety of research methods to study school criminalization, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods.

Recent Publications

Fisher, B. W., Higgins, E. M., Kupchik, A., Viano, S., Curran, F. C., Overstreet, S., Plumlee, B., & Coffey, B. (2022). Protecting the flock or policing the sheep? Differences in school resource officers’ perceptions of threats by school racial composition. Social Problems, 69, 316-334. doi: 10.1093/socpro/spaa062

Fisher, B. W., Wiley, S. A., & McGlynn-Wright, A. (2022). Suspended again: The racialized consequences of a 9th grade suspension on future suspension patterns. Race and Social Problems. doi: 10.1007/s12552-021-09332-5

Gerlinger, J., Viano, S., Gardella, J. H., Fisher, B. W., Curran, F. C., & Higgins, E. M. (2021). Exclusionary school discipline and delinquent outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 50, 1493-1509. doi: 10.1007/s10964-021-01459-3

Classes Taught

A white man smiling, with short brown hair, wearing a blue shirt.


  • Civil Society & Community Studies

Degree Program

  • BS Community & Nonprofit Leadership
  • PhD Human Ecology: Civil Society & Community Research


  • Ph.D., Community, Research, and Action, Vanderbilt University
  • M.A., Community Psychology and Social Change, Penn State Harrisburg


Office: 4157 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-263-2193



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