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Jane Palmer Assoc Professor Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

Send email to Jane Palmer
(202) 885-3118 (Office)
SPA - Justice, Law and Criminology
Kerwin Hall - 253
Additional Positions at AU
Faculty Affiliate, Antiracist Research & Policy Center
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Critical Race, Gender & Culture Studies
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Sociology
PhD, Justice, Law & Society, American University (concentration: Justice & Public Policy)
MSW, Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago (concentration: children and families)
BA, Sociology, Smith College

Favorite Spot on Campus
The Amphitheater

Dr. Jane Palmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University in Washington DC. She is the founding director of the Community-Based Research Scholars program and the undergraduate certificate in community-based research. Both academic programs teach students how to conduct community-based participatory research in collaboration with local non-profit organizations and schools.

Palmer’s research and writing focuses on anti-carceral and transformative justice responses to gender-based violence, civil legal needs of survivors of sexual violence, advancing anti-oppressive research methods, and youth-led participatory action research. In 2021, she and a colleague received a Community Action Award from the Greater Washington Community Foundation for their youth-led community-based action-research collaboration with students at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School.

She has worked within and outside of her university to develop a variety of initiatives addressing racial justice and inequality. From 2017 – 2019, she helped to develop the university’s upper-level Diversity & Equity requirement committee. From 2018 – 2020, she was appointed as a member of the AUx2 Council to assist the university with redesigning, implementing, and evaluating a mandatory course for all first-year students on inclusion, power, privilege, racism, and inequality. In addition, she recently organized a Forum on Anti-Racism & Intersectionality in Feminist Criminology (& Academia), and is a guest editor for a special issue on the themes of the forum in the peer-reviewed journal Race & Justice. In 2020-2021, she served as the anti-racist action co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion committee of the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Women & Crime.

Her current affiliations include: Faculty Affiliate of the AU Antiracist Research & Policy Center; Non-Resident Fellow in Community Engaged Methods at the Urban Institute; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow at AU’s Center for Teaching, Research, & Learning; and Board Member of the Chicago Freedom School.

Before coming to AU for her Ph.D., Dr. Palmer was the executive director of a domestic violence and youth violence prevention organization in St. Louis. She worked in paid and volunteer positions for more than a decade in grassroots and community-based organizations in Chicago and St. Louis as an organizer, advocate, youth program manager, and social worker for children and families, with an emphasis on eradicating violence.

Courses taught:
Child & Family Policy, Community-Based Research, Ending Gender-Based Violence, Intro to Justice Research Methods, Intro to Transformative Justice & Abolition, Public Program Evaluation, Qualitative & Survey Research Methods, and Statistics.


Summer 2021

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

Fall 2021

  • JLC-680 Intro to Justice Research I

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

Spring 2022

  • CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: Navigating Childhood

  • HNRS-050 Honors Supplement

  • JLC-425 Intro Transformative Justice

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

  • SPA-075 Changemakers Series: Changemakers: Gender Violence

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Ayala, L., Hinojosa, S., Morgan, J., Olomi, J., Palmer, J., & Rosay, A. (accepted for publication). Anti-racist & intersectional approaches in social science and community-based research. Handbook of Research on Social Justice Research Methods. (Author order alphabetical.)

Debebe, K., Lawrence, C., Harrison, A., Negron, V., Palmer, J., & Rucker, J. (accepted for publication). Youth-led action research: Lessons learned from a university-community partnership in Washington DC. Handbook of Research on Social Justice Research Methods. (Author order alphabetical.)

Palmer, J., Williams, E., & Mennicke, A. (2021). Interpersonal violence experiences and disclosure patterns for LGBQ+ and heterosexual university studentsJournal of Family Violence.

Palmer, J. (2021). Addressing racism in research methods and statistics courses. American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime #SayHerName Special Edition Newsletter.

Palmer, J., Hoxmeier, J., Fissel, E., & Williams, E.* (2021). #MeToo for whom? Sexual assault disclosures before and after #MeToo. American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Kerekes, K. & Palmer, J. (2020). Obstacles in recruitment for sensitive research on intimate partner violence. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 3(1).

Langbein, L., Ranallo-Benavidez, B.* & Palmer, J. (2020).The anti-social effects of legalizing same-sex marriage: Fact or fiction? Sexuality Research & Social Policy.

McGann, P., Palmer, J., Thomas, G., Ricci, L., & Haake, L. (2020). The benefits and challenges of building a regional network to address campus sexual assault. Health Education & Behavior, 471_suppl), 26S-35S.

Palmer, J., McMahon, S. & Fissel, E. (2020). Correlates of incoming male college students’ proclivity to perpetrate sexual assault. Violence Against Women. Advanced Online publication.

Palmer, J., Winter, S., & McMahon, S. (2020). Matching anonymous participants in longitudinal research on sensitive topics: Challenges and recommendations. Evaluation and Program Planning.

