Madeline McPherson

Madeline McPherson

Madeline McPherson

Graduate Research Assistant

Crime policy, corrections & penology, legal mercy, clemency, justice organizations

Madeline "Maddie" McPherson is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Criminology, Law, & Society Department. She works as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP) and volunteers as a member of the Early Justice Strategies Lab. Professionally, Maddie worked as a Project Coordinator with the International Association of Chiefs of Police working in legislative affairs and public policy projects related to law enforcement. Prior to IACP, Maddie was a Senior Policy Analyst with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, managing system-wide projects and acting as a policy and legislative affairs liaison for the Pennsylvania's Office of the Governor.

In her research, Maddie is interested in the intersection of justice practices and the experiences of people. She investigates the role of normative concepts, such as legal mercy and redemption, in the American criminal legal system. The goal of Maddie's mixed methods research is to integrate the qualitative experiences of justice stakeholders with quantitative evidence to better inform crime policy and legislation.

Selected Publications

Lowder, E. M., Foudray, C. M. A., & McPherson, M. (2022). Proxy assessments and early pretrial release: Effects on criminal case and recidivism outcomes. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Advance online publication.

Courses Taught

CRIM 307: Social Inequality, Crime & Justice 

CRIM 402: Punishment & Corrections


B.A. Psychology and Sociology, Duquesne University, 2013

M.S. Justice, Law, & Criminology, American University, 2015 


Recent Presentations

Smith, L., Foudray, C., McPherson, M., Rudes, D., & Magnuson, S. (2022, March). The “middle manager squeeze”: How navigating gray area policy leads to rule-bending & breaking. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rudes, D., Mackey, B., & McPherson, M. (2022, February). Reentry and Reintegration in Virginia, U.SA. February 2022, Western Society of Criminology. Honolulu, Hawaii.

McPherson, M., Foudray, C., Lowder, E., & Rodriguez, A. (2021, November). Use of Sanctions, Incentives, and Graduated Supervision in a Pretrial Supervision Setting. American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. Chicago, Illinois.

In the Media

Featured in Chronicle of Higher Education article - "Can a College Education Solve the Nation's Prison Crisis?"