Gina Fedock, a female-presenting person, smiles towards the camera in a library.

Gina Fedock, PhD

Associate Professor

969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Office Location: E009

Areas of Expertise
Criminal Justice Policy
Criminal Legal Change
Gender, Race, and Class
Human Rights
Intervention Programs
Mass Incarceration
Material Hardship
Mental Health
Social Work
Violence and Trauma
Women with incarceration experiences
UChicago Affiliations
Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality

Gina Fedock's major area of scholarly inquiry focuses on the experiences, conditions, and dynamics that impact the wellbeing of women involved in the criminal legal system. In the context of the mass incarceration of women, she focuses specifically on improving the mental health and wellbeing of women involved in the criminal legal system. She veers from a majority of criminal justice related researchers who conceptualize mental health disorders and symptoms as risk factors for criminal legal system involvement. Instead of studying factors that contribute to women’s criminal legal system involvement, she prioritizes the mental health of women involved in the criminal legal system and conceptualizes dimensions of their wellbeing as important outcome variables worthy of understanding and intervention. Given this population is heavily stigmatized and often pathologized or neglected, her work provides a foundation for directing additional attention and resources toward enhancing their quality of life. 

Her research agenda builds on scholarship that regards prisons, as well as the criminal legal system at large, as embodying forms of gendered and racialized social control. She documents and studies the many harms that women navigate, such as types of understudied sexual victimization, experiences of slow and hidden violence, and the nuanced challenges that occur at the intersection of the criminal legal system and the child welfare system. She brings attention to institutional influences on incarcerated women’s mental health over time and challenges institutional norms regarding the distress that women experience in prison.

She has a body of work focused on incarcerated mothers that highlights institutional and system-related factors that impact their wellbeing in direct, as well as slow and often hidden, ways. In addition, she focuses on women’s experiences of mothering while under community-based correctional supervision and examines systems-related influences on women’s mental health. Across this work, she highlights the role of institutional and system-related sources of suffering for women, and as such, points to new directions, especially for the field of social work, regarding needed multi-level interventions to improve women’s mental health and wellbeing.

In addition, her scholarship explores understudied forms of violence against women, including sexual victimization by correctional staff and parole officers and intimate partner violence before, during, and after incarceration. She examines how these experiences are interconnected with material needs, such as housing and food insecurity, for women. Through her findings and community relationships, she advocates for socially just policy and practice changes to improve women's lives.  


Gender, violence, and power: Understanding and addressing gender-based violence

This course explores historical, current, and emerging theories, research, and practices regarding the intersections of gender, violence, and power. This course includes...

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Direct Practice in the Era of Mass Incarceration

This course explores historical, current, and emerging clinical practices with populations involved with and directly impacted by the criminal justice system. This course...

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Social Intervention: Direct Practice I

This two-quarter course emphasizes the design and practice of social work interventions at the individual, family, and group levels. Students are introduced to the values...

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Number of Women in Jails and Prisons Soars
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University and Chapin Hall Announce 2017-18 Joint Research Fund Awards
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University and Chapin Hall Announce 2017-18 Joint Research Fund Awards
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Gina Fedock discusses Reunification Ride and the rarity of programs in the US offering recurring visits for children with an incarcerated parent
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Fedock, G., Garthe, R., Pliml, K., Malcome, M., & Sarantakos, S. (2023). Victimization and Mental Health Symptoms among Recently Incarcerated Women: The Roles of Homelessness Prior to Incarceration and Community-Based Social Support. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, doi:10.1086/726284

Fedock, G., Doria, C., & Malcome, M. (2022). “Scum (of the Earth)”: Incarcerated Mothers’ Experiences of Slow Violence. Social Problems, spac058

Garthe, R. C., Fedock, G., Rieger, A., Hsieh, W. J., McLay, M. M., & Malcome, M. (2023). Women's experiences of intimate partner violence while incarcerated: the measurement structure, reliability, and validity of a novel instrument. Violence against women, doi: 10778012231155176

Darcy, K., Fedock, G., Kubiak, S.P. (2022). “Terrified of a System I Didn’t Understand”: Reporting Staff Sexual Misconduct Against Women on Parole. Feminist Criminology; 17(2):252-273. doi:10.1177/15570851211045641

Fedock, G.,  Garthe, R.,  Higgins, G. E.,  Lewis, C., &  Blank Wilson, A. (2021).  Health care disparities for incarcerated adults after a suicide attempt. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior,  51,  931– 939.