Lindo, J., Marcotte, D., Palmer, J., & Swensen, I. (2019). Any press is good press? The unanticipated effects of Title IX investigations on university outcomes. Economics of Education Review, 73. 

Palmer, J. (2019 Aug 13). New laws give victims more time to report rape or sexual assault – even Jeffrey Epstein’s. The Conversation.

Palmer, J., Nicksa, S., & McMahon, S. (2018). Does who you know affect how you act? Relational distance and bystander intervention in sexual and dating violence situations. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(17).

Palmer, J. & St. Vil, N. (2018). Sexual assault disclosure by college women at Historically Black Colleges & Universities and predominately white institutionsNASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 11(1), 33-55.

Palmer, J. (2016). Recognizing the continuum of opportunities for third parties to prevent and respond to sexual assault and dating violence on a college campus. Crime Prevention & Community Safety: An International Journal, 18, 1-18.

Palmer, J. & Alda, E. (2016). Examining the impact of federal grants to reduce violent crimes against women on campus. Review of Higher Education, 40(1), 63-89.

Palmer, J. & Chino, M. (2016). Violence in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. In C.A. Cuevas & C.M. Rennison (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on the Psychology of Violence. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Palmer, J. & Perrotti, C. (2016). Measuring self-reported sexual victimization experiences at one university: A comparison of methods. Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice. Published online before print August 15, 2016, doi: 10.1080/19496591.2016.1202119.

Palmer, J., Renner, L., Goodman, L. & Dutton, M.A. (2016). Does type of child risk affect whether mothers seek assistance for intimate partner violence from civil or criminal court? Violence Against Women, 22(4), 474-495.

McMahon, S., Palmer, J., Banyard, V., Murphy, M. & Gidycz, C. (2015). Measuring bystander behavior in the context of sexual assault prevention: Lessons learned and new directions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Published online before print July 5, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0886260515591979

Richards, T. & Palmer, J. (2019 June 29). New assault reporting law should improve prevention, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun.

McMahon, S., Winter, S., Palmer, J., Postmus, J., Peterson, N.A., Zucker, S.R., & Koenick, R.A. (2015). A randomized controlled trial of a multi-dose bystander intervention program using peer education theater. Health Education Research, 30(4), 554-568.

McMahon, S., Peterson, N.A., Winter, S., Palmer, J., Postmus, J. & Koenick, R. (2015). Predicting bystander behavior on college campuses: The role of self-efficacy and intent. American Journal of Community Psychology, 56(1), 46-56.

Walton, M.J. & Palmer, J. (2014). Legal considerations regarding sexual assault victims’ right to an advocate. Sexual Assault Report, 18(1), 1-16.

Savage, J., Palmer, J. & Brooks, A. (2014). Intergenerational transmission: Does physical abuse have a unique and specific relationship with violence? Journal of Family Violence, 29(7), 739-748

Crossland, C., Palmer, J. & Brooks, A. (2013). NIJ’s program of research on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. Violence Against Women, 19(6), 771-790.

Palmer, J. (2013). Conducting a web-based survey about sensitive topics with a random sample of college students. In Brindle, P. (Ed.), SAGE Cases in Methodology. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Palmer, J. (2012). Native Americans and sexual violence. In J.L. Postmus (Ed.), Sexual Violence and Abuse: An Encyclopedia of Prevention, Impacts and Recovery. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Palmer, J. (2012). Sexual assault in Indian Country and the Tribal Law and Order Act. Sexual Assault Report, 16(2).

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships


  • Non-Resident Fellow, Urban Institute, Community Engaged Methods working group (current)
  • Faculty Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Center, School of Public Affairs (current)
  • Victim Researcher-and-Practitioner Fellowship, Center for Victim Research (2018 – 2019) 
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center on Violence Against Women & Children, Rutgers University, School of Social Work (2013 – 2014)
  • Graduate Research Fellow, Violence Against American Indian & Alaska Native Women Program of Research, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice (2010 – 2013)


  • Community Partner Award, United Planning Organization, Washington DC (2018)
  • New Scholar Award, American Society of Criminology’s Division on Women and Crime (2016)
  • Gerry T. Hotaling Memorial Student Research Award, International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference (2012)


  • Provost Award for Outstanding Faculty Mentor for Undergraduate Research (2019)
  • Faculty Award, She’s the First Student Organization (2018)
  • Sexual Assault Working Group Faculty Recognition Award (for biennial survey) (2017)
  • Outstanding Service to the University Community, Office of the Provost (2016)
  • Teaching with Research Award, Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (2016)
  • Faculty of the Year Award, American University Student Government (2015)

Congressional Testimony

Testimony in support of HB 571, Institutions of Higher Education - Sexual Assault - Policy and Survey, Appropriations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates (2015 March 10)

Testimony in support of HB 571, Institutions of Higher Education - Sexual Assault - Policy and Survey, Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee, Maryland Senate (2015 April 1)


Professional Presentations

See C.V.