SAUNDRA WESTERVELT: PROFESSOR, CO-AUTHOR OF LIFE AFTER DEATH ROW
When UNCG professor Saundra Westervelt and Kimberly Cook agreed to start working on this book more than a decade ago, little had been written about what happens to death-row inmates after they are exonerated. They conducted and analyzed 18 interviews with people who were wrongfully convicted of capital crimes including Alan Gell and Alfred Rivera of North Carolina. Their book, Life After Death Row: Exoneree’s Search for Community and Identity was published in September. The book grapples with the obstacles exonerees experience when trying to reintegrate into society and how they cope with it. Their work identified patterns, but Westervelt emphasized that the different approaches they saw weren’t mutually exclusive and vary per person.
“The whole point of the book is to jumpstart a public and policy conversation about how better assist people who’ve been wrongly convicted when they get out,” Westervelt said.
Westervelt teaches in the criminology concentration in sociology.