Professor Kate Weisburd Receives Reidenberg-Kerr Award for Research

Kate Weisburd
August 03, 2021

Kate Weisburd, Associate Professor of Law, was awarded the Reidenberg-Kerr Award for Outstanding Scholarship by a Junior Scholar at the 2021 Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC).

Professor Weisburd’s "Punitive Surveillance" sheds light on how electronic ankle monitoring operates within the criminal justice system. "The paper reveals how electronic surveillance, like prison, limits privacy, restricts liberty, and undermines autonomy and dignity," said Professor Weisburd. "[It] explores the lack of effective legal limits on the rights-stripping nature of electronic monitoring."

"Punitive Surveillance," which will be published in Virginia Law Review in 2022, was developed from original, empirical research, undertaken with a team of GW Law research assistants, who analyzed over 250 agency records.

"I'm really proud of the paper, but I'm even more proud of the research conducted by GW Law students," said Professor Weisburd. "The research was not easy and involved tracking down, reading, analyzing, and coding thousands of pages of agency records."  

The student team’s research will be further developed into a co-authored report aimed at policymakers and advocates who want to learn more about how electronic monitoring operates, said Professor Weisburd. 

Ari Waldman, PLSC’s chair and Professor of Law and Computer Science at Northeastern University School of Law, called Professor Weisburd’s work "a generative, pathbreaking, and insightful piece of scholarship." 

The annual PLSC conference promotes scholarship in privacy through workshops and academic dialogue, and is open to scholars in all disciplines from around the world. Through its Reidenberg-Kerr Award, which is named in honor of Joel Reidenberg and Ian Kerr, it recognizes research by a pre-tenure scholar.

"Punitive Surveillance," also received honorable mention in the Association of American Law Schools Section on Criminal Justice Junior Scholars Paper Competition for 2021. 

At GW Law, Professor Weisburd's research focuses on alternatives to incarceration, including the emerging and varied forms of electronic surveillance, non-carceral punishment, and mechanized court supervision. Her recent scholarly work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the Iowa Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, and the UCLA Law Review. 

Prior to joining GW Law, Professor Weisburd founded and directed the Youth Defender Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center, which is part of the clinical program at UC Berkeley School of Law.