The financial costs of incarceration, and finding a better way.

May 2017

In California, it costs as much as $60,000 per year to incarcerate someone and pay for prison workers, security, healthcare and a host of other expenses, according to Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society.

That means any major increase in the prison population is not only a matter of justice, but of government budgets -- and taxpayer pocketbooks. And just such an increase in the prison population looks imminent because of a recent drug sentencing policy issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

90 million people displaced: how to solve the global refugee crisis.

May 2017

Today, 90 million people live in some form of refugee, transition or flood camp -- more than have ever lived in such camps in human history. Richard Matthew, professor of planning, policy and design and director of the UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, says it's possible to solve the humanitarian crisis, but solutions face resistance.

Quas wins 2017 Outstanding Community Researcher award

May 2017

Jodi Quas, a professor of psychology and social behavior, has won the 2017 Outstanding Community Researcher award from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, a campus-wide institute that helps shuttle discoveries from the lab into practice.

The award recognizes a UCI faculty member who has demonstrated commitment to collaborative research partnerships with a community organization.

Attorney General's tough-on-crime policy could divide Republicans

May 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recently issued tough-on-crime drug sentencing memo runs counter to bipartisan efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system, said Mona Lynch, professor of criminology, law and society.

The memo is "a direct swipe at both the congressional effort to do sentencing reform and the U.S. attorneys’ offices efforts to reduce mandatory minimums," Lynch told Bloomberg BNA.

The regional divide that might result from tougher federal drug crime sentencing

May 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking a hard stance on federal drug crime sentencing, reversing earlier attempts by the Obama administration to reduce the severity of punishment for low-level offenders.

This change could drive regional, geographic disparities in who gets sentenced and for how long, said Mona Lynch, professor of criminology, law and society.

You didn't build that: why remembering your good fortune can be good for you and others

May 2017

Life is shaped by factors beyond a person's control -- unearned advantages and undeserved disadvantages. But how much someone recognizes that often depends on whether they've benefited from or been hindered by those external factors, according to research by Paul Piff, assistant professor of psychology and social behavior.

Sentencing under Jeff Sessions about to get much more punitive

May 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instructed the 93 U.S. attorneys to prosecute people for the most serious offense possible, and send them to prison for as long as possible -- a reversal of Obama-era policies that aimed to reduce sentencing and prevent low-level offenders from serving long prison terms.

Criminology, Law and Society Professor Mona Lynch spoke with Slate about the ramifications of Sessions' recent policy memo, and outlined how it departs from recent bipartisan consensus on sentencing reform. The main takeaway? "It’s about to get much more punitive."

Elizabeth Loftus gives expert testimony in Jerry Sandusky case

May 2017

Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor of social ecology, gave expert testimony at the latest Jerry Sandusky appeals hearing, saying by phone that that there is no credible scientific support for a theory that someone can wall off a “horrific brutalization” and then recall it later because of counseling and therapy.

One of victims in the former Penn State assistant football coach's child sexual abuse case said his statements evolved from when he first testified five years ago -- a change he says resulted, in part, because of counseling and therapy.

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