What is causing the uptick in crime in Southern California?

May 2017

Even though cell phone videos make conflicts between police and certain communities feel more poignant, they're nothing new, Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society said on "Inside OC with Rick Reiff."

"There is a longstanding, challenging relationship between the police and community members in many communities across the United States. Now with social media we are seeing the effects of that… That’s coming to light and that’s being now put on the front page for everybody to see," Kubrin said.

How non-citizen federal arrest numbers obscure fact that immigration leads to less crime

May 2017

Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society, has conducted a meta-analysis of 51 studies on the relationship between immigration and crime, which will be published in the inaugural issue of the Annual Review of Criminology. Most of the studies Kubrin analyzed found no relationship. But among those that did, it was 2.5 times more likely that immigration caused a drop in crime, rather than a rise. Kubrin was featured in a story in the Washington Post.

"Where you have immigrants, you have less violent crime. Period," Kubrin told the Post.

Undergrad wins Upper Division Writing Award

May 2017

Hayden Thomas Sugg, a criminology, law and society undergraduate, has won a 2016-17 Upper Division Writing Award.

The UCI Office of the Campus Writing Coordinator issues awards for excellent academic writing in three categories: humanities and arts, social sciences, and science and technology. Sugg won in the social sciences category for his paper "Legal Financial Obligations in the United States Criminal Justice System: A Mechanism of Social Control," which he wrote under the guidance of Criminology, Law and Society Professor Mona Lynch.

Capital punishment juries in question in O.C.

Juries could increasingly favor the death penalty, despite declining public support, Social Ecology professor finds.

When the case of Scott Dekraai – who pled guilty to murdering eight people in a Seal Beach salon in 2011 – goes to the sentencing phase of the trial, more than one-third of potential jurors could be rejected based on their beliefs about the death penalty.

The consequence? A jury that could be tilted in favor of capital punishment, even as national polls show that fewer and fewer people support it, according to a recent paper published in the Yale Law Journal by Nicholas Scurich, an associate professor in the School of Social Ecology.

Hallucinations in an 8 by 10 cell: Do prisoners sent to isolation ever recover?

New book by Keramet Reiter chronicles the rise of modern long-term solitary confinement.

In the 1980s, incarceration rates were skyrocketing and prison officials were anxious because of inmate unrest in the previous decade.

To house the prisoners – and to sequester those deemed most dangerous – prison officials designed and built with little public oversight a suite of technologically advanced maximum security prisons. The facilities were cleaner than the squalid, poorly-lit, unsanitary isolation cells that officials had been using to lock up prisoners accused of fomenting unrest and threatening security.

Older, denser neighborhoods offer better access to everyday destinations, MFI study finds

Proximity of homes to restaurants and stores reduces traffic congestion, CO2 emissions

Residents of older, denser, lower-income neighborhoods and smaller, multifamily homes in Southern California can more easily access commonly frequented sites such as grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores and gas stations, according to a recent report from the University of California, Irvine.

A research team with the School of Social Ecology’s Metropolitan Futures Initiative calculated the number of everyday destinations within a mile of each of the region’s more than 5 million homes. Closer destinations mean less driving, decreased traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions.

Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology is 5th most affordable in U.S.

April 2017

The SR Education Group has ranked the School of Social Ecology's Master in Legal and Forensic Psychology (MLFP) the 5th most affordable Online Master's of Psychology program in the United States. The list is a compilation of especially affordable degree programs across the U.S. In the MLFP program, students focus on the intersection of psychology and legal issues.

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The universality of awe and the way it makes you a better person

April 2017

Awe seems to transcend human culture in a way that little else does.

Paul Piff, assistant professor of psychology and social behavior traveled to the Namibian desert with grad students to learn how the deeply traditional and seminomadic Himba people experience awe. Cooking on an open fire underneath a blanket of stars, the grad students and Himba people all were transfixed by the constellations above, Piff says in Sierra Magazine. "Different things inspire awe for different cultures, but the sky did it for all of us," he says. "Awe might be a universal experience that’s been built into the human system ... and one that we share with people around the world."