Rylan Simpson advances to finals of Grad Slam challenge

April 2017

Rylan Simpson, a graduate student at the Irvine Laboratory for the Study of Space and Crime, advanced to the files of the UCI Grad Slam Research Program for his research on the public perceptions of police officers. Grad Slam is a systemwide competition that showcases and awards the best three-minute research presentations by graduate scholars. Finals will be held on April 11 in the Newkirk Alumni Center at 3 p.m. Contestants will give their three-minute research presentations in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.

Inside the hole: what happens to the mind in isolation

April 2017

Keramet Reiter, assistant professor of criminology, law and society, discussed the effects of solitary confinement on prisoners during a 25-minute interview with NPR's "Hidden Brain." Reiter also recently published the book 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.

Prisoners locked in solitary, 8-foot by 10-foot cells -- the size of a parking space -- often stay there for years and even decades. Suicide rates are double that of the rest of the prison population. African American and Latino prisoners are twice as likely as the general prison population to end up there, while prison officials also often send mentally ill, transgender and pregnant prisoners to solitary.

"Prison systems are not putting people there based on some act or rule that they broke, but based on their status as dangerous. Some prisoners get labeled dangerous gang members and they get sent to isolation indefinitely ... It's often the people who are really difficult for the system to manage," Reiter tells NPR.

Listen to the interview.

The reason sanctuary churches go public with immigrant stories

March 2017

Susan Bibler Coutin, professor of criminology, law and society and anthropology, discussed the history of the sanctuary church movement with NPR's Code Switch. Churches today are responding to President Trump's immigration crackdown by shielding immigrants who face deportation, and allowing them take sanctuary at church, where immigration agents usually don't arrest them. Churches did the same thing in the 1980s, when Central Americans fleeing war in their home countries came to the U.S. -- and faced potential deportation. Churches went public with those stories, and led a movement that ended up changing culture and policy.

Why Trump won't reduce crime by shutting the door on immigrants

March 2017

Charis Kubrin, professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in Univsion News discussing her research on how immigration affects crime levels. Contrary to what many people believe, Kubrin found that greater levels of immigration in a community correlated with lower levels of crime. Her study, co-authored with Graham Ousey of the College of William and Mary, will be published in the inaugural issue of The Annual Review of Criminology.

Women's History Month: Elizabeth Loftus

March 2017

Recently named an AAAS fellow and recipient of the 2016 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science

With the passage of Public Law 100-9 on March 12, 1987, Congress established March as Women’s History Month to honor the many contributions American women have made to our nation. In the School of Social Ecology, we have numerous female faculty members making history -- including Elizabeth Loftus.

Newkirk Center for Science & Society named home for National Registry of Exonerations

March 2017

Repository noted as leading source of information for official criminal conviction reversals

The UCI Newkirk Center for Science and Society, is now the institutional home for the National Registry of Exonerationsthe internationally recognized repository of information and research on exonerations of innocent defendants convicted of crimes in the U.S.

A joint project of the UCI Newkirk Center for Science & Society, University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law, the NRE was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The registry, which relies entirely on public information, collects, analyzes and disseminates detailed data on every known exoneration since 1989. These are the cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence.