Linda Zhao

Linda Zhao

Adjunct Faculty

Human smuggling and illegal immigration, Religiosity and juvenile delinquency, Culture influences and violence, Prison reentry, and Crime in urban settings

Dr. Zhao is recognized for her innovative qualitative research in investigating the role of informal financial system ("underground banking") in facilitating illegal immigration through human smuggling originating from mainland China. Her research interests also include the effects of religiosity on juvenile crime and prison reentry, and influences of culture conflict on religious youths' perceptions of violence and behavior. She received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice in 2009 from Temple University. Before joining George Mason, she was an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at California Baptist University, and Visiting Professor at the University of the District of Columbia.  

Selected Publications

Zhao, L. L. & Medina, J. (2019).   The role of religiously-motivated relationships in explaining adolescent substance use. Under review. Journal of Adolescence.

Zhao, L. L. (2013).  Financing illegal migration: Chinese underground banks and human smuggling in New York City.  London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Zhao, L. L. (2013).  Chinese underground banks in NYC: Ethnic networks and human smuggling. Sociological Focus, 44, 178-192.

Zhao, L. L. (2012)Underground banks and their connections with crime: A review and an appraisal. International Criminal Justice Review, 22, 5-23. 

Zhao, L. L. (2012).  Underground banks in NYC, the main clientele and operators: The  perspectives of Chinese illegal immigrants.  International Journal of Law, Crime, and  Justice, 41, 36-57.

Zhao, L. L. (2008).  Anomie theory and crime in a transitional China.  International Criminal Justice Review, 18, 137-157.

Courses Taught

CRIM 315 Research Methods and Analysis in Criminology

Minority and Justice System

Comparative Justice Systems


Criminological Theory


Introduction to Criminal Justice System

Ethics for Disaster Management


Probation and Parole

Community Policing