Karen Dolan is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Karen holds an M.A. With Highest Distinction in Philosophy and Social Policy from the American University in Washington DC.

Karen joined IPS in 1996. Her public scholarship and activism at IPS has linked community-led organizations with social movements and policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels. The focus of her work is on anti-poverty issues, juvenile justice, criminal justice reform, and transgender rights with a focus on race, gender, and gender identity. Karen currently directs the Criminalization of Race and Poverty project.

Some of Karen’s publications include: Mothers at the Gate: How a powerful family movement is transforming the juvenile justice system; The Poor Get Prison: The alarming spread of the criminalization of povertyClosing the Inequality DivideBattered By The Storm: How the Safety Net is Failing Americans and How to Fix itWe’re Not BrokeOur Communities are Not for SalePaying the Price: the Mounting Costs of War in IraqForeign Policy Goes Local; and she was a contributor for Mandate for Change.

Karen blogs for Huffington Post and regularly appears in other media outlets. Karen serves on the boards of The Participatory Budgeting Project, The Liberty Tree Foundation and Jobs With Justice Worker Rights Board.

Areas of Expertise

  • Progressive movement, policymakers
  • Poverty, economic hardship
  • Criminalization of race and poverty
  • Juvenile justice; criminal justice reform
  • Gender and gender identity; transgender rights
  • Cost of war and militarism at home

Latest

The Bad News about Good Census Numbers

Despite better numbers, the latest census data leaves much to be desired for closing the racial wage, wealth, and opportunity gaps in the United States.

Statement on Texas Judge’s Ruling Against Trans-inclusive Obama Directive

IPS expert says she’s “sickened and saddened” by a Texas judge’s discriminatory ruling against Obama directive to recognize civil rights of transgender students in U.S public schools.

Death by Traffic Stop

Black people are twice as likely to be pulled over as whites — and three times more likely to experience the use of force afterward.

Who’s Profiting From America’s Private Juvenile Prisons?

One mother’s fight to shut down a private juvenile corrections facility in Louisiana known for its brutality and big profits.

Gender Explained: How the Obama Administration Is Getting It Right on Gender Identity

While society catches up with science, we need legal protections to stop discrimination and violence against people who identify as transgender.

Report: Mothers at the Gate

A movement of family members is developing around the country that aims to challenge both the conditions in which their loved ones are held and the fact of mass incarceration itself.

The Trauma of Losing a Parent to Incarceration

More than 5 million children have a parent in jail. A country that allows such massive infliction of trauma on its children is a country whose entire future is in question.

Virginia Moves in the Right Direction to Reverse Jim Crow Era Voting Barriers

IPS Criminalization of Poverty Project Director Karen Dolan: “Denying voting rights based on criminal records is an egregious affront to the democratic values we espouse in this country.”

It’s Time to Get Cops Out of Schools

There’s only one way to make sure no more young girls are body-slammed by uniformed officers.

Obama’s Last Budget Offers Hope. Could it Bring About Change, Too?

If the GOP wants to stay relevant, its establishment members of Congress may have to pay more attention to this budget than they wish to.

Will Any Presidential Candidate Connect Federal Tax Policy and Police Killings?

Tax policy and police brutality are inextricably linked, yet no one’s talking about it. Here’s why they should.

The Harsh Reality of ‘Ban the Box’ Reform Efforts

While it represents a step forward, ‘ban the box’ only goes so far in addressing deeper systemic issues fueling mass incarceration.

Away with the Clowns

The GOP race may be a circus, but the candidates are dead serious about padding the pockets of the rich.

How The Assault at Spring Valley High Brutally Demonstrates the ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’

The assault at Spring Valley High is representative of the U.S.’s disturbing habit of criminalizing black and Latino children.

A Significant Step Forward on the Road to Reform

A bipartisan group of legislators have come together to take action on criminal justice reform. Will they secure the votes to pass it?

Pope, Post-partisanship, and Prisons

Can the pope’s emphasis on criminal justice reform begin to shift the ideological landscape in Washington?

A Summer Storm is Brewing

The need for our safety net is palpable, but the GOP’s hurricane budget is shredding it.

Caitlyn Jenner Isn’t ‘Posing’ as a Woman—She Is a Woman

What makes us feel like and identify as a certain gender or genders is in our brain, not between our legs.

How a Broken Tail Light Can Be a Death Sentence in America

We’ve created a perfect storm of poverty, fear, social control and racially charged policing.

Guilty of Being Poor

When a community issues arrest warrants for more offenses than it has residents, something’s deeply wrong.

Project Director

Criminalization of Race and Poverty

Email this expert

202-787-5228

Community Policing, Criminal Justice, Families of Incarcerated, Juvenile Justice, Local Democracy, Mass Incarceration LGBTQIA, Participatory Budgeting, Race and Poverty, Racial Justice

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