Joseph Richardson joined the African-American Studies faculty in August 2006.

Dr. Richardson received his PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University-School of Criminal Justice and his bachelor's degree in African and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia. He completed a Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Chicago and an NIMH funded clinical post-doctoral research training fellowship in Substance Use, Mental Health and HIV/AIDS in Correctional Healthcare at the Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson was recently awarded a Joint Appointment in the Department of Anthropology (Anthropology of Health).

Dr. Richardson's research focuses on four specific areas: 1) Violence, violent injury and trauma among Black boys and young Black men; 2) Incarceration as a social determinant of health; 3) The social context of re-entry; 4) Parenting strategies for low-income Black male youth. He is trained as a criminologist and medical anthropologist Dr. Richardson uses a inter-disciplinary and intersectional research approach. Dr. Richardson is the Director of the Violence Intervention Research Project at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center (UM-PGHC), the second busiest trauma center in the state. Dr. Richardson utilizes the trauma center at UM-PGHC as his research lab to study violence, violent injury and trauma. He is Principal Investigator on four research studies. The first study examines the risk factors for repeat violent injury, linkages/barriers to care and HIV risk related behaviors among young Black men treated by UM-PGHC for violent injury (i.e., gunshot wound, stabbing or assault). The second study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the role and function of the Affordable Care Act Navigator, specifically, their experiences enrolling victims of violent injury into health insurance coverage. This study is being conducted at the University of Maryland Medical System R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (Baltimore) and the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center. A third study titled Life After the Gunshot qualitatively examines patient outcomes among survivors of violent injury, their caregivers and stakeholders in violence intervention initiatives. A fourth study funded by the Center for Victims Research qualitatively explores the relationship between firearm-related injury and previous history of incarceration among violently injured young Black men participating in the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center. In 2016, Dr. Richardson was awarded a three year Innovations in Reentry Initiative grant from the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to study criminal and trauma recidivism among 400 young men (ages 18-34) released from Prince George's County Jail. This collaborative project involves the Prince George's County Health Department (Behavioral Health Division) the Maryland Department of Corrections and the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center. Dr. Richardson is also the Program and Research Director fr the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program (CAP-VIP), a hospital-based  violence intervention program at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Trauma Center. Dr. Richardson is one of the founders of this program.

As a Faculty Affiliate for the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), Dr. Richardson serves as Co-Investigator for the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) and Director of the NDEWS Hot Spot Rapid Response Team. NDEWS received a $3 million dollar grant from NIDA to study emerging drug use and trends in the US. His selected research publications have appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Urban Health, Journal of Surgical Research, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, and New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development. He has produced an award nominated short documentary 'Bullets Without Names' which chronicles the experiences of a young Black male survivor of a violent firearm-related injury and produced 'Every 80 Minutes' a PSA on gun violence in Philadelphia featuring Def Poetry Jam Artist, Black Ice. He has been featured in several media outlets such as National Public Radio (NPR), The Huffington Post, Newsweek, the Conversation, the Baltimore Afro, the Trace, Russia Today (RT), CBC Radio (Canada), Press TV (Iran), Global Times (China), NBC News (Washington DC) and the In Social Work Podcast Series at SUNY-Buffalo. Dr. Richardson is a Research Scientist and member of the Institutional Review Board for the Friends Research Institute in Baltimore. He is an advisory Board Member for Project Change: Supporting Male Survivors of Violence under the DC Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants. He is a former Board Member for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 

On his spare time, Dr. Richardson is the Producer/Host of the Working Class Intellectuals Podcast. He is a Boxing and MMA enthusiast and also considers himself a student of the viticulture.


  • Degree Type

My research philosophy is multi-disciplinary. I integrate criminology, sociology, medical anthropology, public health and emergency medicine to examine the intersection of race, class, gender, age and health risk behaviors among low-income young Black men. My primary theoretical frameworks are structural violence and social capital. I use longitudinal qualitative research methods and social network analysis as my research approach to understanding social phenomena.

Dr. Joseph Richardson
1141 Taliaferro Hall
African American Studies Department
jrichar5 [at]