Monica Williams

Assistant Professor
Criminal Justice Department
Ph.D. 2013, University of California, Davis

Email (preferred):
Phone: (801) 626-6231

Curriculum Vitae

Interest Areas

Law & society, community and societal responses to sex offenders, social control, policing

Current Research

Book manuscript: No Good Place: Community Orientations to Authority and the Sex Offender Housing Dilemma

No Good Place is a study of variation in community responses to sex offenders. Popular accounts of reactions to sex offenders suggest a nation of vigilantes, but responses to sex offenders often involve collective campaigns that target political and criminal justice systems rather than individual offenders. No Good Place draws on data from case studies of three California communities to examine how local political and legal contexts contribute to variation in community responses to violent sex offenders. I argue that communities’ orientations to political and legal authority, which stem from historical and contemporary relationships between communities and local political structures, politicians, law enforcement, and the courts, contribute to community response strategies. These findings suggest a new perspective on community responses to sex offenders as a contemporary form of civic engagement. When published, the book will inform debates over community members’ involvement in decision-making about sex offender reintegration. More broadly, by showing how relationships between communities and formal institutions contribute to response strategies, the book will enhance scholarly understanding of the local roots of responses to crime, legal and political mobilization, and collective action.

Selected Publications and Works in Progress

Williams, Monica and Bill McCarthy. Forthcoming. “Assessing Stereotypes of Adolescent Rape.” Journal of Criminal Justice.

Williams, Monica. 2012. Beyond the Retributive Public: Governance and Public Opinion on Penal Policy.Journal of Crime and Justice 35(1): 93-113.

Williams, Monica. “Community Responses to Sexually Violent Predators as Legally Constructed Siting Dilemmas.” In preparation for submission to Law & Society Review.

Williams, Monica. No Good Place: Community Orientations to Authority and the Sex Offender Housing Dilemma. Book manuscript in preparation.

Andrea Leverentz and Monica Williams. “Place, Politics, and Police.” Article in preparation.

Courses Taught

CJ 1010: Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJ 2300: Policing: History, Theory, and Practice
CJ 3600: Criminal Justice Statistics
CJ 4900: Crime, Law, & Social Context (Law & Society)
MCJ 6130: Law and Social Control