Amy E. Lerman

Amy Lerman smiling in a black top and beaded necklace
Professor of Public Policy and Political Science
Charles and Louis Travers Department of Political Science and the Goldman School of Public Policy
The Possibility Lab


Job title: 
Professor of Public Policy and Political Science; Co-Director
Charles and Louis Travers Department of Political Science
Goldman School of Public Policy
Possibility Lab

Professor Amy E. Lerman is a political scientist who studies issues of race, public opinion, and political behavior, especially as they relate to punishment and social inequality in America. She is the author of two books on the American criminal justice system—The Modern Prison Paradox and Arresting Citizenship (awarded a best book award from the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association). Her most recent book, Good Enough for Government Work, which was awarded both the Woodrow Wilson Award and the Gladys Kammerer Award from the American Political Science Association, examines how perceptions of government shape citizens’ attitudes toward privatization. Professor Lerman’s scholarship can be found in a variety of journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Psychology, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Punishment and Society. In addition to her academic work, Lerman served as a speechwriter and communications consultant for national nonprofits and members of the United States Congress, a community organizer in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and an adjunct faculty member of the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison. She consults widely on issues related to prison reform, violence reduction, access to higher education, and law enforcement mental health.

Research interests: