Faculty / Kay Harris

M. Kay Harris is a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice and an Affiliated Professor of Women’s Studies. She has served as a leader in scholarly work on sentencing, community corrections and alternatives to incarceration. With funding from the National Institute of Justice and the National Institute of Corrections, she conducted nationwide studies of the development and evolution of Community Corrections Acts, of gender specific programs for women under supervision in the community and of judicial intervention in correctional settings. For more than a decade, she was involved in a series of action research projects with the criminal courts and other justice system officials in Philadelphia.

Kay currently is conducting research on the grassroots transformation model of the Public Safety Initiative of L.I.F.E.R.S., Inc, at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Graterford, PA. She has written important theoretical pieces on feminism and justice, restorative, transformative and community justice, the goals of community sanctions and the implications of different sanctioning orientations. Her career contributions were recognized by the Justice Studies Association in 2004 and by her selection in that same year as the recipient of the University of Cincinnati award by the American Probation and Parole Association, an award presented to a non-practitioner who has made significant contributions to the field of probation, parole or community corrections.

Kay regularly teaches Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program classes, which aim to achieve a marriage of theoretical knowledge with practical understanding and experience by holding class inside an area prison or jail throughout the semester. Involving roughly equal numbers of Temple students and incarcerated students, the classes utilize a variety of texts and reflective and analytical assignments, as well as active learning techniques and class projects. As an adjunct to regular classes, Kay also frequently organizes interactive in-prison workshops involving Temple students and incarcerated men and women.