Kristen Zgoba

Associate Professor

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Office: PCA-363A

Phone: 305.348.3430



Kristen M. Zgoba received her doctoral degree from the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Prior to coming to FIU, 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. She is a 2023 recipient of a multi-year grant from the Community Oriented Policing Services to study correctional officer mental health in the NJDOC.

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 serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Criminal Justice, Homicide Studies and the Journal of Experimental Criminology. Dr. Zgoba is 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. She was an invited participant at the Prison Administrator’s Workshop on the National Inmate Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Dr. Zgoba also served on the Board of Directors at the Edna Mahan State Correctional Facility for women in New Jersey from 2018- 2022.

Dr. Zgoba serves as an expert in sexual violence cases and registration challenges across the country and has also testified in three supreme court cases in the U.S. and Canada. Having served as Co-Chair and Chair of the NJDOC Institutional Review Board (IRB) from 2006-2018, she currently serves as Chair of the FIU SB-IRB. Dr. Zgoba has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles; some of her publications appear in the Journal of Experimental CriminologyPrison Journal, Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Justice Quarterly and Criminal Justice and Behavior.

 Website: Google Scholar

Selected Publications

Zgoba, K. & Mitchell, M. (forthcoming, 2021). The effectiveness of sex offender registration and notification: A meta-analysis of 25- years of findings. Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Zgoba. K. & Clear, T. (2021). A review of the reality of violent offending and the administration of justice. Criminal Justice Policy Review. 32, 352-373.

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. Awarded the 2020 American Journal of Criminal Justice Outstanding Article Award.

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