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Pamela E. Oliver PhD

Pamela Oliver received her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina in 1977. She was an assistant professor at the University of Louisville from 1976-1980, and has been at the University of Wisconsin since 1980, where she has been a full professor since 1990 and a Conway-Bascom Professor since 2004.

Oliver is well-known for her work on collective action and social movements, and has published numerous influential articles and a book (with Gerald Marwell) on these topics. She has several National Science Foundation grants and has served on the National Science Foundation's Sociology Advisory Committee. Her work on the causes and consequences of the racial disparity in imprisonment began out of her community service involvement.

She is writing articles and a book based in detailed statistical comparisons between states in the US 1983-1999. She has done a detailed analysis of racial disparities in imprisonment and arrest in Wisconsin, and has given numerous presentations to public officials and community members on these issues.

She serves on the board of several non-profit organizations and community advisory committees concerned with criminal justice issues and has made dozens of presentations to public officials and general audiences as well as given numerous interviews to various news media about patterns of racial disparity in imprisonment.

Because of her leadership in this area, she was asked to serve on the Governor’s special Commission to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Wisconsin Justice System, which met April 2007 – January 2008 and issued its report in February 2008; she played a major role in helping to draft this report and authored (with her collaborator James Yocom) several appendices, including a comparison of arrests and prison sentences by race to assess where in the system disparities occur, and a detailed analysis of probation and parole revocations.

View more information on Pamela Oliver.
Picture from Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice in Wisconsin video
September 8 2008