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)  

Research Interests

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

Select Publications

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.
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.