Two CLS students chosen to participate in RDCJN's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Shauntece Laurant and Brianda Ruiz Chavez were chosen from among a competitive applicant pool to participate in the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), a partnership between faculty at Rutgers University, University of New Mexico, University of Missouri-St. Louis, University of California-Irvine, and The Ohio State University designed to promote scholarly success and resources for graduate school preparation among students from underrepresented groups working in the area of Criminology, Law & Society. The program ran from January 9, 2017 to July 15, 2017, during which Shauntece and Brianda were trained in research methods; conducted fieldwork in two Fullerton census tracts; analyzed and interpreted data; and produced a poster presentation. The UCI component of the study was supervised by CLS Professor Ana Muniz. From analyzing a Block Inventory, which detailed the physical and social infrastructure of each tract, Shauntece and Brianda found that police presence, surveillance cameras, and prohibitive signage (both posted by residents and by the city) were far more prevalent in one census tract. Through field interviews and archival analysis, they found homelessness to be a central point of political and social tension that colored policing strategies and resident efforts to control space.