Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
PhD, Northeastern University
MA, University of Denver
BA, University of Vermont
Dr. Rousseau is a social justice researcher and practitioner. As a licensed therapist and certified yoga teacher, she has worked in the field of forensic mental health doing crisis response and victim advocacy, both in correctional facilities and in the community. Rousseau’s research, teaching, and practice focus on justice, trauma, gender, mental health, and mindfulness. She is an advocate of integrative, holistic approaches that support embodied self-care and resilience, and is the recipient of multiple research grants, including a grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to develop, implement, and evaluate an opioid-specific yoga and mindfulness curriculum. Rousseau’s work is published in many academic journals and texts, including Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, the Law and Society Review, and the Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and she is currently editing a book on yoga and sexual violence. She received her MA in clinical forensic psychology and her PhD in criminology and justice policy and women’s studies.
- MET CJ 602 – Criminology
- MET CJ 660 – Gender and Justice
- MET CJ 703 – Research Methods
- MET CJ 720 – Trauma and Crisis Intervention
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Rousseau, D., Weiss-Lewit, K., and Lilly, M. “#MeToo and Yoga: Guidance for Clinician’s Referring to Trauma-Informed Yoga.” Journal of Clinical Sports Psychology 13, no. 2 (2019): 216–225.
Rousseau, D., and Cook-Cottone, C. “Trauma-informed yoga training in Kenya: A qualitative pilot study on feasibility and acceptability.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine vol. 40 (2018): 53-60.
Farrell, A., Ward, G., and Rousseau, D. “Intersections of gender and race in federal sentencing: Examining court contexts and the effects of representative court authorities.” Gender, Race & Justice 14, no. 1 (2010): 85-125.
Ward, G., Farrell, A., and Rousseau, D. “Does racial balance in workforce representation yield equal justice? Race relations of sentencing in Federal court organizations.” Law and Society Review 43, no. 4 (2009): 757-805.
Farrell, A., Ward, G., and Rousseau, D. “Race-effects of representation among federal court workers: Does black workforce representation reduce sentencing disparities?” The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science 623, no. 1 (2009): 121-133.
McDevitt, J., Farrell, A., Rousseau, D., and Wolff, R. “Hate crimes: characteristics of incidents, victims and offenders.” In Victims of Crime, 4th ed., edited by R. Davis, A. Lurigio, and W. Skogan (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2013).
Rousseau, D., and Silva, K. “Defining Deviance: The Rearticulation of Aileen Wuornos in Monster.” In Representations of the Serial Killer in Film and Television, edited by A. D’Costa (forthcoming).
Farrell, A., Ward, G., and Rousseau, D. “Race-effects of representation among federal court workers: Does black workforce representation reduce sentencing disparities?” In Race and Crime: A Text/Reader, edited by H.T. Greene and S. L. Gabbidon (New York: Sage, 2012).
Twyman-Ghoshal, A., and Rousseau, D. “From the American Dream to a Global Dream.” In Democracy Building, edited by William Bagtelas (2010).
McDevitt, J., Farrell, A., Rousseau, D., Wolff, R. “Hate crimes: characteristics of incidents, victims and offenders.” In Victims of Crime, 3rd ed., edited by R. Davis, A. Lurigio, and W. Skogan (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2007).
Farrell, A., and Rousseau, D. “Discrimination.” In Encyclopedia of Police Science, edited by J. Greene (New York: Routledge, 2006).
Book Review of Hard Time at Tehachapi: California’s First Women’s Prison by Kathleen A. Cairns. Western Historical Quarterly (winter 2010): 526-527.
Twyman-Ghoshal, A., and Rousseau, D. “Book Review: Reintegration of Rehabilitation: Making People Happy.” Review of Key Ideas in Criminology: Rehabilitation by Tony Ward and Shadd Maruna. Crime, Law, and Social Change 50, no. 4-5 (2008).
