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Nicholas Bakken

Specialty area(s)

Criminology, Criminal Justice, Criminal Desistance, Prisoner Reentry, Substance Use and Health,  Programmatic Evaluation

Brief biography

Professor Nicholas Bakken is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He received his B.S. (2004) from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and his M.A (2006) and Ph.D. (2009) from the University of Delaware. Dr. Bakken's teaching and research interests are in the areas of criminology, criminal justice, and research methods. His research focuses on criminal offending across the life course, evaluation research, desistance from crime, prisoner reentry, substance use, and juvenile delinquency.

Dr. Bakken is currently the lead evaluator on two federal grants associated with the La Crosse County criminal justice system. The first is a formal evaluation of the La Crosse County Drug Court in association with the National Center for State Courts. The second project, the Fresh Start program,  seeks to address the treatment and case management needs of incarcerated adult men and women with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. His prior grant work included serving as an evaluator and data analyst for the La Crosse County Juvenile Justice Arrest and Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force.

Current courses at UWL

SOC 110: The Social World

SOC 323: Corrections and Penology

SOC 324: Criminal Justice

SOC 326: Sociopharmacology

SOC 350: Research Methods II

SOC 405: Quantitative Social Research Seminar





Ph.D. Criminology, University of Delaware, 2009
Areas of Concentration: Criminology and Research Methods

M.A. Criminology, University of Delaware, 2006

B.S. Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 2004

Teaching history

2009- Present- Sociology and Criminal Justice at UW-La Crosse

Professional history

Present-2015. Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

2015-2009. Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

2009-2005. Research Assistant, Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies, University of Delaware.

Research and publishing

Bakken, N., & Visher, C. (2018). Successful reintegration and mental health: An examination of gender differences among reentering offenders. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 45(8), 1121-1135.

DeCamp, W., & Bakken, N. (2016). Self-injury, suicide ideation, and sexual orientation: Differences in causes and correlates by orientation and gender. Journal of Injury and Violence Research, 8(1), 15-24.

Visher, C. & Bakken, N. (2014). Reentry challenges facing women with mental health problems. Women and Health, 54, 768-780.

Bakken, N., Gunter, W., & Visher, C. (2013). Spirituality and desistance from substance use among reentering offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 58, 1321-1339.

Visher, C., Bakken, N., & Gunter, W. (2013). Incarcerated fatherhood, community reintegration and successful outcomes. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 52, 451-469.

Gunter, W., & Bakken, N. (2012). The many measurements of self-control: How reoperationalized self-control compares. European Journal of Criminology, 9, 309-322.

Bakken, N. & Gunter, W. (2012). Self-cutting and suicidal ideation among adolescents: Gender differences in the causes and correlates of self-injury. Deviant Behavior, 33, 339-356.

Gunter, W., Kurtz, S., Bakken, N., & O’Connell, D. (2012). Desisting from prescription drug abuse: An application of growth models to Rx opioid users. Journal of Drug Issues, 42(1), 82-97.

Bachman, R., Gunter, W., & Bakken. N. (2011). Predicting feelings of school safety for lower, middle, and upper school students: A gender specific analysis. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 7, 59-76.

Gunter, W., & Bakken, N. (2010). Transitioning to middle school in the sixth grade: A hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analysis of substance use, violence, and suicidal thoughts. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 30, 895-915.