Distinguished McKnight Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota
Expertise & Civic Involvements
Uggen studies crime, law, and deviance, and is best known for two lines of research: (1) employment and crime; and (2) felon voting restrictions. Uggen’s research interests include punishment and reentry, harassment and discrimination, citizenship and exclusion, and, most recently, health inequalities. With Doug Hartmann, he edits and publishes The Society Pages, which aims to bring social science to broader public visibility and influence. Uggen also does legislative testimony and expert witness work on justice issues, and has served on the Minnesota Department of Corrections Human Subjects Committee.
"Employment and Exile: U.S. Criminal Deportations, 1908-2005" (with ). American Journal of Sociology 118, no. 5 (2012). Explains how rates of criminal deportation fluctuate with the unemployment rate.
"Incarceration and the Health of the African American Community" (with ). Du Bois Review 8, no. 1 (2011): 133–41. Introduces a larger project on how prison affects health, particularly in communities of color.
"Incarceration and Stratification" (with ). Annual Review of Sociology 36 (2010): 387-346. Considers how criminal punishment affects inequality in work, family, and community life.
Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy (with ) (Oxford University Press, 2006). Examines the history, scope, impact, and meaning of felon voting restrictions on convicted criminals.
"Citizenship, Democracy, and the Civic Reintegration of Criminal Offenders" (with ). Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 605, no. 1 (2006): 281-310. Estimates the number of former prisoners and former felons in the United States.
"Public Attitudes toward Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States" (with ). Public Opinion Quarterly 68, no. 2 (2004): 275-286. Finds that a majority of Americans favors restoring voting rights to former felons who have completed their sentences – even for those who served time for highly stigmatizing offenses; that these majorities are much stronger for less stigmatizing crimes; and that high proportions of Americans favor voting rights for probationers who are currently serving their sentences in their communities, as well as for former prisoners serving time on parole.
- Christopher Uggen's research on public attitudes toward felon disenfranchisement cited in "Disenfranchised Felons," New York Times, July 15, 2012.
- "Law Enforcement Death Rate Falling, Not Rising," Minnpost, May 14, 2010.
- "The Link between Education and Police Use of Force," Minnpost, April 28, 2010.
- "Who Are the Outlaws? A Freakonomics Quorum," New York Times Online, October 16, 2008.
- "The Disenfranchised of History … and Now," Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2006.
- "The President Is Right: Ex-Felons Need Aid" (with ), Newsday, February 5, 2004.
- "They've Paid Their Debt; Let Them Vote" (with ), Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2003.
Talks and Briefings
- "Employment and Crime," Testimony before the Reentry Working Group of the Minnesota Legislature, October 27, 2007.
- "Felon Disenfranchisement," Testimony before the Minnesota Senate, February 27, 2009.
- "Work as a Turning Point for Released Offenders," Economic Policy Institute, United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., December 6, 2000.
- "Convicted Felons Civil Rights and Voting Eligibility Restoration," Testimony before the Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee of the Minnesota legislature, March 28, 2006.
- "Felon Disenfranchisement," Testimony before Racial Fairness Committee of the Minnesota Supreme Court, November 29, 2006.