Professor Wright was born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina. After graduating from high school, he attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC., where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He relocated to Chattanooga, TN to pursue a graduate degree in criminal justice. While there he began working with disadvantaged youths, holding positions with a local mental health agency, the Hamilton County Health Department, and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice while completing education requirements. While working at these agencies and attending school, he was encouraged by policy advocates and academic researchers to pursue a Doctorate degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminology and social psychology. He received a Ph.D. in May of 2010 in Sociology from the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Wright's research interests combine elements of criminal justice, criminology, and social psychology. He studies crime as a social process, including criminal action, focusing specifically on the social construction of crime and deviant behavior, drawing from the 3 primary elements of criminal justice: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Other research interests include: race and ethnicity, poverty, identity construction, and social stratification.