Department of Sociology

Gennifer Furst

Office: Raubinger 460
Phone: (973)720-2417
Office Hours:

Department: Sociology
Position: Professor

Gennifer Furst received her B.A. in psychology (with a sociology minor) from Connecticut College and her M.A. in psychology (with a concentration in evaluation methodology) from Claremont Graduate University. She received her doctorate in criminal justice (with a concentration in corrections) from CUNY Graduate Center.

Dr. Furst is the Department of Sociology’s Criminal Justice Director.  Dr. Furst’s research interests focus on issues of incarceration. She published the first national survey of prison-based animal programs in the US. A book based on that work was recently published.  Additionally, she is interested in race and the administration of criminal justice, the death penalty, the use of animals in the criminal justice system, and the relationship between drugs and crime.

Most recently, she co-authored (with Kimberly Collica) a textbook, Criminology and Society. She also has a chapter, “The Experiences of an Outsider Spending Time Inside,” appearing in Experiences in Corrections, and a book review of Do Prisons Make Us Safer? The Benefits and Costs of the Prison Boom is in Criminal Justice Review.  She is the co-author of another book chapter examining the inclusion of issues of race and ethnicity in college criminology/criminal justice courses. Her article about how prison-based animal programs change participants was included in a leading reader on human-animal relations. She edited a reader that serves as a supplement to published criminology texts. Her current research examines prison programs that teach inmates how to train shelter dogs who are then given to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   

Prior to teaching full-time, Professor Furst worked at one of the country’s three independent prison monitoring agencies, The Correctional Association of New York. Before coming to WPU Professor Furst taught at CUNY, John Jay College and Bronx Community College, as well as The College of New Jersey.

Dr. Furst lives in Englewood, NJ with her dog and cats.  She loves all things Pearl Jam, especially Eddie Vedder.

Selected Bibliography

Criminology and Society (with Kimberly Collica) (San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education Publishing, 2012).

“The Experiences of Outsider Spending Time Inside.” Chapter in Experiences in Corrections, edited by Michael Johnson. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011).

Furst, Gennifer. 2011. Animal Programs in Prison: A Comprehensive Assessment.  Boulder, CO: FirstForum Press.

“Do Prisons Make Us Safer? The Benefits and Costs of the Prison Boom” book review published in Criminal Justice Review 35 (2010): 251-253.

"How Prison-Based Animal Programs Change Prisoner Participants." Pp. 293-302 in Between the Species: Readings in Human-Animal Relations, edited by A. Arluke and C. Sanders. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2009).

Contemporary Readings in Criminal Justice. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009).

"Incorporating Race/Ethnicity into Criminology/Criminal Justice Education" (with N. Phillips). Pp. 57-68 in Teaching Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: Perspectives from North America, edited by Emily Horowitz (Birmingham, UK: The Higher Education Academy Network, 2008).

"Prison-Based Animal Programs in the United States: Implications for Desistance." Prison Service Journal 172 (July 2007):38-44.

"Without Words to Get in the Way: Symbolic Interaction in Prison-Based Animal Programs." Qualitative Sociology Review 3 (2007): 96-109.