Professor of Criminology, Law and Society
Ph.D., University of Washington
3379 Social Ecology II
Criminology, Law and Society
crime and crime trends; immigration and crime; rap music and media, culture and crime; race/ethnicity and violence
Charis E. Kubrin is Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and (by courtesy) Sociology. She is also a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice- Network. Her research focuses on neighborhood correlates of crime, with an emphasis on race and violent crime. Recent work in this area examines the immigration-crime nexus across neighborhoods and cities, as well as assesses the impact of criminal justice reform on crime rates. Another line of research explores the intersection of music, culture, and social identity, particularly as it applies to hip hop and minority youth in disadvantaged communities.
Professor Kubrin has received several awards including the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology (a national award given to recognize outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of criminology); the Coramae Richey Mann Award from the Division on People of Color and Crime, the American Society of Criminology (for outstanding contributions of scholarship on race/ethnicity, crime, and justice); and 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). In 2019, she was named a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.
Issues of race and justice are at the forefront of Professor Kubrin’s TEDx talk, The Threatening Nature of…Rap Music?, which focuses on the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials against young men of color. Along with Barbara Seymour Giordano, Kubrin received a Cicero Speechwriting Award for this talk in the category of “Controversial or Highly Politicized Topic.”
Web Links of Research Sites
I host a website dedicated to providing information and resources related to the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials.
I co-direct the Irvine Laboratory for the Study of Space and Crime.
I co-organized an NSF-funded workshop, Realigning California Corrections: Legacies of the Past, the Great Experiment, and Trajectories for the Future. Papers from this workshop are published in a special issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, which I co-edited with Carroll Seron. We published an op-ed in the Washington Post, Releasing low-level offenders did not unleash a crime wave in California, which summarizes some of the key findings.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Thomas D. Stucky, Eds. 2013. Introduction to Criminal Justice: A Sociological Perspective. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Marjorie S. Zatz, and Ramiro Martinez, Jr., Eds. 2012. Punishing Immigrants: Policy, Politics, and Injustice. New York: NYU Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Thomas D. Stucky, and Marvin D. Krohn. 2008. Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Crutchfield, Robert D., Charis E. Kubrin, Joseph G. Weis, and George S. Bridges, Eds. 2007. Crime and Society: Crime, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
• Squires, Gregory D. and Charis E. Kubrin. 2006. Privileged Places: Race, Residence, and the Structure of Opportunity. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
• Bartos, Bradley, Charis E. Kubrin, Carol Newark and Richard McCleary. Forthcoming. “Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide.” Archives of Suicide Research.
• Kim, Young-An, John R. Hipp, and Charis E. Kubrin. Forthcoming. “Where They Live and Go: Immigrant Ethnic Activity Space and Neighborhood Crime in Southern California.” Journal of Criminal Justice.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Young-An Kim, and John R. Hipp. 2019. “Institutional Completeness and Crime Rates in Immigrant Neighborhoods.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 56:175-212.
• Dunbar, Adam and Charis E. Kubrin. 2018. “Imagining Violent Criminals: An Experimental Investigation of Music Stereotypes and Character Judgments.” Journal of Experimental Criminology. 14:507-528. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-018-9342-6.
• Bartos, Bradley and Charis E. Kubrin. 2018. “Can We Downsize our Prisons and Jails without Compromising Public Safety? Findings from California’s Prop 47.” Criminology & Public Policy 17:1-21.
- My testimony in Congressional Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform in California here.
- Our op-ed, “The Myth that Crime Rises as Prisons Shrink” in Governing Magazine here.
- Prop 47 and crime study Fact Sheet here.
- Response to Association of Deputy District Attorneys here.
• Adelman, Robert, Charis E. Kubrin, Graham C. Ousey, and Lesley W. Reid. 2018. “New Directions in Research on Immigration, Crime, Law and Justice.” Migration Letters 15:139-146.
• Ousey, Graham C. and Charis E. Kubrin. 2018. “Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Contentious Issue.” Annual Review of Criminology 1:63-84.
