Rita Shah


A photo of Rita Shah

Associate Professor

Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology


[email protected]


  • B.A., American University, 2003
  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2011

Interests and Expertise

  • Corrections
  • Cultural criminology
  • Textual analysis
  • Qualitative and visual methods


Dr. Rita Shah (she/her/hers) is a cultural criminologist who combines textual analysis with qualitative and visual methods to understand the ways in which correctional systems are socially and legally constructed. Her work has been published in the British Journal of Criminology and Contemporary Justice Review and is supported by NEH and NSF grants. Her most recent book, The Meaning of Rehabilitation and its Impact on Parole: There and Back Again in California (2017), queries the concept of rehabilitation to determine how, on a legislative and policy level, the term is defined as a goal of correctional systems. She received her BA in communications, legal institutions, economics and government (CLEG) from American University and her MA in social ecology and Ph.D. in criminology, law and society from the University of California, Irvine. In her free time, she can be found on photographic expeditions or watching football.

Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Additional Information

Rita Shah's Website