Benjamin W. Fisher

Assistant Professor
Ben Fisher Image

Benjamin W. Fisher received his Ph.D. in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University. His work focuses on school criminalization, which refers to the application of criminal justice system technologies, strategies, and logics within school settings. Within this domain, he studies topics like police in schools, punishment of students, and the use of school security measures. Dr. Fisher foregrounds equity and social justice in his work, particularly issues of racial justice. You can learn more about Dr. Fisher’s work on his personal website:

Research Interests

School Criminalization | Police in Schools | School Discipline | School Safety


PhD. 2016, Vanderbilt University, Community Research and Action

M.A. 2011, Pennsylvania State University, Community Psychology and Social Change


Nation, M., Speer, P. Diehl, D., Tanner-Smith, E. E., Fisher, B. W., Voight, A., Freudenthal, J., & Stenson, C. (2017-2021). The Nashville Longitudinal Study of Youth Safety and Wellbeing. $4,916,000. National Institute of Justice. Investigator.

Fisher, B. W., Brown, A. M., Ouellette, H. M., & Carothers, M. (2019-2020). Snap! Using photovoice to understand youth violence in Louisville. $9,500. University of Louisville Cooperative Consortium for Transdisciplinary Social Justice Research. Principal Investigator.

Fisher, B. W., Dawson-Edwards, C., & Swartz, K. M. (2017-2019). School climate, school discipline, and the implementation of school resource officers. $370,307. National Institute of Justice. Principal Investigator

Curran, F. C., Fisher, B. W., Viano, S. & Kupchik, A. (2017-2019). Understanding the adoption, function, and consequences of school resource officer use in understudied settings. $620,620. National Institute of Justice. Co-Principal Investigator.

Fisher, B. W. (2014-2016). The Effectiveness of School Resource Officers in Tennessee High Schools. National Institute of Justice Graduate Research Fellowship, $32,000. Principal Investigator.

Recent Publications

Fisher, B. W., Higgins, E. M., Kupchik, A., Viano, S., Curran, F. C., Overstreet, S., Plumlee, B., & Coffey, B. (forthcoming). Protecting the flock or policing the sheep? Differences in school resource officers’ perceptions of threats by school racial composition. Social Problems. doi: 10.1093/socpro/spaa062

Fisher, B. W., Wiley, S. A., & McGlynn-Wright, A. (forthcoming). Suspended again: The racialized consequences of a 9th grade suspension on future suspension patterns. Race and Social Problems. doi: 10.1007/s12552-021-09332-5

Gerlinger, J., Viano, S., Gardella, J. H., Fisher, B. W., Curran, F. C., & Higgins, E. M. (forthcoming). Exclusionary school discipline and delinquent outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. doi: 10.1007/s10964-021-01459-3

Higgins, E. M., Coffey, B., Fisher, B. W., Benitez, I., & Swartz, K. M. (forthcoming). School safety or school criminalization? The typical day of a school resource officer. British Journal of Criminology. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azab075

Selected Publications

Fisher, B. W., Mowen, T. J., Boman IV, J. H. (2018). School security measures and longitudinal trends in adolescents’ experiences of victimization. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 47, 1221-1237. doi: 10.1007/s10964-018-0818-5

Fisher, B. W., Higgins, E. M., & Homer, E. M. (2019). School crime and punishment and the implementation of security cameras: Findings from a national longitudinal study. Justice Quarterly. doi: 10.1080/07418825.2018.1518476

Fisher, B. W., & Devlin, D. N. (2020). School crime and the patterns of roles of school resource officers: Evidence from a national longitudinal study. Crime & Delinquency, 66, 1606-1629. doi: 10.1177/0011128719875702

Fisher, B. W., Dawson-Edwards, C., Higgins, E. M., & Swartz, K. (2020). Who belongs in school? Examining the link between racial disparities in sense of school belonging and suspension. Journal of Community Psychology, 48, 1481-1499. doi: 10.1002/jcop.22342 


Office Hours

Monday: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM 

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