Emerson Waite

PA Commission on Sentencing Graduate Student

918 Oswald Tower

University Park, PA 16802


Emerson Waite Headshot


Emerson Waite is a graduate student in the Department of Criminology at Penn State University. His research interests include sentencing, corrections, and prisoner reentry, as well as public policy.

Emerson is a native Pennsylvanian and earned his B.A. in Sociology from Susquehanna University. While a student, Emerson interned for the District Attorney of Snyder County where he assisted in DUI data collection and first learned about DUI Courts and other types of rehabilitative justice. Following graduation, Emerson was a Deputy Clerk of Courts for Chester County, where he became a sworn officer of the court and spent his days in the front of courtrooms. He assisted criminal judges in managing their dockets by curating official case files, issuing the oath for sworn testimony, collecting evidence, and completing sentencing forms as judges would verbally enter final dispositions onto the official record. Before returning to school, Emerson lived and worked in Washington, D.C. where his passion for public policy crossed into his interest with criminal justice institutions and the inequality that is enshrined within them.