Ward, G., Farrell, A., and Rousseau, D. “Does Court Workforce Racial Diversity Yield Racial Justice?: Some Evidence from Federal Court Contexts.” NCJ 221890, NIJ-Sponsored (55 pages, 2008).
Farrell, A., McDevitt, J., Fahy, S., and Rousseau, D. “Human Trafficking: Issues and Trends.” Institute on Race and Justice Research in Brief (November 2006).
“Domestic Violence II.” Psycho-educational Class Curriculum, Bridgewater, Mass.: Forensic Health Services (2003).
“Domestic Violence I.” Psycho-educational Class Curriculum, Bridgewater, Mass.: Forensic Health Services (2003).
“Confronting Hate Crime: A Protocol for Addressing the Issue of Bias Motivated Crime Within a Local Police Department.” Unpublished manuscript, University of Denver (2002).
“Mindfulness and Resilience: Examination of a Trauma Informed, Integrative Mindfulness Program as Implemented in Haiti.” Conference on Haitian Mental Health. Newton, Mass., May 2013. Co-presented with Jackson, E.
“Helping Women Heal: Trauma Informed Responses to Gender-Based Violence.” Gender-Based Violence, Advocacy, and Equitable Access Session. Natural Resource Distribution and Development in the 21st Century: Society for Applied Anthropology 73rd Annual Meeting, Denver, Colo., March 19-23, 2013. Co-presented with Jackson, E., and Wick, K.
Pezzullo, Jr., G.P., and Rousseau, D. “Race, gender and context in the criminal labeling of D.U.I offender.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., November 2011.
Jones, S.E., and Rousseau, D. “Holistic trauma informed care: Examination of the yogaHOPE Trauma Informed Mind Body (TIMBo) Program.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., November 2011.
Pezzullo, Jr., G., and Rousseau, D. “Race, Gender and Context in the Criminal Labeling of D.U.I. Offenders: The Influence of Extralegal Variables and Police Bias on Discretionary Plea Decisions.” Research and Scholarship Expo, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass., April 6, 2011.
Rousseau, D., and Pezzullo, Jr.. G. “Race, Gender and Context in the Criminal Labeling of D.U.I. Offenders: The Influence of Extralegal Variables and Police Bias on Discretionary Plea Decisions.” 2010 Symposium on Crime and Justice: The Past and Future of Empirical Sentencing Research. Poster Presentation, Albany, N.Y., September 2010. First Place, Young Scholar Paper Competition.
“The Experience of Federal Imprisonment for Women: A Historical Review of Women’s Federal Prisons.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Penn., November 2009.
“Dualistically Deviant: The Construction of Psychopathy and Gendered Criminality in the film Monster.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Mo., November 2008.
Pezzullo, Jr., G.P., and Rousseau, D. “The Criminal Construct: An Examination of Race, Gender, and Social Context on Plea Outcomes.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Mo., November 2008.
Ward, G., Farrell, A., and Rousseau, D. “The Contextual Significance of Federal Courtroom Workgroup Racial Diversity on Sentencing Outcomes.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, November 2007, Atlanta, Georgia.
Rousseau, D., and Twyman-Ghoshal, A. “The Feminine Role in Collective Criminality.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, November 2007, Atlanta, Georgia.
Rousseau, D., and Ferrer, A. “Anti-GLBT Hate Crime Victimization, Attitudes, and Outcomes on an Urban College Campus: A Pilot Study.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, Calif., November 2006.
“Psychopaths in Popular Film: Examining the Construct of Psychopathy in the Film GoodFellas.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, Calif., November 2006.
What is your area of expertise?
My expertise is at the intersection of mental health and criminal justice. My research, teaching, and practice focus on justice, trauma, gender, mental health, and mindfulness. I consider myself a social justice researcher and an advocate of integrative, holistic approaches that support embodied self-care.
You are currently working on a project with Florida Blue, part of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, and implementing a new treatment program for opioid addiction and mental health. Can you share more about this study?
