Skip to content

Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Director of SCCJ; Co-Director of VJRL

Amy Farrell is a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and the Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. She is also the Co-Director of the Violence and Justice Research Laboratory, housed within the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University. She joined the tenure track faculty in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2008. Prior to that time, she served as the Assistant Director of the Institute on Race and Justice and a faculty researcher at Northeastern University. Professor Farrell’s research is aimed at understanding and describing how the criminal justice system administers justice. Over the past decade she has focused much of her scholarly attention on understanding how the criminal justice system responds to the newly prioritized crimes such as human trafficking. Although not a new phenomenon, human trafficking was criminalized by the federal government in 2000. Since that time all fifty states have passed laws outlawing the practice of human trafficking and devoting resources to its identification and eradication. In support of this research, she has studied and published research about how local, state and federal law enforcement agencies identify, investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. Additionally, she has completed research projects examining labor trafficking victimization of both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals residing in the U.S. She also has conducted numerous studies examining how changes in state and federal human trafficking laws impact the identification and prosecution of human trafficking offenders. As part of this body of work, Professor Farrell has sought to understand how the public views the problem of human trafficking and what responses they expect from state and federal governments to address the problem. Professor Farrell has overseen the development of programs to collect data on human trafficking investigations for the Bureau of Justice Statistics and she has developed a data collection system to track children identified as human trafficking victims in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She testified about police identification of human trafficking before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. She was also appointed to the Massachusetts Attorneys General Human Trafficking Policy Task Force where she oversaw a committee that developed recommendations for improving the collection and sharing of data on human trafficking victims in the Commonwealth. She currently serves on the Governor’s Working Group on Child Trafficking in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


In addition to studying criminal justice system responses to human trafficking victimization, Professor Farrell has examined how variable levels of racial group and gender representation among court workgroups relate to district-level differences in sentencing. She has been engaged in research examining how jury outcomes, particularly the factors that predict and explain acquittals. She is the co-author of two books. The first, co-authored with Daniel Givelber, Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent, published by New York University Press in 2012. The second, co-Edited with Devon Johnson and Patricia Warren, Deadly injustice: Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Criminal Justice System, New York, University Press, 2015. Professor Farrell was a co-recipient of NIJ’s W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship on crime justice and culture in 2006, a recipient of the American Society Criminology Mentor of the Year in 2014 and a recipient of NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship in 1999.

View CV

(* Indicates current or former mentored student)

  • Farrell, Amy, Meredith Dank, Ieke de Vries*, Matthew Kafafian*, Andrea Hughes and Sarah Lockwood*. In Press. Failing victims: The police response to human trafficking. Criminology and Public Policy. DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12456
  • de Vries, Ieke*, Connor Nickerson*, Amy Farrell, Vanessa Bouche and Dana Wolfe. In Press. Anti-immigration sentiment and public opinion on human trafficking. Crime, Law and Social Change. DOI:10.1007/s10611-019-09838-5
  • Farrell, Amy, Katherine Bright, Ieke de Vries*, Rebecca Pfeffer* and Meredith Dank. In Press. Policing labor trafficking. Trends in Organized Crime. DOI: 10/1007/s12117-010-093677-6.
  • Pennington, Liana* and Amy Farrell. 2019. The role of voice in the legal process. Criminology, 57(2): 343-368.
  • Farrell, Amy, Vanessa Bouche and Dana Wolfe. 2019. Assessing the impact of state human trafficking legislation on criminal justice system outcomes. Law & Policy, 41(2): 174-197.
  • Rothman, Emily, Amy Farrell, Katherine Bright and Jennifer Paruk.* 2018. Ethical and practical considerations for collecting research-related data from commercially sexually exploited children. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 44(3):250-258.
  • Bouche, Vanessa, Amy Farrelland Dana Wolfe. 2018. Challenging the dominant frame: The roles information exposure and knowledge on public perceptions about sex trafficking. Social Science Quarterly, 99(4): 1283-1302.
  • de Vries, Ieke* and Amy Farrell2017. Labor trafficking victimizations: Repeat victimization and polyvictimization. Psychology of Violence, 8(5): 630-638.
  • Farrell, Amyand Jessica Reichert.  2017. Using U.S. law enforcement data: Promise and limits in measuring human trafficking. Journal of Human Trafficking, 3, 39-60.
  • Alderden, Megan, Amy Farrelland William McCarty. 2017. Effects of police agency diversification on officer attitudes. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 40: 42-56.
  • Farrell, Amy, Monica DeLateur*, Colleen Owens, and Stephanie Fahy*. 2016.  The prosecution of state-level human trafficking cases in the United States. Anti-Trafficking Review, 6: 48-70.
  • Farrell, Amyand Shea Cronin. 2015. Policing prostitution in an era of human trafficking enforcement. Crime, Law and Social Change, 64: 211-228.
  • Farrell, Amy, Rebecca Pfeffer* and Katherine Bright.  2015. Police perceptions of human trafficking. Journal of Crime and Justice, 38: 315-333.
  • Johnson, Devon, Patricia Warren and Amy Farrell(eds). 2015. Deadly injustice: Trayvon Martin, race, and the criminal justice system. New York: New York University Press.
  • Education

    Ph.D., 2001, Law, Policy and Society Program
    Northeastern University

  • Contact

  • Address

    400D Churchill Hall
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

Related Research Centers