New study concludes that immigration does not cause crime

June 2017

Professor Charis Kubrin has analyzed 20 years of studies on the relationship between immigration and crime, and she's reached a conclusion: immigration does not cause crime. In fact, many of the most reliable studies in the last two decades suggest immigration causes a drop in crime.

"As far as I'm concerned the case is closed on the issue of whether immigration is causing more crime," the professor of criminology, law and society told Univision. "The criminologists are turning the page but the rest of the country is still asking the ... question."

Global Service Scholars leave for field study service trips in Peru, Thailand and Ghana

June 2017

It's one thing to learn about compassion and altruism in the classroom. It's a completely different thing to live out that compassion and altruism by serving impoverished communities halfway around the world.

A group of 20 UC Irvine students -- and four UC Santa Barbara students -- are doing both, and this month are starting field study summer service programs in Peru, Thailand and Ghana. These Global Service Scholars are capping a 10-week academic course on empathy, compassion, altruism and service by tackling poverty problems and working at local nonprofits focused on human rights, conservation, women's empowerment, infrastructure, youth mentorship and healthcare in the far-off countries.

Immigration does not raise crime, UCI-led study finds, refuting common assumption

Meta-analysis mainly shows no correlation at all – or a tendency to reduce illegal activity

Immigration has no effect on crime, according to a comprehensive examination of 51 studies on the topic published between 1994 and 2014.

The meta-analysis – conducted by Charis Kubrin, a professor of criminology, law & society, along with Graham Ousey of the College of William & Mary – is the first on the relationship between immigration and crime.

The perils of false memories in political investigations

June 2017

Politicians and officials under investigations like the one probing the Trump campaign's Russia ties often say they cannot recall certain events. Investigators and prosecutors don't look kindly on such statements.

But high-profile public figures do sometimes develop incorrect memories, such as Brian Williams' on-air exaggerations, and Hillary Clinton's story of coming under sniper fire in Bosnia.

"Educated, successful people in society can have pretty huge false memories," Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor of psychology and social behavior, told Politico.

PhD student researches how to alter public perceptions of police

June 2017

Simple changes in police officers’ attire and equipment can have profound effects on whether others perceive them to be aggressive, approachable, friendly, respectful, and accountable. Rylan Simpson, a doctoral student in criminology, law and society, recently demonstrated such changes in perception during a panel discussion at the University of Redlands, an event that was featured in the San Bernardino Sun.

Simpson is currently studying the topic as part of his experiment, titled the Police Officer Perception Project.

Data mining leading to new type of immigration enforcement

June 2017

Police departments and federal agencies today have access to huge databases -- financial records, phone calls, vehicle records and criminal justice files -- that didn't exist two decades ago. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are now mining those vast quantities of data to identify and locate undocumented immigrants to arrest. The data are aiding a rise in immigration raids under President Trump's administration.

"The raids are different than before, they’re very targeted," Ana Muniz, an assistant professor of Criminology, Law & Society, told The Intercept. "Any sort of motivated agent has a way to access information from one system to another. The arrests we’re seeing in Los Angeles are of ICE agents sent out to detain or one two people with specific standing removal orders, that requires a detailed level of intelligence, whereas during the 1990s and 2000s, the raids were more location-based."