Fedock, G., Cummings, C., Kubiak, S., Bybee, D., Campbell, R., Darcy, K. (2021). Incarcerated Women’s Experiences of Staff-Perpetrated Rape: Racial Disparities and Justice Gaps in Institutional Responses. Journal of Interpersonal Violence; 36(17-18):8668-8692. doi:10.1177/0886260519850531

Epperson, M.W., Wilson, A.B., Fedock, G. (2021). The Promise of Research to Advance Smart Decarceration. Criminal Justice and Behavior; 48(1):3-9. doi:10.1177/0093854820977587

Fedock, G., Darcy, K.M., Kubiak. S. (2020). “He Acted as If He Owned Me”: An Exploratory Case Study Analysis of Correctional Staff Sexual Misconduct Against Women on Parole. Violence Against Women; 27(11):2000-2020. doi:10.1177/10778012211019051

Fedock, G., Kubiak, S.P., & Bybee, D. (2017). Testing a new intervention with incarcerated women serving life sentences. Research on Social Work Practice. doi:10.1177/1049731517700272

Fedock, G. (2017). Life before “I killed the man that raped me”: Pre-prison life experiences of incarcerated women with life sentences and subsequent treatment needs. Women & Criminal Justice. doi:10.1080/08974454.2017.1294131

Kubiak, S.P., Brenner, H.J., Bybee, D., Campbell, R., Cummings, C.E., Darcy, K.M., Fedock, G., & Goodman-Williams, R. (2017). Sexual misconduct in prison: What factors affect whether incarcerated women will report abuses committed by prison staff? Law and Human Behavior. doi:10.1037/lhb0000239 

Fedock, G. & Sarantakos, S. (2017). Physical and mental health disparities for young women with a history of arrest. Health & Social Work, 42(2),e102-e110.

Fedock, G.  (2017). Women’s psychological adjustment to prison: A review for future social work directions. Social Work Research, 41(1), 31-42.

Kubiak, S. P., Brenner, H. J., Bybee, D., Canpbell, R., Cummings, C., Darcy, K. M., & Fedock, G. (2016). Do sexually victimized prisoners perceive justice in litigation process and outcomes? Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 23(1), 39-52.

Kubiak, S., Fedock, G., Kim, W.J., & Bybee, D. (2016). Long-term outcomes of a RCT intervention study for women with violent crimes. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 7(4), 661-679.

Kubiak, S., Kim, W.J., Fedock, G., & Bybee, D. (2016). Examining perpetration of physical violence by women: The influence of childhood adversity, victimization, mental illness, substance abuse and anger. Violence and Victims, 31(1), 22-45.

Alvarez, C., & Fedock, G. (2016). Addressing intimate partner violence for Latina women: A call for research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016669508.

Alvarez, C., Fedock, G., Grace, K.T., & Campbell, J. (2016). Provider screening and counseling for intimate partner violence: A systematic review of practices and influencing factors. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016637080.

Kubiak, S., Brenner, H, Bybee, D., Campbell, B., & Fedock, G. (2016). Reporting sexual victimization during incarceration: Using ecological theory as a framework to inform and guide future research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016637078.

Brenner, H., Darcy, K., Fedock, G., & Kubiak, S. (2016). Bars to justice: The impact of rape myths on women in prison. Georgetown Journal of Gender and Law, 17(2), 521-574. 