- Op-Ed: Immigration and Crime: What Does the Research Say?, published in The Conversation, February 1, 2017 (reprinted in Scientific American, PBS, Newsweek, Business Insider)
- Op-Ed: California sanctuary cities bill is humane and effective, published in The Hill, December 15, 2017
• Kubrin, Charis E., John R. Hipp, and Young-An Kim. 2018. “Different than the Sum of its Parts: Examining the Unique Impacts of Immigrant Groups on Neighborhood Crime Rates.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 34:1-36.
• Pendergast, Philip, Tim Wadsworth and Charis E. Kubrin. 2017. “Suicide Rates in Happy Places: Is There Really a Paradox?” Journal of Happiness Studies https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9938-y.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2017. “Delinquency and Modernity in Cyberspace?: Comments on America’s Safest City.” Crime, Law and Social Change 67:505-512.
• Hipp, John R. and Charis E. Kubrin. 2017. “From Bad to Worse: The Relationship between Changing Inequality in Nearby Areas and Local Crime.” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 3:129-151.
• Dunbar, Adam, Charis E. Kubrin, and Nicholas Scurich. 2016. “The Threatening Nature of ‘Rap’ Music.”Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 22:280-292.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Carroll Seron. 2016. “The Prospects and Perils of Ending Mass Incarceration in the United States.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 664:16-24.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and John Hipp. 2016. “Do Fringe Banks Create Fringe Neighborhoods? Examining the Spatial Relationship between Fringe Banking and Neighborhood Crime Rates.” Justice Quarterly 33:755-784.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Scott A. Desmond. 2015. “The Power of Place Revisited: Why Immigrant Communities have Lower Levels of Adolescent Violence.” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 13:345-366.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2014. “Secure or Insecure Communities?: Seven Reasons to Abandon the Secure Communities Program.” Criminology & Public Policy 13:323-338.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Erik Nielson. 2014. “Rap on Trial.” Race and Justice 4:185-211.
- Amicus brief on rap music for the U.S. Supreme Court (Bell v Itawamba County School Board) December 21, 2015
- Amicus brief on rap music for the U.S. Supreme Court (Elonis v U.S.), August 2014.
- Op-Ed: Rap Lyrics on Trial, published in the New York Times, January 13, 2014.
- Op-Ed: A new California trend– prosecuting rap, published in the Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2014.
- Op-Ed: Rap Lyrics or True Threats? It’s Time for the High Court to Decide, published in Forbes, May 24, 2014.
- Op-Ed: Will top court challenge prosecution of rap?, published in CNN.com. June 23, 2014.
- Op-Ed: A Potential Censorship or Criminalization of Rap Music, published in the New York Times, December 4, 2014.
- Read more in-depth coverage in Legal Debate on Using Boastful Rap Lyrics as a Smoking Gun in the New York Times, March 26, 2014.
- See panel discussion, Rap on Trial, co-sponsored by UCI’s Center for Psychology and the Law and the Newkirk Center. I was interviewed by Orange Coast Magazine for their story, The Rap Bias and by OC Register for their story, UC Irvine hip hop professor seeks poetic justice.
- For discussions related to rap on trial, see interviews from NPR‘s On the Media, Rap Lyrics as Evidence. Read more about rap on trial in Mother Jones‘ story, Your Rap Lyrics Can Be Held Against You in a Court of Law and Vice‘s story, Hip Hop is on Trial in America.
• Ousey, Graham and Charis E. Kubrin. 2014. “Immigration and the Changing Nature of Homicide in U.S. Cities, 1980-2010.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 30:453-483.
• Wadsworth, Tim, Charis E. Kubrin, and Jerald R. Herting. 2014. “Investigating the Rise (and Fall) of Young Black Male Suicide in the U.S., 1982-2001. Journal of African American Studies 18:72-91.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Hiromi Ishizawa. 2012. ” Why Some Immigrant Neighborhoods are Safer than Others: Divergent Findings from Los Angeles and Chicago.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 641:148-173.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Gregory D. Squires, and Steven M. Graves. 2011. “ Does Fringe Banking Exacerbate Neighborhood Crime Rates? Investigating the Social Ecology of Payday Lending.” Criminology and Public Policy10:437-466.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Steven F. Messner, Glenn Deane, Kelly McGeever, and Thomas D. Stucky. 2010. “ Proactive Policing and Robbery Rates across U.S. Cities.” Criminology 48:57-98.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Tim Wadsworth. 2009. “ Explaining Suicide among Blacks and Whites: How Socio-Economic Factors and Gun Availability Affect Race-Specific Suicide Rates.” Social Science Quarterly 90:1203-1227.
