Ph.D. candidate, Anthropology
Jessica Cooper is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. Her dissertation examines the systems of evidence and ethics practiced in two mental health courts in Northern California. Mental health courts are novel criminal courtrooms that aspire to move criminal offenders with psychiatric diagnoses out of jails and into community mental health programs that are provided and overseen by the courtroom. In ethnographically documenting the practices of everyday life in two mental health courts and the clinics with which they collaborate, the dissertation explores how social relationships oriented around care between courtroom professionals and offenders both are influenced by and direct criminal justice reform. Jessica holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.