phirschfieldPaul Hirschfield
Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2003

Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901

Office: Davison Hall, 038
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Professor Hirschfield has focused on a broad range of topics pertaining to crime and justice-with an emphasis on their relationship to youth, education and social policy. His work demonstrates that juvenile justice involvement adversely affects educational attainment among a sample of inner-city Chicago high school students and explains large gender differences in high school dropout among sampled African-American students. Interviews he conducted with young ex-offenders explored the social and institutional interactions that help mediate the impact of juvenile justice contact on developmental outcomes and recidivism. This work is part of a larger research agenda that aims to uncover the causes and social implications of the widespread criminalization of adolescent deviance and school misconduct in the inner-city. In that connection, his most recent research examines how neighborhood rates of juvenile arrests, especially for minor or "victimless" offenses, influences children's perceptions of the strength of prosocial norms in their neighborhoods, as well as their own attitudes toward and compliance with the law.

Dr. Hirschfield has applied qualitative and quantitative methods to various other theory- and policy-driven research projects. He has participated in separate experimental evaluations of the impact of the Moving to Opportunity program and the Comer School Development Program on rates of juvenile court involvement. With support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (U.S. Department of Justice) and the Spencer Foundation, Hirschfield is conducting a study of the impact of mainstream and alternative school re-enrollment on the reentry success of young ex-offenders in New York City. His work has appeared in Criminology, Sociology of Education, Theoretical Criminology, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and elsewhere.