Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, Sociology, and Nursing Science
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
3305 Social Ecology II
Criminology, Law and Society
links between deviance and social control (especially law); the politics of crime control and criminalization; social movements and social change; and corrections and public policy.
Valerie Jenness, Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016 and, prior to that, she was a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan in 2015. She served as Dean of the School of Social Ecology from 2009 to 2015 and Chair of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society from 2001-2006.
Her research has focused on prostitution, hate crime, and prison violence and grievances to explore the links between deviance and social control, the politics of crime control, social movements and social change, and corrections and public policy. She is the author of four books, including: Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic (with Kitty Calavita); Making Hate a Crime: From Social Movement to Law Enforcement Practice (with Ryken Grattet); Hate Crimes: New Social Movements and the Politics of Violence (with Kendal Broad); and Making it Work: The Prostitutes’ Rights Movement in Perspective. She is also the co-editor of Routing the Opposition: Social Movements, Public Policy, and Democracy (with David Meyer and Helen Ingram) and the author of many articles published in sociology, law, and criminology journals.
Her research has been honored with awards from the American Sociological Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Pacific Sociological Association, the American Society of Criminology, the Law and Society Association, the Western Society of Criminology, the University of California, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America. It has been translated and reprinted in German, Greek, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, presented at an array of professional conferences and universities in the U.S. and abroad (e.g., Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Columbia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, and South Africa), as well as to the U.S. Congress and the National Academy of Sciences. Finally, her research has been funded by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the California Policy Research Center, the California Department of Mental Health, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the University of California, and Washington State University, and has been discussed in well-known media outlets, such as National Public Radio in the U.S. and Australia, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian (London).
Professor Jenness has an award-winning teaching record and has continued to teach undergraduate and graduate students every year while serving as Dean. She has received multiple teaching awards (e.g., “President’s Award” from the Western Society of Criminology, “Most Inspirational Instructor” at Washington State University and the “Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award” and the “Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research” at the University of California), as well as other forms of recognition for her contributions to teaching (“Professor of the Month,” “Interesting Professor We Would Like to Meet Outside the Classroom,” “UCI faculty member who has had the greatest impact on a student’s education,” etc.). Extending her commitment to teaching beyond the university, Professor Jenness has developed innovative educational materials for public policy officials and practitioners; provided professional training to personnel working in jails, prisons, and immigration detention facilities; and served as an expert in civil litigation related to conditions of confinement in lock-up facilities. Her contributions to public policy development have been recognized by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Finally, Professor Jenness has served as an elected member of various professional committees and councils and she has served as an expert witness in civil litigation related to conditions of confinement in government run detention facilities. She is a Past Co-Editor of Contemporary Sociology and Past President of the Pacific Sociological Association as well as the Society for the Study of Social Problems. She has served as an Associate Editor for Social Problems, as well as an Advisory Editor for Criminology, Social Problems, Gender & Society, Research in Political Sociology, Sexuality & Culture, and Race, Sex and Class; Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems; Chair of the Crime, Law, and Deviance section and Chair of the Sexualities section of the American Sociological Association, as well as Chair of the Social Problems Theory division and Chair of the Sexual Behavior, Communities, and Politics division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems; Vice-Chair of the Law & Society division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems; and a Member of the Board of Directors for the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Council for Sociology of Law section, the Crime, Law, & Deviance section, and the Collective Behavior/Social Movements section of the American Sociological Association.