Sarwat Sharif

  • PhD Candidate, Social Work
  • Research Assistant, Social Work

Sarwat Sharif is pursuing her PhD in social welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research is centered around the experiences of Black men within the context of the carceral state and its profound influence on individuals involved in the justice system upon their reintegration into society. Her research approach employs narrative criminology to delve into the ramifications of administrative policies at a grassroots level, aiming to uncover how these policies impact reentry outcomes.

Sarwat's professional journey includes serving as a research assistant on multiple criminal legal and violence prevention projects. These projects have received funding from both private and public granting organizations, including Project Safe Neighborhood, Smart Reentry, Resiliency in Community after Stress and Trauma (ReCAST), Reentry Rising, and the Milwaukee Public Welfare CJ Landscape. Additionally, she has coauthored federal and state reports and presented her academic work at the annual Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) conference.

Originally from Pakistan, Sarwat holds a diverse academic background, with a bachelor's degree in commerce from Karachi University, an MS in computer science from Iqra University, an MA in sustainable peacebuilding, and an MSW in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Sarwat accumulated over 15 years of professional experience in corporate organizations across Pakistan, Turkey and Kenya. During this time, she worked in various capacities within the IT and communication departments, actively engaging with community members through participatory initiatives and mentoring programs.


  • MSW, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Masters in Sustainable Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, College of Nursing
  • M.S., Computer Science, Iqra University, Karachi-Pakistan

ICFW Projects:

  • Smart Reentry Milwaukee

  • Project Safe Neighborhood

  • Resiliency in Community after Stress and Trauma (ReCAST)

  • Reentry Rising

  • Milwaukee Public Welfare CJ Landscape Analysis

Research/Practice Interests:

  • Reentry and mass incarceration

  • Structural concerns in the criminal legal system

  • Race and socioeconomic issues

  • Evaluation of administrative policies

  • Narrative and critical criminology