Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Wozniak studies the politics of punishment and criminal justice with a particular focus on public opinion. He teaches classes about the criminal justice system, mass incarceration, social policy, and social science research methods. Wozniak is knowledgeable about the American public’s attitudes toward the criminal justice system, as well as the ways in which public opinion affects public policy. His most recent work explores how alternative ways of framing criminal justice policies affects people’s policy preferences. He is also a former Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association. During his fellowship, he worked as a legislative aid for Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott of the Third District of Virginia. He covered juvenile justice, gun control, and elementary and secondary education policy for Representative Scott.
Analyzes data from a national public opinion poll conducted four months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School; Finds that a slim majority of Americans favored a semiautomatic weapon ban and proposals to make gun control laws stricter, and a large majority supported a federal background check law.
Finds that people who perceived the police to be biased against African Americans were significantly more likely to express support for Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump; Also finds that racist attitudes predicted support for Trump, and including racism in the analysis absorbed most of the relationship between perceptions of police bias and candidate preference.
Finds that people who perceive life in prison to be easy or insufficiently-harsh were also more likely to express 1) support for other harsh punishments and 2) opposition to prisoner reentry and crime prevention programs; Findings suggest that political rhetoric decrying “country club prisons” may harshen people’s attitudes toward criminal justice globally.