Shana L. Maier

Shana L. Maier, PhD

  • Director of MCJ Program
  • Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Criminal Justice

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Sociology (2004)
    University of Delaware (DE)
  • MA, Criminal Justice (1999)
    St. Joseph's University (PA)
  • BS, Criminal Justice (1998)
    St. Joseph's University (PA)

About Me

My most recent research focused on rape victim advocates’ perception of the #MeToo movement.  I have also examined police officers' experiences responding to rape victims and investigating rape allegations. That research culminated in a book, Rape, Victims, and Investigations, published by Routledge in June 2014.  My research on sexual violence has been published in Violence Against Women, Feminist Criminology, Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, and Women & Criminal Justice.

Recently I have expanded my research focus on sexual violence to explore students’ fear of crime on college campuses, as well as mock jurors’ comprehension of aggravating and mitigating factors in death penalty cases. 

I have co-authored articles appearing in Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, International Review of Victimology, and Women's Health and Urban Life. I am a co-author of the text Women, Men and Society (Pearson).

Research Interests

My research interests include the treatment of rape victims by the criminal justice, medical and legal systems, the transformation of rape crisis centers, and the experiences and struggles of rape victim advocates, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.   In addition, I have conducted research on the effect of marijuana legalization on crime rates, mock jurors’ understanding of sentencing instructions, and students’ fear of crime on campus.

Media Expertise

  • Rape and sexual assault
  • Perceptions and experiences of victim advocates
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and detectives responding to rape victims
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Influence of gender on judicial decision-making
  • Qualitative research methods


  • Maier, S.L.  (2023).  Men Too?  Victim advocates’ perceptions of the inclusion of survivors who identify as men in #MeToo.  Journal of Men’s Studies. 

  • Maier, S.L. (2023).  Keepers of trauma:  Rape victim advocates’ secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and coping techniques.  Violence Against Women. 

  • Maier, S.L.  (2022).  Rape victim advocates’ perceptions of the #MeToo movement: Opportunities, challenges, and sustainability.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 38, 1-2. 

  • Maier, S., Mannes, S., & Foster, E.  (2021).  Mock jurors’ comprehension of aggravating and mitigating factors: The impact of timing and type of sentencing phase instructions.  Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice.

  • Maier, S.L. & DePrince, B.  (2020).  The influence of prior victimization and other factors on college students’ fear of crime and perception of safety.  The Social Science Journal. 

  • Maier, S.L., Mannes, S., & Koppenhofer, E.L.  (2017). The implications of marijuana decriminalization and legalization on crime in the United States.  Contemporary Drug Problems, 44, 2, 125-146.
  • Maier, S.L. (2014). Rape, victims, and investigations: Experiences and perceptions of law enforcement officers responding to reported rapes. Abington, Oxford, UK: Routledge.
  • Maier, S.L. (2013). Sexual assault nurse examiners' perceptions of the influence of race and ethnicity on victims' responses to rape. Feminist Criminology, 8(2), 67–86.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Society of Criminology (ASC)


  • Widener University Outstanding Researcher Award, 2022 
  • Social Science Faculty Award for Excellence in Research (2021)
  • Widener University, Provost's Grant (2019-2020)
  • Widener University, College of Arts and Science, Outstanding Researcher Award (2010)
  • Widener University, Provost's Grant (2013–2014)
  • Widener University, College of Arts and Science, Outstanding Researcher Award (2010)


In the Media


  • Outstanding Researcher Award goes to Criminal Justice faculty member

    Profession of Criminal Justice Shana Maier was honored at the 2022 faculty awards program with the Outstanding Researcher Award. 

    The award recognizes a faculty member who has exhibited distinction in scholarly work. Through their research, the recipient has made a significant contribution to advancement of their profession or discipline, and to the university’s mission and vision. 

    Maier’s research addresses society’s contemporary conflicts and hot-button issues such as student fear of crime and perception of safety; marijuana decriminalization; jury instructions; and sexual violence and victimization. Throughout her career she has established an impressive record of research as someone who undertakes complicated criminal justice and socio-legal analyses. 

    Maier has achieved an outstanding record of publication over the previous five years despite pandemic-related slowdowns of scholarly activity and production across higher education. She is committed to actively engaging undergraduate and graduate students in rigorous academic research and has recently authored four manuscripts for publication with undergraduates.

    Share link: