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Professor of Sociology, Seattle Pacific University

Karen A. Snedker is Professor of Sociology at Seattle Pacific University, USA. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Affiliate Faculty in Sociology and a CSDE Research Affiliate at the University of Washington, USA.

Karen's research addresses mental health, homelessness, crime and violence, and neighborhood effects. The scope of her published work is broad and it has appeared in sociology, geography, demography, public health, and crime academic outlets.

Her current research program is twofold. First, her book on the intersection between mental health and the criminal justice system, Therapeutic Justice (, was published in 2018. The book provides a unique mixed method study of mental health courts within the framework of the larger trend towards problem-solving courts.

Second, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer McKinney, Karen is actively involved in homelessness and tent cities in terms of research, teaching, and public outreach. Together they designed an innovative research project while SPU hosted a homeless encampment known as Tent City 3.


  • –present
    Professor, Seattle Pacific University


  • 2003 
    New York University, PhD/Sociology


  • 2018
    Therapeutic Justice: Crime, Treatment Courts and Mental Illness, Palgrave Macmillan