• Weitzer, Ronald and Charis E. Kubrin. 2009. “ Misogyny in Rap Music: A Content Analysis of Prevalence and Meanings.” Men and Masculinities 12:3 -29.
- A discussion of the findings from this study can be found on the Sage Publications Men and Masculinities podcast.
• Desmond, Scott A. and Charis E. Kubrin. 2009. “ The Power of Place: Immigrant Communities and Adolescent Violence.” Sociological Quarterly 50:581- 607.
• Ousey, Graham C. and Charis E. Kubrin. 2009. “ Exploring the Connection between Immigration and Crime Rates in U.S. Cities, 1980-2000.” Social Problems 56:447-473.
• Deane, Glenn, Steven F. Messner, Thomas D. Stucky, Kelly McGeever, and Charis E. Kubrin. 2008. “ Not ‘Islands, Entire of Themselves’: Exploring the Spatial Context of City-Level Robbery Rates.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 24:363-380.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2008. “ Making Order of Disorder: A Call for Conceptual Clarity.” Criminology & Public Policy7:203- 214.
• Guest, Avery M., Charis E. Kubrin, and Jane K. Cover. 2008. “ Heterogeneity and Harmony: Neighboring Relationships among Whites in Ethnically-Diverse Neighborhoods in Seattle.” Urban Studies 43:501-526.
• Wadsworth, Tim and Charis E. Kubrin. 2007. “ Hispanic Suicide in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Examining the Effects of Immigration, Assimilation, Affluence, and Disadvantage. ” American Journal of Sociology 112:1848-1885.
• Pollak, Jessica and Charis E. Kubrin. 2007. “ Crime in the News: How Crimes, Offenders and Victims are Portrayed in the Media.” Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture 14:59-83.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Gregory D. Squires, and Eric A. Stewart. 2007. “ Neighborhoods, Race and Recidivism: The Community Reoffending Nexus and Its Implications for African Americans.” Sage Race Relations Abstracts 32:7-37.
• Guest, Avery M., Jane K. Cover, Charis E. Kubrin, and Ross L. Matsueda. 2006. “ Neighborhood Context and Neighboring Ties.” City and Community 5:363-385.
• Kubrin, Charis E., Tim Wadsworth, and Stephanie DiPietro. 2006. “ Deindustrialization, Disadvantage and Suicide among Young Black Males.” Social Forces 84:1559- 1579.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Eric A. Stewart. 2006. “ Predicting Who Reoffends: The Neglected Role of Neighborhood Context in Recidivism Studies.” Criminology 44:171-204.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2005. “ ‘I See Death around the Corner’: Nihilism in Rap Music.” Sociological Perspectives48:433-459.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2005. “ Gangstas, Thugs, and Hustlas: Identity and the Code of the Street in Rap Music.” Social Problems 52:360 -378.
• Squires, Gregory D. and Charis E. Kubrin. 2005. “ Privileged Places: Race, Uneven Development, and the Geography of Opportunity in Urban America.” Urban Studies 42:47-68.
• Weitzer, Ronald and Charis E. Kubrin. 2004. “ Breaking News: How Local TV News and Real-World Conditions Affect Fear of Crime.” Justice Quarterly 21:497-520.
• Wadsworth, Tim and Charis E. Kubrin. 2004 “ Structural Factors and Black Interracial Homicide: A New Examination of the Causal Process.” Criminology 42:647-672.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Ronald Weitzer. 2003. “ New Directions in Social Disorganization Theory.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 40:374- 402.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Jerald R. Herting. 2003. “ Neighborhood Correlates of Homicide Trends: An Analysis Using Growth-Curve Modeling.” Sociological Quarterly 44:329-350.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Ronald Weitzer. 2003. “ Retaliatory Homicide: Concentrated Disadvantage and Neighborhood Culture.” Social Problems 50:157- 180.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2003. “ Structural Covariates of Homicide Rates: Does Type of Homicide Matter?” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 40:139-170.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Tim Wadsworth. 2003. “ Identifying the Structural Correlates of African-American Killings: What Can We Learn from Data Disaggregation?” Homicide Studies 7:3-35.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2000. “ Racial Heterogeneity and Crime: Measuring Static and Dynamic Effects.” Research in Community Sociology10:189-219.
