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Jennifer Balboni Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice and Sociology

Jennifer Balboni

Contact Jennifer Balboni

Ph.D., Law Policy and Society, Northeastern University, 2006
M.S., Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, 1998
B.A., Criminal Justice, Westfield State University, 1992

Dr. Balboni is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. She completed her Ph.D. in Law, Policy and Society at Northeastern University, with a focus on criminal justice and restorative justice. She also has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. Her original dissertation research looked at the meaning of litigation against the Catholic Church for clergy sexual abuse survivors through an ethnographic lens. Her book, Clergy Sexual Abuse Litigation: Survivors Seeking Justice was published in 2011 through Lynne Rienner Publishing.

Dr. Balboni has also been published in the Boston Globe, the American Behavioral Scientist, Contemporary Justice Review, The Criminologist, Albany Law Review, and Justice Research and Policy, as well as has numerous book chapters on a variety of topics, including:  juvenile justice, restorative justice, teaching through HBO’s The Wire, the war on drugs, police/community relations, prosecutorial reform, and “smart on crime” criminal justice policies. In addition, she regularly mentors undergraduate students by working with them to produce and publish relevant criminal justice-related encyclopedia pieces and essays for anthologies.

Dr. Balboni was recently named Regional Fellow for the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (2019) for her contributions to the justice field. In 2020, she was elected to be a member of the Executive Board for NEACJS.

Before attending graduate school, she worked in direct services with delinquent and abused & neglected youth for several years in both residential and outreach settings. From 1997 through 2002, she worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Research, Northeastern University, notably working on projects involving juvenile justice and hate crimes. She co-authored a report (with J. McDevitt and S. Bennet) on “Improving the Quality and Accuracy of Bias Crime Reporting Nationally” which was released by President Clinton in the White House in 2000.

Dr. Balboni is currently a facilitator for restorative justice practices in her community. She considers herself privileged to work with current and future justice professionals in the Curry community.

Dr. Balboni also advises students who are interested in pursuing law school. If you are looking for pre-law advising, please contact her at