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American Bar Foundation Appoints New Research Professor from the University of Chicago

September 22, 2021, Press releases

CHICAGO, September 22, 2021- The American Bar Foundation (ABF) has appointed Reuben Jonathan Miller as Research Professor. Beginning in Fall 2021, Miller will join the other residential ABF faculty in serving the legal profession, the academy, and the public through empirical research and programs that advance justice and understanding of the law.  

Miller is an associate professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. He is a sociologist, criminologist, social worker, and former chaplain at Chicago's Cook County Jail. He is also a renowned speaker and author on crime, punishment, race, and poverty issues.  

The ABF is thrilled to welcome Reuben Miller to our research faculty,” said ABF Executive Director Ajay K. Mehrotra. “His expertise in law and criminology makes him a great addition to our community of ABF Research Professors, who strive to advance justice for marginalized groups through innovative, interdisciplinary, and empirical scholarship. 

Miller’s research focuses on mass incarceration, race, poverty, crime control, and social welfare policy. His first book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration (Little, Brown, and Company, 2021), was widely featured in media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. His book tells the stories of previously incarcerated Americans and their struggle to rehabilitate into society. Based on fifteen years of research, his work uncovers how formally incarcerated individuals live under a “supervised society,” facing barriers to jobs, apartments, and voting rights. 

“I am honored to join a group of talented scholars and look forward to the possibility of collaborating with some of them on future projects,” said Miller. 

In addition to his work at the University of Chicago, Miller is also a team member of the Poverty Solutions team at the University of Michigan, which provides research, data analysis, public policy recommendations, and public engagement efforts to help fight poverty. In addition, Miller has conducted fieldwork in Chicago, Detroit, and New York City to study the impact of law and policy on citizenship and activism for poor black Americans and the overall urban poor. He has also done fieldwork in Glasgow, London, and Belgrade to examine the effects of crime control on social life in global cities with different public policies 

He is a former Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. He obtained his Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago.  

About the American Bar Foundation 

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world's leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission, the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF's primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation. 


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