Aaron Gottlieb, a male-presenting person, smiles towards the camera against a grey and orange background.

Aaron Gottlieb, PhD

Associate Professor

969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Office Location: W13

Areas of Expertise
Criminal Justice Policy
Criminal Legal Change
Criminal Legal Policy
Social Welfare Policy
Social Work

Aaron Gottlieb's research employs quantitative methods to examine: 1) The structural determinants of criminal legal involvement; 2) The consequences of criminal legal involvement; and 3) The implications of criminal legal change. The overarching goal of this agenda is to build rigorous evidence that supports efforts to reimagine public safety in an equitable way.

Aaron’s past scholarship has been published in a wide range of journals across disciplines including social work, criminology, sociology, public health, and the law. His article, “The Legacy of Slavery and Mass Incarceration: Evidence from Felony Case Outcomes Today,” received the 2022 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize from Social Service Review, as well as the Society for Social Work and Research's Excellence in Research Award. Aaron is currently serving as the Principal Investigator of the Resource Reallocation Lab, a project funded by the Joyce Foundation. The Resource Reallocation Lab will document between and within county differences in how the local governments in populous Great Lakes counties choose to spend their resources, as well as the implications of these funding decisions for community outcomes.  

Social Intervention: Programs and Policies I

This two-quarter course introduces students to the issues and problems associated with social welfare interventions at the community, agency, and policy levels. Students...

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Assistant Professor Aaron Gottlieb honored with 2024 Award for Excellence in Doctoral Student Mentoring
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2023 Excellence in Research Award
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2022 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize
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Charles, P., Muentner, L., Gottlieb, A., &  Eddy, M. J. (In Press). Parent-Child Contact during Incarceration: Predictors of Involvement among Resident and Non-Resident Parents Following Release from Prison. Social Service Review.

Gottlieb, A., Mathias, B., Berry, M., Flynn, K., & Wilson, R. (in press). Does the State Impact Hope? The Impact of Direct and Vicarious Police Contact on the Optimism of Youth in Large Cities. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

Lea, C. H., Mohr, G., McCarter, S. A., Coughlin, S. B., Gottlieb, A., Partlow, B. S., Mathews, K. S., & McLeod, B. A. (in Press). Promote Smart Decarceration and Eliminate Racism Grand Challenges for Social Work: Reimagining Marijuana Policy. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Gottlieb, A. (2022). The Unwarranted Disparity Statement: A New Tool to Reduce Disparities in Post-Arrest Case Outcomes. UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review, 108-134.

Gottlieb, A., & Mahabir, M. (2022). Incorporating Gender into Smart Decarceration. Social Work, 67, 155-164.

Gottlieb, A. (2021). Making Gideon Count? Public Defender Resources and Felony Case Outcomes for Black, White, and Latinx Individuals. Race and Justice.

Gottlieb, A. & Mahabir, M. (2021). The Effect of Multiple Types of Intimate Partner Violence on Maternal Criminal Justice Involvement. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36, 6797–6820

Gottlieb, A. & Flynn, K. (2021).  The Legacy of Slavery and Mass Incarceration: Evidence from Felony Case Outcomes Today. Social Service Review, 95, 3-35. 

Gottlieb, A., & Arnold, K. (2021). The Effect of Public Defender and Support Staff Caseloads on the Incarceration of Felony Defendants. Journal of Society for Social Work and Research, 12, 569-589.

Gottlieb, A., Charles, P., McLeod, B. A., Kjellstrand, J., & Bonsu, J. (2021). Were California’s Decarceration Efforts Smart?  A Quasi-Experimental Examination of Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 48(1), 116-134.

Jacobs, L., & Gottlieb, A. (2020). Housing Circumstances as Recidivism Risk Factors for Probationers.  Criminal Justice and Behavior, 47, 1097-115.

Farrell, C., & Gottlieb, A.  (2020). The Effect of Health Insurance on Healthcare Utilization in the Justice- Involved Population, 2014-2016. American Journal of Public Health, 110, S78-S84.

Gottlieb, A., McLeod, B. A, & Barutell, K. (2020). The Impact of Health Insurance on Problematic Substance Use among Justice-Involved Individuals. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 59, 81-97.

Gottlieb, A. & Wilson, R (2019). The Effect of Direct and Vicarious Police Contact on the Educational Achievement of Urban Teens. Children and Youth Services Review, 103, 190-199.

Gottlieb, A., & Sugie, N. F. (2019). Marriage, Cohabitation, and Crime: Differentiating Associations by Partnership Stage. Justice Quarterly, 36, 503-531. 

Gottlieb, A., & Moose, J. W. (2018). The Effect of Eviction on Maternal Criminal Justice Involvement. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, 4, 1-12.

McLeod, B. A., & Gottlieb, A. (2018). Examining the Relationship between Incarceration and Child Support Arrears among Low-Income Fathers. Children & Youth Services Review, 94, 1-9.

Gottlieb, A. (2017). Incarceration and Relative Poverty in Cross-National Perspective: The Moderating Roles of Female Employment and the Welfare State. Social Service Review, 91(2), 293-318.

Gottlieb, A. (2017). The Impact of Messaging on Public Attitudes towards Criminal Justice Reform for Nonviolent Offenses. Crime & Delinquency, 63(5), 636-656. 

Gottlieb, A. (2016). Household Incarceration in Early Adolescence and the Risk of Premarital First Birth. Children and Youth Services Review, 61, 126-134.

Gottlieb, A., Pilkauskas, N. V., & Garfinkel, I. (2014). Private Financial Transfers, Family Income, and the Great Recession. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(5), 1011-1024.

Aaron Gottlieb is an Associate Professor in the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.

In addition to being published in a wide range of academic journals, Aaron’s research has been cited in a number of media outlets, including the New York Times and the Atlantic. Outside the classroom, Aaron has worked to promote criminal legal change: He was appointed by the Mayor’s office to Chicago’s Police Use of Force Work Group and worked with community groups across Chicago to help pass the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance. He is currently serving as a Commissioner on the City of Chicago's Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.

Aaron has PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University, a MS in Social Work from Columbia University, and a BA in Political Science and Public Policy from Syracuse University.