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Michael Rocque

Associate Professor of Sociology, Bates College
Chapter Member: Maine SSN

About Michael

Michael Rocque is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bates College, Lewiston Maine. His research interests are life-course criminology, corrections, and violence. He is the author of several books, including Great Debates in Criminology with Chad Posick. Rocque is the former director of research at the Maine Department of Corrections and is interested in improving the practice of risk assessment.


In the News

Opinion: "I Study Mass Shootings, Now My Town Is Reeling From One," Michael Rocque, The Daily Beast, October 30, 2023.
Opinion: "Maine’s Gun Laws Need Common-Sense Updates," Michael Rocque, The Boston Globe, October 26, 2023.
Opinion: "In a Win for Victims and Facts, Alex Jones Is Being Held Accountable for Misinformation," Michael Rocque (with James Alan Fox), USA Today, November 19, 2021.
Opinion: "Why We Must Re-Engage, Even When We Disagree," Michael Rocque (with Chad Posick), Bangor Daily News, July 19, 2018.
Quoted by Bruce Bower in "Why Science Still Can’t Pinpoint a Mass Shooter in the Making," Science News, March 23, 2018.
Opinion: "United States’ Shadow Economy Has Hidden Impact on Crime," Michael Rocque (with Emily C. Marshall and James W. Saunoris), Portland Press Herald, March 2, 2018.
Opinion: "More Guns Won’t Make Our Universities and Colleges Any Safer," Michael Rocque (with Steven E. Barkan), Bangor Daily News, June 4, 2017.
Research discussed by Kent Fischer, in "Marriage, the Ultimate Crime Fighter?," Bates News, November 13, 2015.
Opinion: "4 Reasons to Doubt the ‘Ferguson Effect’ and Claims of a National Crime Wave," Michael Rocque (with Chad Posick and Steven E. Barkan), Bangor Daily News, June 10, 2015.
Opinion: "The Invisible Racism: What Critics of the Ferguson Protests are Missing," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, December 23, 2014.
Quoted by Beth Elderkin in "Why are Almost All Active Shooters Men?," The Daily Dot, November 20, 2014.
Opinion: "Were You Mature at 18? Jails Get It Wrong by Treating Young Adults as Real Adults," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, April 15, 2014.
Opinion: "Why Maine is a Leader in Juvenile Justice," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, June 25, 2013.
Interviewed in "Ayla’s Disappearance Strikes National Chord," Kennebec Journal, December 24, 2011.
Opinion: "Look Who’s Leading in Crime Fighting," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, June 3, 2006.
Opinion: "Capital City Hypocrisy," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, April 15, 2006.
Opinion: "Waging Our Own Perpetual War," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, July 6, 2005.
Opinion: "Take Action to Curb Campus Alcohol Abuse," Michael Rocque, Bangor Daily News, May 3, 2005.


"Great Debates in Criminology" (with Chad Posick) (Routledge, 2019).

Explores the role of theory and research in criminology. Adopts a unique and refreshing approach to criminological theory and focuses on the great debates in criminology from its inception as a field to the present day. Explores the debates that have motivated criminological thought, that have represented turning points in theoretical and empirical trajectories, that have offered mini-paradigm shifts, and that have moved the field forward.


"More Than a Feeling: Integrating Empathy into the Study of Law Making, Law Breaking and Reactions to Crime" (with Chad Posick and Nicole Rafter). International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (November 2012).
Describes how empathy can help explain why people break laws, why laws are made in the first place, and why people react as they do to law breaking.
"Exploring School Rampage Shootings: Research, Theory and Policy" The Social Science Journal 49, no. 3 (2012): 304-313.
Reviews the literature on school rampage shootings. Finds that the media has over reacted to these types of shootings and that schools remain safe places for children. Several explanations for school shootings are described but each has shortcomings.
"Biosocial Criminology and Modern Crime Prevention" (with Brandon C. Welsh and Adrian Raine). Journal of Criminal Justice 40, no. 3 (2012): 306-312.
Shows how biology can help us understand how crime prevention programs are effective, and shows that modern crime prevention can address biology in a non-controversial manner.
"Understanding the Antecedents of the ‘School-to-Jail-Link’: The Relationship between Race and School Discipline" (with Raymond Paternoster). Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 101, no. 2 (2011): 633-666.
Examines the individual- and school-level correlates of school discipline. Finds that despite controlling for a host of factors related to school discipline, racial disparities remain.
"Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System and Perceptions of Legitimacy: A Theoretical Linkage" Race & Justice 1, no. 3 (2011): 292-315.
Describes the empirical literature on racial disparities across the criminal justice system and presents a theoretical linkage between such disparities and later criminal behavior.
"Office Discipline and Student Behavior: Does Race Matter?" American Journal of Education 116, no. 4 (2010): 557-581.
Examines whether racial disparities in school discipline can be explained by wayward behavior. Even taking “acting out” into consideration, African-Americans are still more likely to be punished than other groups.