Faculty & Staff
PhD, University of Virginia, 1996
- miscarriages of justice
- family violence
- sociology of law
Since coming to UNCG in 1997, I have taught primarily in the criminology concentration. A list of classes I regularly teach is below. I enjoy exposing students to the sociological perspective on law, crime causation, and the operation of the criminal justice system. Our society is inundated with legalistic and psychological perspectives on these issues. I get a lot out of helping students see these fairly familiar subjects in a new way, through a sociological lens.
My research has always fallen within the broad area of the sociology of law, and recently I have focused more particularly on the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions. My primary interest is in expanding the little we know about what happens to wrongly convicted individuals and those around them in the aftermath of their being exonerated and released from prison.
On a personal note, I have been married to Van Westervelt since 1994, a psychologist who currently heads the Learning Assistance Center at Wake Forest University. We have one son, Drew, born in 2001, who is tons of fun. We enjoy travelling and doing stuff outside.
Current Courses Taught
- Soc 324: Criminology
- Soc 332: Law and Society
- Soc 420: Family Violence
- Soc 430: Miscarriages of Justice
- Soc 655: Graduate Sociology of Law
Selected Recent Publications
Cook, Kimberly J., and Saundra D. Westervelt. “Power and Accountability: Life after Death Row in the United States.” In The Routledge Handbook of Critical Criminology, 2nd ed., by Walter DeKeseredy and Molly Dragiewicz. Routledge Press.
Westervelt, Saundra D., and Kimberly J. Cook. (Forthcoming, April 2018). “Continuing Trauma and Aftermath for Exonerated Death Row Survivors.” In Living on Death Row, ed. by James Acker, Hans Toch, and Vincent Bonventre. American Psychological Association.