Crime & Justice Policy, Social & Education Policy

Karen Heimer

  • Professor, Department of Sociology, UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Researcher, Crime and Justice Policy Research Program
  • Researcher, Social and Education Policy Research Program


Karen Heimer conducts research and teaches in the areas of gender and violence, criminal punishment and criminology. She currently is researching gender and race differences in violent victimization, motherhood narratives of women in prison, and gender differences in patterns imprisonment and criminal punishment in the United States. Heimer’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice and National Consortium on Violence Research. She served on the National Academies of Sciences’ CNSTAT panel on Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault, and on the National Research Council’s workshop on Understanding Crime Trends. Heimer was elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology in 2015. She is President-Elect of the American Society of Criminology (President in 2018). 

Research Interests

  • Criminology and juvenile delinquency
  • Victimization
  • Gender, crime and violence
  • Race and gender disparities in imprisonment, corrections and criminal punishment
  • Crime and victimization trend analysis

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1989
  • M.A., Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984
  • B.A., Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, 1981