Heather Schoenfeld

Heather Schoenfeld

Democracy Senior Visiting Fellow AY 2020-2021
Heather Schoenfeld

Heather Schoenfeld is a sociologist whose work lies at the intersection of politics, policy, race and the law. Her research on the origins and development of mass incarceration in the United States has been widely published and recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association and the Law and Society Association.

Dr. Schoenfeld is an associate professor of sociology at Boston University and (by courtesy) Boston University School of Law. Prior to joining the BU faculty in September 2018, she was an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the Center for Legal Studies and the School of Education and Social Policy (Human Development and Social Policy) and, previously, an assistant professor of sociology at The Ohio State University as well as postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. Heather Schoenfeld is the author of Building the Prison State: Race & the Politics of Mass Incarceration, which explores how and why the United States became the world's leading jailer.