Digital punishment : privacy, stigma, and the consequences of data-driven criminal justice

Streaming Media


Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University

Event Title

Sociology Seminar Series 2020-2021

Document Type

Public Seminar




10:00 a.m. -- 11:30 a.m.


Online Session via Zoom


Sociology and Social Policy


The proliferation of data-driven criminal justice operations has created millions of criminal records each year in the United States. Documenting everything from a police stop to a prison sentence, these records take on a digital life of their own as they are collected by law enforcement and courts, posted on government websites, re-posted on social media, online news and mugshot galleries, and bought and sold by data brokers. The result is “digital punishment,” where mere suspicion or a brush with the law can have lasting consequences. This presentation will discuss several empirical, mixed methods studies of digital criminal records, with a focus on criminal record accuracy, disclosure, and public policy solutions.



Additional Information

Speaker Biography

Sarah Lageson studies criminal law, privacy, surveillance, and tech and her research examines the growth of online crime data, mugshots, and criminal records that create new forms of “digital punishment.” Sarah is a grant recipient of the National Institutes of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Award for her study of criminal records and is a 2020-2021 Access to Justice Scholar at the American Bar Foundation. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Criminology, Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Punishment & Society, and The British Journal of Criminology. Her book, Digital Punishment: Privacy, Stigma, and the Harms of Data-Driven Criminal Justice, was published in 2020 by Oxford University Press.

Recommended Citation

Lageson, S. E. (2021, March 3). Digital punishment: Privacy, stigma, and the consequences of data-driven criminal justice [Video podcast]. Retrieved from