Skip to main content

Local navigation

About our director

Michael Massoglia took over as director of the Center for Law, Society, and Justice in the summer of 2013.

Mike is a tenured associate professor in the Department of Sociology, and is particularly excited about leading the CLSJ. Having grown up in northern Wisconsin, he is a life-long Badger fan and has seen firsthand the contributions the University of Wisconsin-Madison has made across the state. He looks forward to building on the important work done by his predecessor, Howard Erlanger. As the intellectual home for research at the intersection of law and society, and the undergraduate legal studies major and criminal justice certificate program, the center is a valuable part of the university and embodies the Wisconsin Idea.

Mike joined the UW-Madison faculty in 2012, after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and working as a professor at Penn State University. He came to Madison with an active research agenda on the social consequences of contact with the penal system. This strand of research has led to a series of publications in highly-regarded journals on the relationship between incarceration and infectious disease, stress-related illness, mental health, as well as racial disparities in health.

Mike's work links the expansion of the penal system to larger social processes. He has gained a national reputation as a scholar whose work demonstrates the relevance of crime and incarceration to broader social structures, and various life outcomes. His research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, is notable for its breadth and contributions across many different sub-fields in sociology. Mike is an active member of several research centers on campus, including the Institute for Research on Poverty and the Center for Demography and Ecology. He is also on the editorial board of leading journals in his field, including the American Journal of Sociology and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.