UW News

Alexes Harris


May 26, 2022

Video: Alexes Harris draws attention to low representation of people of color in bone marrow registry

Bald woman in hospital bed looking at nurse examining medications beside her

In 2016, Alexes Harris was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. But a search for a bone marrow donor turned up only five matches, and none ended up being a donor. People of color are underrepresented in the bone marrow registry; according to Be The Match, the nation’s largest bone marrow registry, white people have a 79% chance of finding a match. But a Black person’s potential match is only 29%, and Asian and Latinx people both have about a 47% chance. People of Native American ancestry have a 60% chance of finding a match.


March 2, 2022

Counties that rely on the courts for revenue sentence more women to incarceration

Washington counties that rely more on revenue from court-imposed fines and fees also sentence more women to incarceration, a study by the University of Washington finds.


Multi-state study of monetary sanctions finds widespread inequities, far-reaching consequences

Alexes Harris, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, discusses her team’s five-year, eight-state study of legal financial obligations, and their findings that court-imposed fines and fees perpetuate inequality.


February 16, 2022

Faculty programs welcome most diverse cohort in recent UW history

head shots

Angélica Amezcua never thought she’d achieve a doctoral degree, never mind landing a tenure-track job at the University of Washington. Raised in Mexico, she moved to California when she was 11, and she’s the first in her family to earn a Ph. D. She once believed that a career in academia was unattainable due to the obstacles placed in society for people of color.


May 13, 2019

From counseling services to commissary items, how the private sector shapes ‘offender-funded justice’

An article by University of Washington sociology professor Alexes Harris focuses on the role of the private sector in collecting court-imposed fines and fees.


December 3, 2018

UW’s Havana McElvaine selected as prestigious Marshall scholar

University of Washington alumna Havana McElvaine, Class of 2017, has been selected as a Marshall scholar, one of the highest honors available to college graduates in the U.S. She plans to attend the London School of Economics and Oxford University.


June 6, 2018

Washington state Supreme Court takes up court-fee reform, considers UW data at sold-out Wednesday symposium

Monetary sanctions disproportionately affect the poor and people of color. A Washington State Supreme Court symposium will discuss the issue of legal financial obligations, with new data from the University of Washington.

  African-Americans in Washington state are 2.3 times more likely than whites to be sentenced to fines and fees, and carry about three times the debt in unpaid monetary sanctions. In all, said University of Washington sociology professor Alexes Harris, legal financial obligations represented nearly $2.5 billion in debt in Washington in 2014, the most…


May 15, 2018

Born of protest: Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity celebrates a half-century

protest

It was spring 1968. A group of students occupied the University of Washington administration building calling for change: justice, diversity, agency for Blacks on campus.


April 20, 2017

Research team tracks complex web of monetary sanctions in 9 states

UW sociologist Alexes Harris leads a team of researchers at nine universities who are exploring the role of monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system. They recently completed a review of financial punishments in the laws of each of their home states. Based on their preliminary findings, the impact to a person’s pocketbook depends largely on his or her location on a map.


February 1, 2016

UW hosts daylong public ‘teach-in’ on mass incarceration

The acclaimed 2012 book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” is the foundation for a daylong “teach-in” at the University of Washington Feb. 9. The event is titled “Perpetual Displacement and Bondage: Understanding Historical and Contemporary Intersections of Mass Incarceration, Racism, and Health.” It’s free and open to the public,…


December 4, 2015

UW project focuses on fines and fees that create ‘prisoners of debt’

Criminals are meant to pay their debts to society through sentencing, but a different type of court-imposed debt can tie them to the criminal justice system for life and impact their ability to move forward with their lives. Though debtors’ prisons were eliminated in the United States almost two centuries ago, a modern-day version exists…