Sabrina Rapisarda 800

Sabrina Sara Rapisarda, M.A., M.Ed.

Ph.D. Candidate, Research Assistant, & Instructor of Record

School of Criminology & Justice Studies
Health and Social Sciences Building 456A


Topical expertise: Sexual victimization and perpetration, Substance abuse and misuse, harm reduction, Treatment courts (veterans), Corrections (impacts of COVID-19); Methodological/Statistical expertise: Mixed-methods

Research Interests

Sabrina's topical research interests lie at the intersection of criminal justice and public health, including sexual violence prevention, substance use and harm reduction, and treatment courts.


  • M.A. Criminal Justice (2021), University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • M.Ed. in Secondary Education (2018), Endicott College
  • B.S. Psychology (2016), Springfield College (Massachusetts)
  • B.S. Criminal Justice (2016), Springfield College (Massachusetts)


Sabrina Rapisarda joined the School of Criminology and Justice Studies as a doctoral student in the fall of 2019. While completing her undergraduate degrees, she worked for the Key Program, Inc. facilitating group therapy sessions for male youths in a residential treatment program with a focus on life skills development, emotion regulation, fostering positive self-images, and both effective and sustainable coping methods. Moreover, she interned at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) drafting intake complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, public spaces, and access to education. After graduating with her Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Endicott College, she taught psychology, biology, and environmental / sustainability courses at the high school level.

Much of Sabrina’s research is anchored in both prevention and harm reduction-based public health frameworks, where she studies and has published in a variety of criminal justice areas, including sexual victimization and perpetration, substance use and misuse, and treatment courts. Sabrina is currently a research assistant working on projects entailing the following: the implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy among children who manifest problematic sexual behaviors in various Massachusetts jurisdictions and exploring the functions and compositions of boards/entities related to the management, treatment, assessment, and policymaking of people who have committed sex offenses. She is a research associate on a multi-city, mixed-methods study funded by the CDC, which aims to gain insight into local challenges and responses to the opioid crisis as shared by the people who use drugs in Massachusetts. More specifically, this study covers fentanyl and other drug use, treatment experiences and access, and the lived effects of recent policies, like prescribing limitations and the Good Samaritan Law. Further yet, Sabrina serves as the project coordinator for a NIDA/BJA-funded nationwide, multi-site, mixed-methods research project at George Mason University, which examines service delivery, court processes and programming, and other outcomes of legal system involved veterans within veterans treatment courts (VTCs).

Sabrina is also currently a teaching instructor of Statistics in Criminal Justice (CRIM.3950).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Graduate Research Grant Award, $1,575 (Graduate Student Association, UMass Lowell, 2023)
  • ACJS Doctoral Summit Scholarship Recipient (Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, 2023)
  • Laura Bassi Scholarship, Second Set Pick (Winter, 2021)
  • Outstanding Senior Award, Psychology Department (Springfield College, 2016)
  • Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Academic Performance, Social Sciences Department (Springfield College, 2016)
  • Experimental Social Science Award, Runner-up (Springfield College, 2016)
  • Britton C. McCabe Scholarship & Award (Springfield College, 2015)

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations