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Lynne Haney is Professor of Sociology at New York University. She is a sociologist, feminist scholar, and ethnographer of the state. Her research examines how state policies and practices shape gender relations and identities, often in unintended and unexpected ways. It focuses on the effects of state institutions on the lives and livelihoods of those from marginalized communities--and how welfare and criminal justice policies can be transformed to improve those lives in meaningful, sustainable ways.  

Her most recent book, Prisons of Debt: The Afterlives of Incarcerated Fathers, will be published by the University of California Press in May 2022. The book examines the criminalization of child support and its consequences for indebted fathers and their families. Based on direct observation of over 1200 child support hearings across the U.S., it ventures into this legal arena and documents the miscarriages of justice that can rob formerly-incarcerated fathers of their rights as citizens and as parents. Through interviews with 145 fathers, the book traces the cycles of punishment and debt that can end up undermining parental and familial wellbeing. Prisons of Debt also makes a strong case for the inclusion of child support in criminal justice reform policies and politics.  

Lynne is the author of the award-winning books Offending Women: Power, Punishment and the Regulation of Desire and Inventing the Needy: Gender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary. Her articles have appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Signs, and Social Problems. Her research has been supported by a range of foundations and organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program. She recently served as a consultant for the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Justice on policy reforms in the area of child support and reentry.  

A product of the University of California system, Lynne has a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and a BA from UC San Diego. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her son, Tristan, and yellow Lab, Louie.  

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