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I am a sociologist and criminologist who studies the social, political, and collateral consequences of criminal legal involvement.

I am an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland and a 2022 Emerson Collective Democracy Fellow.

I am an advocate for public sociology/criminology. I believe that communicating scholarship effectively to policymakers, practitioners, and the public is a fundamental part of the work. Thus, community and university engagement are important aspects of my scholarly profile.

Prior to joining the faculty at Maryland, I served as founding Director of Research and continue to serve on the Research Steering Committee for the Minnesota Justice Research Center, a nonprofit research organization working to improve the justice system through high-quality and accessible research, policy development, and education.


I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, where I was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. I also received my B.A. in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance from UMN and my A.A. from Alexandria Technical College.

In addition to my academic training, I also come to this work with lived experience. In fact, my educational experience only began in earnest while I was incarcerated. My personal experiences with the criminal legal system were undoubtedly affected by my positionality. I do not suggest that my experiences make me an expert in punishment and crime; rather, they grant me an additional vantage point from which to understand these issues and generate questions that might not otherwise occur.

I am thankful that I have had the opportunities to do what I do, but of course there's more to life. Outside of work, I have been exploring the DMV with my family and spending plenty of time on cardiovascular training...chasing around three kids under 6. And of course, as a born and bred Minnesotan, I am perpetually preparing myself for another crushing late season Vikings collapse.

The Minnesota research team: Lesley Schneider, Veronica Horowitz, Chris Uggen, Chelsea Carlson, and Robert Stewart.
Robert Stewart standing in front of an image that says "Context Matters."
Robert Stewart standing at a podium being photographed by a camera person.
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