Ben FisherAssociate Professor of Civil Society & Community Studies

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.

Selected Publications

Fisher, B. W., & Widdowson, A. O. (2023). Racial and ethnic differences in the consequences of school suspension for arrest. Criminology, 61(3), 622-653.

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(2), 316-334.

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 Problems14(3), 254-267.

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(8), 1493-1509.

For a full list of publications, see Fisher’s CV.

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  • Civil Society & Community Studies

Degree Program

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


  • PhD, Community, Research, and Action, Vanderbilt University
  • MA, Community Psychology and Social Change, Penn State Harrisburg


Office: 4157 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-263-2193



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