Fedock, G., Kubiak, S., Campbell, R., Darcy, K., & Cummings, C. (2016). Prison rape reform: Perspectives from women with life sentences on the impact of a class action lawsuit. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 1(3), 131-142.

O’Mahen, H., Karl, A., Moberly, N.J., & Fedock, G. (2015). The association between childhood maltreatment and emotion regulation: Two different mechanisms contributing to depression? Journal of Affective Disorders, 174, 287-295.

Kubiak, SP., & Fedock, G. (2015). Women offenders, trauma, and reentry. In H.A. Dlugacz (Ed.), Reentry planning for offenders with mental disorders. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.

Kubiak, S., Kim, W.J., Fedock, G., & Bybee, D. (2014). Testing a violence prevention program for women using a randomized control trial. Research on Social Work Practice, 25(3), 334-348.

Fries, L., Fedock, G., & Kubiak, S. (2014). The role of gender, substance use and serious mental illness in anticipated post-jail homelessness. Social Work Research, 38(2), 107-116.

Kubiak, S.P., Fedock, G., Tillander, E., Kim, W.J., & Bybee, D. (2014). Assessing the feasibility and fidelity of an intervention for women with violent offenses. Evaluation and Program Planning, 42, 1-10.

Fedock, G., Fries, L., & Kubiak, S. (2013). Services needs for incarcerated adults: Exploring gender differences. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 52(7), 493-508.

Kubiak, S., Kim, W.J., Fedock, G., & Bybee, D. (2013). Differences among incarcerated women with assaultive offenses: Isolated versus patterned use of violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28(12), 2462-2490.

O’Mahen, H., Himle, J., Fedock, G., Henshaw, E., & Flynn, H. (2013). A pilot randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for perinatal depression adapted for women with low incomes. Depression and Anxiety, 30(7), 679-687.

Kubiak, S., Kim, W.J., Fedock, G., & Bybee, D. (2012). Assessing short-term outcomes of an intervention for women convicted of violent crimes. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 3(3), 197-212.

O’Mahen, H., Fedock, G., Henshaw, E., Flynn, H., Himle, J., & Forman, J. (2012) Modifying CBT for perinatal depression: What do women want? A Qualitative Study. Cognitive Behavioral Practice Journal, 19(2), 359-371.

Palladino CL, Fedock, G., Forman J, Davis M, Henshaw E, & Flynn H.  (2011). OB CARES:  Providers’ Perceptions of Addressing Perinatal Depression. General Hospital Psychiatry, 33(3), 267-278.

Henshaw, E., Flynn, H., Himle, J., O’Mahen, H., Forman, J., and Fedock, G. (2011). Patient preferences for clinician interactional style in treatment of perinatal depression. Qualitative Health Research, 21(7), 936-951.

Gina Fedock is an Associate Professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Her scholarship centers the mental health and wellbeing of women, particularly women involved in the criminal legal system, i.e., women who have been arrested, incarcerated, or under community-based correctional supervision. Women impacted by the criminal legal system experience multiple forms of social marginalization, including discrimination, poverty, and violence. Her work focuses on the everyday dynamics and on-the-ground conditions that give form to their marginalization and the ensuing ramifications for their mental health and wellbeing. She engages at the intersections of social work and the criminal legal system and contributes to domains critical to women’s wellbeing, including violence against women and the child welfare system. Her goal is to identify targets for change that can make meaningful improvements in women’s lives.

She was a practicing clinical social worker prior to her doctoral work. Her clinical work encompasses trauma-informed practices, violence prevention, and the modalities of cognitive behavioral practice, interpersonal therapy, and motivational interviewing. She advances anti-oppressive social work practice in her teaching. 

Her research is in journals such as: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse; Violence Against Women; Research on Social Work Practice; Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Child Abuse & Neglect; and the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research.

She earned her MSW in Interpersonal Practice and Community Organizing from the University of Michigan and her doctorate in social work from Michigan State University.