hero-angle-alpha hero-angle-beta icon-rss-square icon-instagram icon-rss icon-facebook icon-facebook-square icon-facebook-official icon-twitter icon-twitter-square icon-google-plus icon-google-plus-square icon-linkedin icon-linkedin-square icon-pinterest icon-pinterest-square icon-youtube icon-youtube-square icon-youtube-play icon-search icon-gift icon-graduation-cap icon-home icon-bank icon-envelope icon-envelope-square Cabrini Logo Cabrini Logo icon-chevron-right icon-chevron-left category academics category athletics category just for fun category service and mission category living on campus category profiles category advice category activities and events Cabrini University logo with crest
Return Home

Vivian Smith, PhD

Associate Professor of Sociology, Criminology and Justice

Her experience as a National Institute of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse postdoctoral fellow, fostered her passion for collaborative and interdisciplinary research, while grounding her in both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Her passion for understanding women’s criminality, has led Smith to publish on issues related to the war on drugs against women. Smith has also been involved with research projects involving females with substance abuse diagnoses and histories of sexual and physical abuse.

She also conducted research involving the reentry of formerly incarcerated persons, including a process evaluation of a Community Collaborative Board (a board in charge of creating a health intervention for returning offenders). The study was part of a larger project spearheaded by Dr. Liliane Windsor. This work was published in Health Promotion Practice and received the Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year Award at the Society for Public Health Education Conference in 2016.

She was part of a multiphase women and reentry project, where she collected and analyzed archival data from a women’s prison. She also created and facilitated a reentry survey instrument for women soon to be released from prison and halfway houses.

Smith has presented her research at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology Conferences, and at the annual meeting for the Society of Study of Social Problems.

Her experience informed her teaching interests and laid the foundation for a career focused on providing students with the critical skills to evaluate empirical research in order to create an informed opinion.

She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Her classes include Statistics, Corrections, Reentry, Drugs in the Criminal Justice System, Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and Senior Capstone.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and a certificate in African American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a master's and doctoral degree in criminal justice from the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice.



  • Smith, V. (2017). Substance-abusing women offenders as victims: Chronological sequencing of pathways into criminal behavior. Victims and Offenders, 12(1), 113-137.
  • Jessell, L., Smith, V., Jemal, A., & Windsor, L. (2016). Using Technology to Facilitate Collaboration in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Journal of Technology in Human Services34(3), 241-255.
  • Thomas, S., B.  Smith, V., Muhammad, B., (2016). Surrendering their health to incarceration:  Minority women and familial imprisonment.Journal of Criminal Justice and Law Review, 5.
  • Smith, V. (In press 2016). The Prison Industrial Complex. In J.M. Williams & L. Chowdhury (Eds). Contemporary Ethical Issues in the Criminal Justice System. San Diego, CA: Cognella
  • Harris,S., Nikulina, V., Gelpí-Acosta, C.,  Morton, C., Newsome, V., Gunn, A., Hoefinger, H.,  Aikins, R. Vivian Smith, Barry, V., Downing, M.J.. (2015). Prescription Drug Diversion: Predictors of Illicit Acquisition and Redistribution in Three U.S. Metropolitan Areas. AIMS Public Health, 2(4): 762-783. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2015.4.762
  • Smith, V. C., & Jemal, A. (2015). Addressing the health of formerly imprisoned persons in a distressed neighborhood through a community collaborative board. Health promotion practice, 16(5): 733-744. doi: 1524839915588293.
  • Bush-Baskette, S. and Smith, V. (2012). Is meth the new crack for women in the War on Drugs? Factors affecting sentencing outcomes for women and parallels between meth and crack. Feminist Criminology, 7(1), 48-69.
  • Pacheco, V. (2009). Crack Moms. In Encyclopedia of Race and Crime. Chicago: Sage Publications.
  • Morris, P. and Pacheco, V. (2009). Stop Snitching Campaign. In Encyclopedia of Race and Crime. Chicago: Sage Publications.           
  • Bush-Baskette, S. and Pacheco, V. (2007). Report of Newark City Council on Violence. Unpublished manuscript, Joseph C. Cornwall for Metropolitan Studies- Rutgers University: Newark, NJ
  • Pacheco, V. (2005). Book Review: “Pattillo, Mary; Weiman, David & Western Bruce (eds.) (2004). The social effects of mass incarceration. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.” ACJS Today, 30 (1), 11-12.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Received the Sarah Mazelis Best Paper of the Year Award for a paper she co-authored titled "Addressing the Health of Formerly Imprisoned Persons in a Distressed Neighborhood Through a Community Collaborative Board.”