Keesha Middlemass

Keesha Middlemass

Keesha Middlemass is a fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings and associate professor of American Politics and Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. Her research is interdisciplinary; she merges race, policies, and the criminal justice system to explore lived experiences. To study these issues, Middlemass uses different methods, including interviews, focus groups, ethnography, participant observations, and policy analysis, to better understand how race, policies, and the criminal justice system impact underserved communities. For example, in her award-winning book, “Convicted & Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry,” Middlemass examines the experiences of former prisoners reentering society. “Convicted & Condemned is different from other books because it fills in critical gaps in our understanding of how individuals reenter society after a time of incarceration, how policies exacerbate individual challenges, and makes a significant interdisciplinary contribution in understanding lived experiences. Further, Middlemass crafts a narrative that connects politics and race to show how policies create perverted outcomes for men and women trying to reenter society after serving time in prison.

Currently, Middlemass is expanding her work to include food insecurity and trauma experienced by reentering adults. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, including The Prison Journal, Aggressive Behavior, Criminal Justice & Behavior, Public Health Nutrition, and Punishment & Society. Middlemass is a former Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow on Race, Crime, and Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City, and a former American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellow. Middlemass earned her Ph.D. in public policy, American politics, and public administration from The School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Gendered Prisoner Reentry
    • Intersectional Reentry
  • Current Positions

    • Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
    • Associate Professor of American Politics and Public Policy - Howard University
  • Past Positions

    • Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow on Race, Crime, and Justice - Vera Institute of Justice
    • Congressional Fellow - American Political Science Association
  • Education

    • Ph.D. in Public Policy, American Politics, and Public Administration, University of Georgia
    • M.A. in American Politics, University of Georgia
    • B.A. in Political Science, Wichita State University
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