Chelsea Farrell

Criminology and Justice Policy, College of Social Sciences and Humanities

“I am researching how we can better treat individuals, by looking at the many dimensions of a person and where they are from.”

While Chelsea Farrell set out to be a student of the human mind, her experiences working with
teenage criminal offenders inspired her to change course and focus on criminology and
sociology. After graduating from Westminster College in Utah with a degree in Psychology,
Farrell spent a year as a mental health worker in an adolescent treatment facility for juvenile
offenders with serious mental illness.

While there, Farrell worked primarily in a ward for young teen girls. “A catalyst for me was
seeing how prominent victimization was for most of them. That got me interested in
understanding the societal factors and external influences that propel individuals who would
normally turn out just like me to do something that would land them in a place like this.”
She began looking into Criminology graduate study programs, which would ultimately lead her
to Northeastern’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and to mentor Professor
Gregory Zimmerman. Her research with Dr. Zimmerman has focused largly on how environment
impacts criminality – ranging from the effect of neighborhood environment on police-citizen
interactions, to how the intersections of race and gender impact victimization and offending

Farrell has contributed to a number of published journal articles, ten times in the last three
years, as well as delivered multiple conference presentations before the American Society of
Criminology. Her hope is that someday her work can help inform policy makers on a wide
variety of topics, such as victim intervention and police department training programs for officer-
citizen interactions.

After completing her doctorate, Farrell began a position with the University of Rhode Island
in fall of 2019, as an assistant professor within the Criminology Department.

“My work is just one small piece of the very big puzzle that is crime in the United States. I see my role as filling in small pieces of that larger puzzle, in the best way I can.”
Chelsea Farrell