Jay Borchert, PhD

Researcher and Quantitative Analyst

Jay W. Borchert is a Researcher and Quantitative Analyst for the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Academic Engagement. Charged with separating the wheat from the chaff regarding a wide array of research-based claims made by scientists, journalists, advocates, and elected officials, he helps DPA maintain integrity in its publications and policy positions.  He is charged with bridging innovative researchers and promising research pathways, methodologies, and frameworks to the Drug Policy Alliance’s work. These bridges are designed to not only buttress DPA’s advocacy but to support research conducted in the spirit of our mission. 
Dr. Borchert is first and foremost a public sociologist, criminologist, and critical legal scholar with a deep commitment to social change and social justice through accessible research and teaching. His research places a sharp focus on prisons, prisoners, prison staff, conditions of confinement, and the law as subjects of intense social negotiation and conflict. 
He is a co-founder of the Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network, proud to live out loud as a former-prisoner PhD with a deep commitment to education for all as a human right. In addition, Dr. Borchert is a Diversity Scholar at the Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, and a Faculty Affiliate of ACE! Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence at George Mason University. 
Dr. Borchert has won numerous awards from his peers, including the 2015 Best Graduate Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities for his paper, “A New Iron Closet: Failing to Extend the Spirit of Lawrence v. Texas (2003) to Prisons and Prisoners.” Published in The War on Sex (Duke University Press), the work established a highly disparate landscape of punishment for LGBT prisoners in our nation’s prisons. He received a BA in sociology, Summa cum Laude, from DePaul University and both an MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan. From 2013-16 he was a Visiting Researcher at the Center for the Study of Law & Society at UC Berkeley School of Law. He is an active member of the Law & Society Association, the American Society of Criminology, the American Sociological Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Office of Academic Engagement