In collaboration with Mental Health America and Yoga 4 Change, I recently received a grant to develop, implement, and evaluate a yoga-and-mindfulness-based curriculum to address the current opioid epidemic. Yoga 4 Change’s work offers a novel, low-cost, healthy way to treat trauma and improve mental and physical health by integrating physical movement with thematic teachings. These teachings are specifically developed for individuals who have experienced trauma. Yoga 4 Change currently serves four populations in the Jacksonville area—people who are incarcerated, veterans, those battling substance use, and youth. The program will be expanding over a three-year period to three new regions: Tampa, Orlando, and southern Florida, with a specific focus on opioid intervention.
How are research literature and your correctional programming work with Yoga 4 Change used to inform the curriculum?
The curriculum we are currently developing is rooted in the extant literature on both addiction and complementary and alternative treatment approaches. There is a growing amount of literature on the benefits of yoga and mindfulness in helping to support health and well-being. We use this literature, including experiential and empirical data, as our foundation.
The work is also specifically informed by a research grant I received from the Chartrand Family Fund. In 2018, we received funding to evaluate all of Yoga 4 Change’s correctional programming. We are still finalizing analyses, but results so far show that the Yoga 4 Change curriculum had many positive outcomes, including improvement in both health and sleep, healthy coping skills, forgiveness, self-compassion, emotional regulation, anger management, and post-traumatic growth. There was also a decrease in anxiety. We will use what we have learned through this initial study to inform our work with Florida Blue.
What drew you to this project? How did you become interested in this type of research?
I have been interested in yoga and mindfulness as complementary tools for healing for many years. In my clinical practice, I frequently integrated mindfulness-based practices. Working with individuals in crisis, especially in settings such as prisons, I saw the incredible power of breath as a tool in calming the stress response that regulates our autonomic nervous system. Yoga and mindfulness are also an integral part of my own self-care practice.
What do you predict the outcome of this study will be? How can the potential results of this study be applied to future substance abuse treatment plans?
Based on what we have seen with the Chartrand Family Fund study of Yoga 4 Change correctional programing, we expect positive results from the integration of our new curriculum into substance use disorder treatment. We expect that participants will learn tangible tools to help them in their recovery and, from what we have seen to date, that participants will share these tools with others. We predict that this program will support participants in building resilience. I also believe that what we are developing will result in programming that provides a significant cost reduction for health care systems.
How do the lessons you teach extend beyond the classroom or apply to students’ lives?
I believe our field of study is exciting because of its applied nature and the capacity to bring the “real world” into the classroom. What we are doing has the potential to have significant impact every day. In my course assignments, I encourage students to think critically and become justice advocates. I always encourage students to use assignments as a way to dive deeper into an area of interest they may have. I also work to make assignments practical in ways that allow students to better understand the justice system, question injustice, and think about policy implications.
Before coming to BU, I worked in the field of forensic mental health as a therapist in correctional facilities and served communities doing crisis response and victim advocacy. I am a certified yoga teacher and do a lot of work in supporting empirically based strategies and best practices for using embodied mindfulness approaches as a complementary treatment approach. I bring all of this experience to the classroom. I also encourage students to pursue their research interests, and invite students to join me in my current research pursuits. I enjoy collaborating with students in research.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is considering applying to this program?
Do what sets your soul on fire. Follow your interest and passion. When you do what you are passionate about, it does not feel like work. For me, that involves living in service and empowering others, advocating for equal access to justice, and combating the many wounds of trauma.
I would also emphasize the importance of self-care. If you take a class with me, you will quickly learn that I am a huge proponent of self-care. You cannot give what you do not have. You will not be truly successful in a graduate program or in this field if you do not engage in radical self-care.
What advice do you have for new students?
Be engaged and think critically. Take an active role in your education. Find your passion.
Also, do not be afraid to reach out to the Boston University Criminal Justice faculty and facilitators, they have a wide array of experience and expertise. Take advantage of this invaluable resource and explore interests you have in common.