Melanie D. Newport is an Assistant Professor of US History at the University of Connecticut-Hartford. She is affiliated faculty in the American Studies and Urban and Community Studies programs. Her book This Is My Jail: Local Politics and the Rise of Mass Incarceration will be out with University of Pennsylvania Press in December 2022. Her newest research engages histories of carcerality and disaster in the late twentieth century US.

Melanie was a 2020-2021 Faculty Fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. Her work has been supported by the University of Connecticut’s College of Liberal Arts, University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago Libraries, the Center for the Humanities at Temple, University of Chicago SCRC, and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium.


At Study Marry Kill, On the limits of COVID-era jail research, and finding ways to vibe with primary sources anyway.

In the Washington Post on why bail funds are having a moment.


Meet Melanie through her “get to know a fellow” video from UCHI.

Melanie joins COVIDCalls to offer historical perspective on the pandemic’s impact on incarcerated people.

A UCHI fellows talk on prisoner lives and media at Cook County Jail in the 1950s.

Listen: Melanie talks about her research on Cook County Jail on Kite Line Radio.

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