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Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Programs, Associate Professor, College of FAHSS

About me

Andrew J. Harris is Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Programs in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies. An expert in public policy, he teaches in the areas of institutional and community corrections, substance abuse, sexual offending, crime and mental illness, and social policy. 

Before joining the UMass Lowell faculty, Harris spent more than 16 years developing and managing innovative public sector policies and programs in both the criminal justice and human service arenas.  Between 1990 and 1998, he held several management positions in New York City government, serving as a supervising analyst in the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, as Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Department of Correction, and as Associate Executive Director for Correctional Health Services in the City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation. Between 1998 and 2005, he served as Deputy Director of Health and Criminal Justice Programs at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

Building on his prior professional work, Dr. Harris’ research examines the implementation of public policies at the intersection of criminal justice and human service sectors.  His current research agenda focuses on policy responses to sexual offending, and policies concerning justice-involved persons with serious mental illness.  He is also Principal Investigator for a major national study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, designed to inform policies and practices concerning teen “sexting” and its related issues. 

Harris has served as a consultant to state policy boards, public behavioral health agencies, community-based service providers, and state and municipal correctional systems. His work has appeared in a range of inter-disciplinary journals, including Criminal Justice and Behavior, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and Victims & Offenders. He also serves as editor of the Sex Offender Law Report, a nationally-circulated publication read by policymakers and legal and criminal justice professionals, and has been quoted and featured in a range of media outlets, including the New York Times and the Boston Globe.

Research Interests

  • Mental illness and the criminal justice system
  • Correctional-based health, behavioral health, and substance abuse services
  • Violence risk assessment 
  • Criminal justice politics and policies
  • Sex offender management


Mental illness & the criminal justice system; sex offender management policy; juvenile justice policy & practice.

Educational Background

B.A., George Washington University (1983)

M.P.A., Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (1990)

Ph.D., New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (2003)