Kubrin lands Western Society of Criminology award

Charis Kubrin

Professor honored for outstanding contributions to the field

Charis E. Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society, has been honored with the Western Society of Criminology’s Paul Tappan Award for outstanding contributions to the field of criminology.

The award was bestowed last month during the society’s annual conference, at which Kubrin delivered the keynote address. She spoke about her research, which focuses on criminal justice reform, prison downsizing in particular, and its impact on crime in California. She presented research findings from studies that examine their impact on crime rates statewide. 

Basically, Kubrin said, “we can downsize our prisons without compromising public safety.”

She also emphasized that “good evaluation studies are necessary if we are to base our policies on empirical evidence, and not just rhetoric.”

Kubrin, who joined the UCI faculty in 2011, was nominated for the Paul Tappan Award by her colleague, Valerie Jenness, professor of criminology, law and society and nursing science. In her nomination letter, Jenness wrote:

“Professor Kubrin’s outstanding contributions to criminology include her research on neighborhood correlates of crime, with an emphasis on race and violent crime; her examinations of the immigration-crime nexus and assessments of the impact of criminal justice reform on crime rates; and her work on the intersection of music, culture, and social identity, particularly as it applies to hip hop and minority youth in disadvantaged communities. She has also contributed to the field via her work as a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network.”

Kubrin, a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network, is co-author of “Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance” (Oxford University Press, 2008) and “Privileged Places: Race, Residence, and the Structure of Opportunity” (Lynne Rienner, 2006) and co-editor of “Introduction to Criminal Justice: A Sociological Perspective” (Stanford University Press, 2013), “Punishing Immigrants: Policy, Politics, and Injustice” (New York University Press, 2012), and “Crime and Society: Crime,” 3rd Edition (Sage Publications, 2007).

Her most recent research examines the immigration-crime nexus across neighborhoods and cities and assesses the impact of criminal justice reform on crime rates.

Her work has received numerous grants and fellowships from a variety of agencies and foundations, including: National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, National Consortium on Violence Research, Soros Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, American Sociological Association, William Penn Foundation, and Association for Women in Science Educational Foundation.

In 2005, Kubrin received the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology (for outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of criminology). In 2014, she received the American Society of Criminology, Division on People of Color and Crime, Coramae Richey Mann Award (for outstanding contributions of scholarship on race/ethnicity, crime, and justice). Most recently, she received the W.E.B. DuBois Award from the Western Society of Criminology (for significant contributions to racial and ethnic issues in the field of criminology).

Says Professor Jenness: “these kinds of recognitions confirm what we already know: UCI is fortunate to have Charis on the faculty; she’s the kind of scholar, teacher, public servant, and colleague that elevates our enterprise and enables us to serve the public interest. She cares deeply about research and education, and brings both to bare on improving lives and communities. That’s what makes her so valuable here at UCI – and beyond.”
— Mimi Ko Cruz