Skip to main content
Ginny O'Connell with student

Joyce Dougherty

Professor of Practice

Office: PPHAC 214
Phone: 610-625-7119


M.A. & Ph.D., Sociology, Syracuse University
B.A., Sociology and Political Philosophy, Syracuse University

Research Interests and Expertise

Dr. Dougherty’s primary research interests include evidence-based prisoner reentry programming, recidivism reduction, and gender-responsive programming and trauma-informed care for women offenders.


From 1998-2015, Dr. Joyce Dougherty served as the Executive Director of THE PROGRAM for Women and Families, a non-profit agency that specialized in serving the reentry needs of adult offenders in the Lehigh Valley. In 2010 and 2011 she secured two consecutive federal Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Act grants to support the Family Reunification Reentry Initiative targeting women offenders in Lehigh County. And in 2011 she presented two papers at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Washington D.C.: Program Design: A Gender Responsive Approach to Reducing Recidivism and Barriers to Successful Reentry: Navigating the Ideological Shift from Being ‘Tough on Crime’ to Being ‘Smart on Crime’. From 2009-2011 she served on the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee to Review the Effects on Children of Incarcerated Parents and she currently is serving as a member of the newly formed Pennsylvania Reentry Council chaired by the state’s Executive Deputy Attorney General. In 2015, Dr. Dougherty successfully negotiated the merger of THE PROGRAM for Women and Families with the non-profit agency, Pinebrook Family Answers, forming that agency’s new Forensic Services Department. This strategic move not only ensured the continuation of the good work of THE PROGRAM, it positioned that work to expand to more effectively meet the needs of the clients served. Today Dr. Dougherty serves as the Forensic Services Department’s grant writer and project coordinator on a part-time basis.

Prior to assuming the position of Executive Director of THE PROGRAM for Women and Families, she was a tenured professor at Moravian University serving as the head of the college’s Criminal Justice Program and as Chair of the Department of Sociology. During her tenure at the University, beginning in 1982, she published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on topics ranging from effective reentry programming for women offenders to a comparative analysis of adult plea bargaining and juvenile intake. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Political Philosophy, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Syracuse University.