Elaine Gunnison, PhD

PhD, Criminal Justice

Professor, Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Forensics
Director, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Phone: 206-296-2430

Building/Room: Casey 330-16

Elaine Gunnison CV (PDF)

Teaching and Research Interests


Ph.D. 2001, University of Cincinnati; Criminal Justice
M.S. 1997, University of Cincinnati; Criminal Justice
BA. 1996, Wright State University; Psychology major, Sociology minor

Courses Taught

• Introduction to Criminal Justice
• Criminology 
• Criminal Justice Statistics 
• Criminal Justice Research Methods 
• Gender, Race, & Crime  
• Senior Synthesis
• Advanced Criminological Theories (graduate) 
• Feminist Criminology (graduate)
• Criminal Justice Capstone Seminar (graduate) 
• Advanced Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods

Research Interests

• Criminology
• Female Offending 
• Life-course criminology
• Persistence and Desistance in Offending
• Corrections
• Offender reentry

Select Publications

Giuffre, Andrea and Elaine Gunnison. 2022. “Sorority Women’s Perceptions of Survivors’ Services and Justice on an Urban Campus.” Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence, 7(1), 1-19.

Gunnison, Elaine and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2021. “Process, Power, and Impact of the Institutional Review Board in Criminology and Criminal Justice Research.” Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 16(3), 1-17.

Helfgott, Jacqueline B. and Elaine Gunnison. 2020. “Gender-Responsive Reentry Services for Women Leaving Prison: The IF Project’s Seattle Women’s Reentry Initiative.” Corrections: Policy, Practice & Research, 6, 1-30. 

Helfgott, Jacqueline B., Gunnison, Elaine, Sumner, Jennifer, Collins, Peter, and Stephen K Rice. 2019.  “If Someone Would Have Shown Me”: Identifying Pivotal Points in Pathways to Crime and Incarceration Through Prisoner Self-Narratives.”  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 1-29.

Tamura, Kabrianna, and Elaine Gunnison. 2019.  “Hearing on the Deaf Penalty: The Intersection of Deafness and Criminal Justice.” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology, 7(3), 215-239.

Gunnison, Elaine, and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2018.  Women Leading Justice:  Experiences and Insights. Routledge.

Helfgott, Jacqueline B., Gunnison, Elaine, Murtagh, Autumn, and Bridgette Navejar. 2018.  “BADASSES: The Rise of Women in Criminal Justice.” Women and Criminal Justice, 0, 1-27.

Helfgott, Jacqueline B., Gunnison, Elaine, Collins, Peter, and Stephen K. Rice. 2017. “The Power of Personal Narratives in Crime Prevention and Reentry: Process Evaluation of the Seattle Police Department’s IF Project.” Corrections:  Policy, Practice, & Research, 1-24.

Gunnison, Elaine. 2017. Community Corrections. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.bad
Gunnison, Elaine, and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2017. “Critical Keys to Successful Offender Reentry: Getting a Handle on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Problems.”  The Qualitative Report, 22(8): 2152-2172.

Gunnison, Elaine, Bernat, Frances, and Lynne Goodstein. 2016. Women and Crime:  Balancing the Scales. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Gunnison, Elaine, and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2016. “A Day in the Life of a Day Reporting Center:  A Profile of Needs & Challenges of Clients Entering and Exiting.”  The Journal of Community Corrections, 25(4): 5-14.

Gunnison, Elaine. 2015. “Investigating Life Course Offender Subgroup Heterogeneity:  An Exploratory Latent Class Analysis Approach.”  Women and Criminal Justice, 25(4): 223-240.

Gunnison, Elaine, Helfgott, Jacqueline B., and Cecilie Wilhelm. 2015. “Correctional Practitioners on Reentry: A Missed Perspective.”  Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, 2(1): 52-73.  

Gunnison, Elaine. 2014. “Desistance from Criminal Offending: Exploring Gender Similarities and Differences.” Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society 15(3):75-95.

Gunnison, Elaine, and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2013.  Offender Reentry: Beyond Crime and Punishment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Gunnison, Elaine. 2012. “An Examination of Female and Male Work Release Offenders: Risk Factors, Needs, and Recidivism.” Journal of Community Corrections 21(4):9-16.

Gunnison, Elaine, and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2011. “Factors that Hinder Offender Reentry Success: A View from  Community Corrections Officers.” The International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 55(2):287-304.

Gunnison, Elaine, and Lisa M. McCartan. 2010. “Persistent Versus Late Onset Among Female Offenders: A Test of State Dependent and Population Heterogeneity Interpretations. Western Criminology Review 11(3):45-62.

McCartan, Lisa M., and Elaine Gunnison. 2010. “Individual and Relationship Factors that Differentiate Female Offenders With and Without a Sexual Abuse History.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25(8):1449–1469.

Helfgott, Jacqueline B., and Elaine Gunnison. 2008. “The Influence of Social Distance on Community Corrections Officer Perceptions of Offender Reentry Needs.” Federal Probation June: 2-12.

Gunnison, Elaine, and Paul Mazerolle. 2007. “Desistance from Serious and Not So Serious Crime: A Comparison of Psychosocial Risk Factors.” Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law, and Society 20(3): 233-255. 

Gunnison, Elaine, and Jacqueline B. Helfgott. 2007. “Community Corrections Officers’ Perceptions of Ex-Offender Reentry Needs and Challenges.” Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology 22(1): 10-21.

Gunnison, Elaine, and Lisa M. McCartan. 2005. "The Role of Different Developmental Experiences: A Theoretical Examination of Female Persistence." Women and Criminal Justice 16(3):43-65.


South King County Pretrial Services Outcomes Evaluation. 49K, awarded by the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, Seattle, 2020.

Community Corrections Officers’ Perceptions of Ex-Offender Needs versus Community Opportunity in Seattle, Washington. $500, awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences, Seattle University, 2004.

Evaluation of the State of Nevada Department of Corrections Life Skills Program. $11650, awarded by Nevada State Department of Corrections, 2002. (Co-investigator)

Persistence in Criminal Offending: An Analysis of Female Offenders. $9412.30, awarded by the University Research Council, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 2002.