Dr. Emily Gaarder

Professional Title
Associate Professor of Criminology, Sociology, and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies & Director, UMD Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking


  • Ph.D., Justice Studies, Arizona State University (2005)
  • M.A., Women’s Studies, University of Cincinnati (1999)
  • B.A., University of Minnesota-Morris (1994)

Areas of Focus

  • Gender, crime, and justice
  • Restorative justice
  • Environmental justice, animals, and society

Gender, crime, and justice: One of my first jobs after college was working with girls in the juvenile justice system. They inspired me to search for ways to give voice to their experiences, and challenge social policies that punish girls’ and women’s responses to victimization and oppression. I have researched and written about girls sentenced to adult prison, attitudes about girls in the system, gender-responsive and restorative programming for girls, and intimate partner violence.

Restorative justice (RJ) is a community-based approach to conflict, crime, and justice that emphasizes the inclusion of victims, offenders, and other affected parties. I have written about the vision and practices of restorative justice, and conducted several evaluations of restorative programs. My current research looks at restorative justice as applied to the harm of intimate partner violence. I have worked with RJ programs as a facilitator in both victim-offender dialogues and both sentencing and healing circles. I also train community members and circle keepers in the restorative process.

Environmental justice, animals, and society: My 2011 book, Women and the Animal Rights Movement, explored the political paths of women activists and the politics of gender in the animal rights movement. I am also interested in “green criminology”, a branch of criminology that studies harms against the environment and animals. My recent work in this area explores how corporations and governments use existing race, gender, and class inequalities to make green harm less visible, and to avoid responsibility for their actions.

Courses Taught


  • Restorative Justice
  • Women and Justice
  • Race, Crime, and Justice
  • Victimology
  • Corporate and Government Crime
  • Criminological Theory


  • Environmental Sociology
  • Sociology of Gender Identities and Systems
  • Animals, Culture, and Society
  • Peace Studies

Women’s Studies

  • Feminist Activism and Community Organizing