Emily J. Salisbury

Associate Professor, Criminal Justice
Expertise: Best practices in prisons, jails, probation, and parole, Offender rehabilitation, Women offenders


Emily Salisbury’s research focuses on evidence-based correctional policy, offender risk/needs assessment, and effective treatment intervention strategies, with a particular focus on women and girls and gender-responsive policy. She is one of the original developers of the Women’s Risk Needs Assessment (WRNA) instruments, which is a suite of correctional assessments specifically designed and validated to measure the needs and strengths of justice-involved women using a trauma-responsive approach. As a result, UNLV is now the primary source for WRNA research, training, and implementation for correctional agencies across the U.S. and internationally.

In 2017, her research on women offenders was recognized by the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing, which awarded her the Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential Intervention Award. Between 2013-2017, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Criminal Justice and Behavior, an academic journal that is the leading publication source for research on evidence-based practices in corrections. Dr. Salisbury was also identified as one of the Top 100 Criminology and Criminal Justice scholars between 2009-2013 based on publications and citations. In addition, she is co-editor of the book, Correctional Counseling and Rehabilitation (9th ed.), and regularly serves as a principal investigator and technical assistant with several local, state, and federal correctional agencies (e.g., U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Nevada, California, Oregon, Missouri, New York, Singapore, Namibia, Czech Republic). For more information about her research, please contact emily.salisbury@unlv.edu.


  • Ph.D., Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati
  • M.A., Forensic Psychology, Castleton State College
  • B.A., Psychology, William Jewell College

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Emily J. Salisbury In The News

New York Times
November 5, 2019
In May 2008, when Christina Randall was released from prison after serving nearly three years for battery, robbery and escape, she had nothing but $30 and the brand-new, ill-fitting clothes on her back. She took up in a women’s shelter in South Florida, eight hours away from her friends and family, with a plan to start fresh.
June 25, 2019
The Litchfield Correctional Facility in upstate New York might be the fictitious background of Netflix’s hit series “Orange is the New Black.” But the stories of the inmates — portrayed by Hollywood actresses — could be easily found throughout real women’s prisons across the U.S. and other countries.
Las Vegas Review Journal
May 29, 2018
Breanna Boppre joined her father onstage two years ago for his birthday.
Las Vegas Sun
May 16, 2017
A giant step backward. A declaration of war. The worst legislation for women’s health in a generation. These were among reactions to the May 4 passage of the American Health Care Act through the U.S. House of Representatives, from the American Civil Liberties Union, advocacy group UltraViolet and health care provider Planned Parenthood, which will lose all federal grants and reimbursements for a year if the bill were to clear the Senate.

Articles Featuring Emily J. Salisbury

A portrait of UNLV associate professor Emily Salisbury standing in front of the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center.
Arts and CultureJune 24, 2019
‘Orange is the New Black’ has mirrored real-life circumstances of women offenders since its debut in 2013.
Hands rest hanging ourside of jail bars
Business and CommunityAugust 30, 2016
Criminal justice professor Emily J. Salisbury studies how the treatment of inmates affects all of us.
Rehan Choudhry speaks during UNLV Creates
Campus NewsAugust 24, 2015
Annual welcome event features TED-like motivational talks that inspire incoming students to make the most of their college experience.
Emily Salisbury
Campus NewsAugust 7, 2015
Does it seem daunting to decide on your career path? Professor Emily Salisbury knows your pain. Here's her advice for Rebels trying to find their way.