Vernetta D. Young, Ph.D.

Vernetta D. Young is Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Howard University. One of the first African American women to earn a doctorate in criminology, she has spent her career exposing racial and social injustices. Vernetta Young has produced several important publications in the areas of black female criminality, the historical development of juvenile institutions, and African American contributions to criminology and criminal justice. Her 1980 publication, “Women, Race, and Crime,” is a classic response to the liberation hypothesis, which has been one of the most controversial theories of the last thirty years. She has also made important scholarly contributions to critical criminal justice issues are related to race and gender. Her book, Women Behind Bars: Gender And Race in US Prisons (with R. Reviere) published by Lynne Rienner Publishers in 2005 offers the first comprehensive exploration of the challenges faced by incarcerated women in the United States. Vernetta Young completed her B.A. in Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and attended Florida State University before completing her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany. She has also taught at American University and the University of Maryland, College Park.