Kathy Boudin


Ed.D, Co-Director and Co-Founder, Center for Justice; Director of the Criminal Justice Initiative; Adjunct Lecturer, School of Social Work – Columbia University

Dr. Boudin’s work focused on the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and the development of strategies to transform the current criminal justice system in the United States and to deal with the day-to-day damage that the system has caused. Dr. Boudin, working with other women with whom she was incarcerated during her 22 years in prison, focused on strengthening mother-child relationships across the separation of incarceration including building the Teen Time program; bringing back college to Bedford Hills after the ending of the Pell grants; and on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Since her release from prison in 2003, her projects included: founding the Coming Home Program at the Spencer Cox Center for Health, Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s, NYC, that provides healthcare for people returning from incarceration; developing a restorative practice program inside prisons for long-termers many of whom were sentenced as juveniles and working on a policy initiative to release aging people from prison and to reform parole policies system. Her work was based on participation and leadership by those who are most deeply affected by the issues.

Her publications have appeared in such journals as The Harvard Education Review; Journal of Corrections EducationWomen and Therapy; and Columbia Journal of Gender and Law; Liman Report of Yale Law School; and she is editor and co-author of the book, Breaking the Walls of Silence: AIDS and Women in a New York State Maximum Security Prison. Her research areas have included the impact of higher education on incarcerated women; the recidivism rates and life experience of people serving long sentences and parole policy; and the experience of adolescents with incarcerated mothers and the role of peer support.

She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, her master’s degree from Norwich University, and her doctoral degree from Columbia University Teachers College.