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Erica Banks

Area(s) of Interest

Criminology; Race, Gender, and Class; Inequality and Stratification; Race and Ethnicity; Law and Society; Social and Public Policy; Urban Sociology

Current Research

In my dissertation, I examine if and how class background shapes the experiences of formerly incarcerated Black women. Specifically, I ask: Do the ways in which Black women navigate life after incarceration vary by their class background? How do Black women experience class mobility between the time of their release from prison to the present day?” To pursue my research questions, I conducted two in-depth interviews with thirty-two formerly incarcerated Black women from Chicago and New York City about their experiences with securing gainful employment, obtaining stable housing, (re) building relationships with children, friends, and other family members, navigating the criminal legal system, and managing stigma and stereotypes. Through a Black feminist and intersectional approach, I pay special attention to how incarceration shapes the economic stability and mobility of Black women over time and at different stages of their reentry process.


Pattillo, Mary, Erica Banks, Bryan Sargent, and Daniel Boches. “Monetary Sanctions and the Housing Churn,” Journal article in progress with The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of Social Sciences.

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