Dr. Elizabeth Brault is a Lecturer of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Merrimack College with a Ph.D. in Sociology from Louisiana State University. Her research interests fall broadly into the areas of criminology, community, and the social structures —both formal and informal— that connect them. While she has published on a wide range of topics from health to gentrification to refugee resettlement, her core focus and research remain on contextual factors and disadvantaged populations' contact with the criminal justice system. She specializes in using quantitative and spatial methods to investigate these topic
Dr. Brault received a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and Psychology with an emphasis on Experimental Research from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Sociology from LSU. Dr. Brault's M.A. thesis focused on institutionally-disengaged youth, social capital, and homicide. Her dissertation built upon this dynamic between social structure and crime through her exploration into the relationships between collective resources and recidivism at the macro-, meso-, and micro-levels. Dr. Brault's research has appeared in in Social Science Research, Crime & Delinquency, Delinquent Behavior, PLOS One, and Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. Her most recent publication, a collaborative piece with Matt Valasik and Mike Barton using Risk Terrain Modeling and egohoods to examine violent crime in Baton Rouge, is included in the forthcoming special issue of Criminal Justice Review.
During graduate school, Dr. Brault served on Louisiana's Justice Reinvestment Initiative research grant in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice from 2014 to 2018. They created processes to assess risk factors and criminogenic and non-criminogenic needs. Their tools help identify and provide services to returning citizens in order to help them successfully reintegrate into their home communities. Following the grant, Louisiana's Department of Public Safety & Corrections (DPS&C) hired her in a consulting role. Her post-grant work with DPS&C revolved around maintaining the Risk/Needs assessments and expanding the focus of the Needs Assessments and Treatment Pathways for other groups.
Dr. Brault was awarded both the LSU Graduate School Dissertation Year Fellowship and the Roland J. Pellegrin Outstanding Graduate Student Award. She was also honored to be nominated for the LSU Alumni Association Teaching Award.
In Fall 2020, Dr. Brault joined the faculty of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Merrimack College. She teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level Research Methods in Criminology, and The Criminal Justice System. She will teach a graduate seminar on Crime, Space, and Place in Spring 2023.