Portrait of Thomas LeBel (white man), associate professor of criminal justice and criminology

Thomas LeBel, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Criminal Justice & Criminology Field Placement Coordinator

Dr. Thomas LeBel is an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology at UW-Milwaukee.

He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and book chapters on prisoner reentry, desistance from crime, stigma, and drug treatment. Dr. LeBel's research incorporates a strengths-based perspective regarding incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. He has served as a consultant and panelist for several prisoner reentry-related projects. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he teaches Introduction to Criminal Justice, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses in corrections.

Dr. LeBel received his doctorate in criminal justice from the University at Albany, State University of New York. His dissertation, Invisible stripes? Formerly incarcerated persons perceptions of and responses to stigma, examines the impact of stigma on the lives of persons who were formerly incarcerated.


  • Ph.D., Criminal Justice, University at Albany, SUNY, 2006
  • M.A., University at Albany, SUNY, 1999
  • B.S., Business Administration, Empire State College, SUNY, 1994

Professional Interests:

  • Prisoner reintegration
  • Desistance from crime
  • Stigma and formerly incarcerated persons
  • Intervention strategies with correctional clients
  • Substance use treatment and services for criminal justice involved individuals
  • Women involved with the criminal justice system
  • Drug courts

Recent Grants:

  • 2011-2012: Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court. Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Grantee: The Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court. Role: Co-PI of subaward for evaluation; PI is Dr. Michael Fendrich.
  • 2011-2012: Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court Expansion Project. Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Grantee: The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. Role: Co-PI of subaward for evaluation; PI is Dr. Michael Fendrich.
  • 2010-2012: Expanding the Keeping Families Together Project to Include Incarcerated Pregnant Women. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Role: Co-PI; PI is Dr. Susan Rose.

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Society of Criminology
  • American Society of Criminology, Division on Corrections and Sentencing
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

Select Publications | Refereed Published Articles:

  • LeBel, Thomas P. (2012). “‘If One Doesn’t Get You Another One Will’: Formerly Incarcerated Persons’ Perceptions of Discrimination.” The Prison Journal, 92(1), 63-87.
  • LeBel, Thomas P. (2012). “Invisible Stripes? Formerly Incarcerated Persons’ Perceptions of Stigma.” Deviant Behavior, 33, 89-107.
  • Begun, Audrey L., Susan J Rose, and Thomas P. LeBel (2011). “Intervening with Women in Jail around Alcohol and Substance Abuse During Preparation for Community Reentry.” Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 29(4), 453-478.
  • Maruna, Shadd and Thomas P. LeBel (2009). “Strengths-Based Approaches to Reentry: Extra Mileage toward Reintegration and Destigmatization.” Japanese Journal of Sociological Criminology, 34, 59-80.
  • Begun, Audrey L., Susan J. Rose, Thomas P. LeBel and Barbara Teske-Young (2009). “Implementing Substance Abuse Screening and Brief Motivational Intervention with Women in Jail.” Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 9(1), 113-131.
  • LeBel, Thomas P., Ros Burnett, Shadd Maruna and Shawn Bushway (2008). “The ‘Chicken and Egg’ of Subjective and Social Factors in Desistance from Crime.” European Journal of Criminology, 5(2), 130-158.

Select Publications | Book Chapters:

  • LeBel, Thomas P. and Shadd Maruna (2012). “Life on the Outside: Transitioning from Prison to the Community.” In Petersilia, J. and K. Reitz (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections (pp. 657-683). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Maruna, Shadd and Thomas P. LeBel (2010). “The Desistance Paradigm in Correctional Practice: From Programmes to Lives.” In McNeill, F., P. Raynor, and C. Trotter (Eds.), Offender Supervision: New Directions in Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 65-89). Cullompton, UK: Willan.

Curriculum Vitae