Shawn David Bushway

Photo of Shawn Bushway
Senior Policy Researcher
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in public policy analysis and political economy, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in mathematics, University of Notre Dame


Shawn D. Bushway has dual degree (Ph.D.) in public policy and economics from Carnegie Mellon University. He has published over 70 peer reviewed papers in top journals primarily in three distinct areas: the causal relationship between work and crime, the use of discretion by actors in the criminal justice system, and the process by which people desist from crime. Occasionally, the areas intersect, such as his collection of studies on recidivism over time. This body of work was instigated by legal questions surrounding the appropriate role of criminal history records, particularly old criminal history records, in employment decisions. On the basis of research, Bushway has testified in front of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, worked with advocacy groups for individuals with criminal history records, and consulted with employers seeking to modify their background check processes. Current projects include a study of the impact of principals' suspension decisions on student outcomes, an exploration of the causes of mass incarceration and a comparison of criminal history record checks conducted using different methods.  He is a fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow of the American Society of Criminology
  • Distinguished Alumnus, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
  • SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship