Kristen M. Zgoba


Areas of Expertise

Violence | Sexual Offense Legislation | Corrections | Criminal Justice Policy


Ph.D., Rutgers University, Criminal Justice, 2004
M.A., Rutgers University, Criminal Justice, 2000
B.A., Rutgers University, Criminal Justice, 1998


Office: PCA-363A
Phone: 305.348.3430
Website: Google Scholar


Kristen M. Zgoba received her doctoral degree from the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Prior to coming to FIU, she served as the Research Supervisor for the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC). Zgoba received two National Institute of Justice grants as Principal Investigator: (1) to be the first state to test the effectiveness of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, and (2) to examine the utility of the federal SORNA guidelines. She is a 2022 recipient of a multi-year grant from the Community Oriented Policing Services to study correctional officer mental health in the NJDOC. Additionally, in 2023 she received funding from Vital Projects to examine the effects of removing individuals from the public sexual offense registry.

Dr. Zgoba is also a 2014-2015 United Kingdom Fulbright Research Scholar Award winner. That same year she received an additional award from the National Institute of Justice to lecture overseas on ‘Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice’. Dr. Zgoba is also the recipient of the American Correctional Association’s 2013 Peter P. Lejins Research Award – the highest award given for corrections research. She has been invited to serve as a Distinguished Lecturer at Rutgers University, the University of Pennsylvania and has testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission regarding failure to register as a sex offender. Additionally, she serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Criminal JusticeHomicide Studies and the Journal of Experimental Criminology. Dr. Zgoba is a member of the Research Council within the American Correctional Association and is a member of the Sexual Assault Advisory Council for the Prison Rape Elimination Act in New Jersey. She was an invited participant at the Prison Administrator’s Workshop on the National Inmate Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Dr. Zgoba also served on the Board of Directors at the Edna Mahan State Correctional Facility for women in New Jersey from 2018- 2022.

Dr. Zgoba serves as an expert in sexual violence cases and registration challenges across the country and has provided testimony used in three Supreme Court cases. Having served as Co-Chair and Chair of the NJDOC Institutional Review Board (IRB) from 2006-2018, she currently serves as Chair of the FIU SB-IRB. Dr. Zgoba has published over 65 peer-reviewed articles; some of her publications appear in the Journal of Experimental CriminologyPrison Journal, Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentJustice Quarterly and Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Select Publications

D’Alessio, S. J., Stolzenberg, L., Guerette, R. T., & Zgoba, K. M. (2023). The effect of self-defense laws on firearm use among criminal offenders. Crime & Delinquency69(13-14), 2826-2845.

Yan, S., Zgoba, K. M., & Pizarro, J. M. (2023). Restrictive Housing Placement and Length of Stay: A Latent Class Analysis With Mixed Distributions. Criminal Justice Policy Review34(5), 462-487.

Zgoba, K. M., Liu, L., & Matthews, D. T. (2023). Advancing Research: An Examination of Differences in Characteristics of Sexual and Non-Sexual Offense Recidivism Using a 10-Year Follow-Up. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health20(13), 6212.

Baker, T., Ray, J. V., & Zgoba, K. (2022). Race differences in the effects of early school behavior problems and substance use type on lifetime arrest. Deviant Behavior43(2), 258-269.

Zgoba, K.M. & Mitchell, M. (2021). The effectiveness of sex offender registration and notification: A meta-analysis of 25- years of findings. Journal of Experimental Criminology. OnlineFirst.

Zgoba. K.M. & Clear, T. (2021). A review of the reality of violent offending and the administration of justice. Criminal Justice Policy Review,32, 352-373.

Guerette, R. T., Przeszlowski, K, Lee-Silcox, J., & Zgoba, K. M. (2021). Improving policing through better analysis: an empirical assessment of a crime analysis training and enhancement project within an urban police department. Police Practice and Research, 22(4), 1425-1442.

Zgoba, K. M., Pizarro, J. M., & Salerno, L. M. (2020). Assessing the Impact of Restrictive Housing on Inmate Post-Release Criminal Behavior. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45, 102-125. Awarded the 2020 American Journal of Criminal Justice Outstanding Article Award.