Research finds no increase in major crimes after state's 2011 prisoner release

March 2016

In 2011, California embarked on one of the biggest and most controversial criminal justice experiments in history. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Plata, the state passed the Public Safety Realignment Act – in legislative shorthand AB 109 – which required that California’s 58 counties develop policies that best fit their local needs in anticipation of the transfer of 33,000 inmates from state prisons to county supervision. Their options included adding jail beds, putting the transferees on probation or under electronic monitoring, or providing drug/alcohol rehabilitation services.

The current issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science, guest-edited by University of California, Irvine professors Charis Kubrin and Carroll Seron, offers the first systematic, scientific analysis of the Public Safety Realignment Act and answers the urgent question: Is California becoming more dangerous as prisons downsize?

Gift from Wells Fargo Foundation

March 2016

Wells Fargo Foundation has made a gift to the newly established "Dean's Excellence Fund to Enhance Undergraduate Education." This gift will ensure the sustainability of programs and initiatives such as Immersive Field Study, undergraduate research assistants, research collaboration, honors students, Lunch with a Faculty member, and student teacher mentors.
This fund benefits both Social Ecology students and faculty with a goal to nurture a more supportive environment so that all Social Ecology students may realize and develop their potential.

People are going to prison thanks to DNA software

March 2016

William Thompson, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, was quoted in BuzzFeed news March 12, 2016

From BuzzFeed:
If a program says the chances of a match are 1 in a million, “how do you truly know that is the right number rather than 100 million
or 10 million?” asked William Thompson, a criminology and law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Are you going to run it a trillion times or a million times and see how often you get a false result?”

Read Article


Cities ask Sacramento: Where are the savings from Prop 47?

March 2016

Cities ask Sacramento: Where are the savings froom Prop 47? (Audio)

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society on Air Talk 89.3 KPCC

From Air Talk:
While crime rates have ticked upwards recently, there haven't been any non-anecdotal evaluations attributing any uptick to Prop 47, professor of criminology at UC Irvine Charis Kubrin states on Air Talk.

Listen to Interview


More street gangs turn to financial crimes

March 2016

Street gangs that are traditionally associated with drugs and violent crimes are increasingly committing financial crimes since the crimes, like check fraud and identity theft, are more lucrative and carry lighter prison sentences. Although street gang involvement in white-collar crime is not new, the size and the scale of the operations has grown. "The sums of money involved are staggering," states Ronald Huff, Professor Emeritus of Criminology, Law and Society. "Even though it's a small minority...the potential amount of money involved and damage to people's financial accounts is greatly out of proportion
to other gang crimes."

Read the Wall Street Journal Article

Listen to Interview on Marketplace

Thirty Under 30 - Troy Campbell

March 2016

Troy Campbell '09, is one of Pacific Standard's "Thirty Under 30: The Bright Young Minds Working to Build a Better Future." Campbell's research focuses on "what people love, like and find most important." As an undergraduate at UCI, he enrolled in a social psychology class and his professor was Peter Ditto. Campbell fell in love with social psychology, declared psychology
as his major, and became Ditto's research assistant. He went on to study with Dan Ariely at Duke University and today is a tenure track professor at the University of Oregon. Campbell states, "If I have one skill, it is my ability to see how social psychology can provide immediate value. I've seen the smiles and the good that quality research can bring."

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Report on navigating liminal legalities along pathways to citizenship

March 2016

Study assesses challenges faced by undocumented immigrants and community organizations during times of legal uncertainty.

The 2014 Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs were scheduled to go into effect in 2015, but legal challenges have prevented them from taking effect, leaving eligible noncitizens in legal limbo.

With the support of the Russell Sage Foundation, Professor Susan Bibler Coutin and her colleagues in the UCI School of Law Sameer Ashar, Jennifer M. Chacón and Stephen Lee, conducted an eighteen month study between January 2014 and September 2015 to understand the on-the-ground challenges facing noncitizens and community based organizations during this time of extreme legal uncertainty over the availability and scope of these “Executive Relief” programs. Sociology Ph.D. students Edelina Burciaga and Alma Garza also worked on the project.

In Memoriam: Carol Kupers Whalen

It is with profound sadness that we share the news that Professor Emerita Carol Kupers Whalen passed away on January 19, 2016, after battling a serious illness for some time. She is survived by beloved friends and family members and close colleagues in the School of Social Ecology.  Carol Whalen joined the UC Irvine faculty in 1970, after receiving her B.A. from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from UCLA. She was a founding faculty member of the then Program in Social Ecology and, subsequently, of the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior (PSB). She served as Chair of the department from 1989-98 and held an appointment as a Professor in PSB and a joint appointment in Psychiatry and Human Behavior until her retirement in 2011.


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