AB 109 debate reignites after police say Whittier officer slain by parolee

February 2017

Charis Kubrin and Carroll Seron, Professors of Criminology, Law and Society, are featured in KABC-TV Los Angeles for their research on AB 109. Their research is the first and only systematic evaluation of AB 109, compiled of a series of papers which looks at crime data and statistics across the state before and after the implementation of AB 109. Citing research and many other factors, Kubrin cautions against drawing too many conclusions connecting criminal justice reform and crime without evidence in light of the recent statements Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper noted about the effects of the recent criminal justice reform.

Over time, nuisance flooding can cost more than extreme, infrequent events

February 2017

Long-term impact of climate change on US cities is rising, UCI researchers find

Global climate change is being felt in many coastal communities of the United States, not always in the form of big weather disasters but as a steady drip, drip, drip of nuisance flooding.

According to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, rising sea levels will cause these smaller events to become increasingly frequent in the future, and the cumulative effect will be comparable to extreme events such as Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy.

“Catastrophic storms get a lot of media attention and are studied, but we wanted to know more about the non-extreme events,” said Amir AghaKouchak, UCI associate professor of civil & environmental engineering and co-author of a new study on cumulative hazards in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future.

“These diffuse floods happen multiple times a month or year,” he said. “They don’t kill anyone, they don’t damage buildings, but over time they have extremely high-cost outcomes, and it happens without us realizing it.”

Lead author Hamed Moftakhari, a UCI postdoctoral scholar, said that people in often-hit regions have begun the process of adapting to the problem. “In a recent social science survey, people weren’t really interested in knowing the depth of the water. They just wanted to know how long they would be flooded,” he said. “Their main concern was finding out when they could get back to their schools and businesses.”

But public officials can’t afford to take cumulative hazards in stride, said co-author Richard Matthew, UCI professor of planning, policy & design. Policymakers faced with limited capital funds frequently defer action or make incremental improvements when major investments may be critical to fortify their communities. The team created a cumulative hazards index to pinpoint which locations would experience the greatest long-term risk.

Do immigrants increase crime?

February 2017

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law & Society is interviewed on KCRW 89.9FM to evaluate the accuracy of Trump's executive orders stating that undocumented immigrants “present a significant threat to national security and public safety.” In this interview, she cites research as to the actual amount of danger posed by immigrants.

Officers say Props 47 and 57 made the streets dangerous. But there's no proof.

February 2017

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is interviewed by 89.3 KPCC's Take Two in light of the recent shooting that left a Whittier police officer dead. Despite the assumptions made by Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper placing the blame on crime policies like Prop 47 and Prop 57, Kubrin states that there is no empirical evidence that these policies have actually contributed to the crime rate in the state of California. Ultimately, she illustrates that it is premature to assume there is a connection between Prop 47 and 57 and the current crime rates.

Immigration detentions spark national debate

February 2017

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in El Paso Times for identifying the issues with National Border Patrol Council's vice president for media relations Shawn Moran's statement that "immigration officers are finally able to do their jobs as it is written in law." In this article, she gives insight as to how the Trump administration has only expanded the group of people that are deemed deportable.

Sen. Bates’ bill adds heinous crimes called legally ‘violent’

February 2017

Charis Kubrin and John Hipp, Professors of Criminology, Law and Society are featured in MyNewsLA.com for their recently released crime report, and how the results of that report contradict assumptions made by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Despite Rackauckas' claims that realignment has contributed to an increase in crime, Professor Kubrin highlights that there is no empirical evidence to his claims, and that it is premature to associate Prop. 47 and 57 to a rise in violent crime.

Research forecasts lower 2017 violent and property crime rates in much of SoCal

February 2017

UCI researchers forecast lower 2017 violent and property crime rates in much of SoCal. Report also provides city trends, comparisons and socio-demographic information.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine project double-digit reductions in both violent and property crimes across much of Southern California for 2017. Violent crime is estimated to drop by 21 percent in 82 percent of cities, and property crime is expected to decrease by 11 percent in 79 percent of cities.

These encouraging predictions come from the third annual Crime Report for Southern California, authored by John Hipp and Charis Kubrin, UCI professors of criminology, law & society, and produced by the School of Social Ecology’s Irvine Laboratory for the Study of Space & Crime.

California could become a sanctuary state. What does that mean?

February 2017

Ana Muñiz, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in USA Today for her expertise regarding Senate Bill 54, or California's "sanctuary state bill". She elaborates about the legality of withdrawing federal funding from sanctuary states, and the extent of power that both the federal and local governments have on this issue.