Kristen Zgoba

Kristen 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: Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 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 in 2004. Prior to coming to Florida International University as an Assistant Professor, she served as the research supervisor for the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) for 15 years. Dr. 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.

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 is a Regional Editor for the American Journal of Criminal Justice, 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. Dr. Zgoba also serves on the Board of Directors at the Edna Mahan State Correctional Facility for women in New Jersey.

Dr. Zgoba has served as an expert in multiple sexual violence cases and served on the Rutgers University Institutional Review Board (IRB) for three years and as Chair of the NJDOC IRB for 5 years. Dr. Zgoba previously taught at Rutgers University and Michigan State University. Dr. Zgoba has published over 45 peer-reviewed articles; some of her publications appear in the Prison Journal, Race and Justice, Criminology & Public Policy, Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Justice Quarterly and Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Featured Publications

Salerno, L. M., & Zgoba, K. M. (2020). Disciplinary Segregation and Its Effects on In-Prison Outcomes. The Prison Journal, 100, 74-97.

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.

Zgoba, K. M., & Cowan, D. (2020). Sexual Offense Legislation Across the Pond: A Review of Community Sentiment Toward the United Kingdom’s Implementation of Sarah’s Law. Sexual Abuse, 32, 476-496.