Nazgol Ghandnoosh is the Co-Director of Research at The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization engaged in research and advocacy for criminal legal reform. Nazgol holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles (2013). Her dissertation examined resistance to mass incarceration through an in-depth study of a South Los Angeles group advocating for the parole release of term-to-life prisoners. Her research was funded by the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, the Elena and Gregg Davis Foundation, and UCLA's Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Chicano Studies Research Center. At The Sentencing Project, she has written about the declining prospects for parole on life sentences, the felony murder doctrine, and about best practices for eliminating racial inequality in the criminal legal system. She regularly presents to academic, practitioner, and general audiences and her work has been featured in outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and WNYC’s On the Media. She serves on the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission.
Nazgol was born in Iran and moved to Canada at age seven. She attended four high schools – in Toronto, Brooklyn, and Greenville, South Carolina. She studied Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (2001, B.S.). Before moving to Los Angeles for graduate school, she worked as a researcher for the consulting firm Monitor Group, at Columbia University’s National Center for Children in Poverty, and for Local 1199 SEIU. In Los Angeles, she contributed to “Ban the Box” reform efforts to enhance employment prospects for people with criminal records, as well as campaigns to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions. Nazgol currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Contact: nghandnoosh [at] sentencingproject [dot] org