• Steen, Sara, Chris Bader and Charis E. Kubrin. 1999. “ Rethinking the Graduate Seminar.” Teaching Sociology27:167-173.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Michelle Mioduszewski. Forthcoming. “Social Disorganization Theory: Past, Present and Future.” In Marv Krohn, Gina Penly Hall, Alan J. Lizotte, and Nicole Hendrix (Eds.), Handbook on Crime and Deviance, 2nd Edition. Springer.
• Trager, Glenn and Charis E. Kubrin. 2018. “Aligning Public Policy, Criminological Theory, and Empirical Findings on the Immigration-Crime Relationship.” Pp. 146-168 in Scott Decker and Kevin Wright (Eds.), Criminology and Public Policy: Putting Theory to Work. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Michelle Mioduszewski. 2018. “Theoretical Perspectives on the Immigration-Crime Relationship.” Pp. 66-78 in Holly Ventura Miller and Anthony Peguero (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Crime. London: Routledge.
• Branic, Nicholas and Charis E. Kubrin. 2018. “Gated Communities and Crime in the United States.” In Gerben Bruinsma and Shane Johnson (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Nicholas Branic. 2017. “The Chicago School.” Pp. 96-99 in Avi Brisman, Eamonn Carrabine, and Nigel South (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts. London: Routledge.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and James Wo. 2016. “Social Disorganization Theory’s Greatest Challenge: Linking Structural Characteristics to Crime in Socially Disorganized Neighborhoods.” Pp. 121-136 in Alex R. Piquero (Ed.), Handbook of Criminological Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2015. “’Come Along and Ride on a Fantastic Voyage’: My Journey through Rap Music Lyrics.” Pp. 77-87 in Michael Maltz and Stephen Rice (Eds.), Envisioning Criminology: Researchers on Research as a Process of Discovery. Springer.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2015. “Cultural Disorganization and Crime.” Pp. 193-213 in Francis T. Cullen, Pamela Wilcox, Robert J. Sampson, and Brendan Dooley (Eds.), Challenging Criminological Theory: The Legacy of Ruth Kornhauser. Transaction Publishers.
• Trager, Glenn and Charis E. Kubrin. 2014. “Complicating the Immigration-Crime Nexus: Theorizing the Role of Gender in the Relationship between Immigration and Crime.” Pp. 527-548 in Rosemary Gartner and Bill McCarthy (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Glenn Trager. 2014. “Immigration and Crime in U.S. Communities: Charting Some Promising New Directions in Research.” Pp. 529-550 in Sandra M. Bucerius and Michael Tonry (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook on Ethnicity, Crime, and Immigration. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2013. “Crime and the Racial Composition of Communities.” Pp. 673-681 in David Weisburd and Gerben Jan Nicolaas Bruinsma (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2013. “Immigration and Crime.” Pp. 440-455 in Francis T. Cullen and Pamela Wilcox (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2011. “ Communities and Delinquency.” Pp. 272-286 in Barry Feld and Donna Bishop (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Ronald Weitzer. 2010. “ Rap Music’s Violent and Misogynistic Effects: Fact or Fiction?” Pp. 121-144 in Mathieu Deflem (Ed.), Popular Culture, Crime, and Social Control. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance, Vol. 14. Bingley, UK: Emerald/JAI Press.
• Kubrin, Charis E. 2010. “ Social Disorganization Theory: Then, Now, and In the Future.” Pp. 225-236 in Marvin D. Krohn, Alan J. Lizotte, and Gina Penly Hall (Eds.), Handbook on Crime and Deviance. New York: Springer Science+Business Media.
• Kubrin, Charis E. and Graham Ousey. 2009. “ Immigration and Homicide in Urban America: What’s the Connection?” Pp. 17-32 in William F. McDonald (Ed.), Immigration, Crime and Justice. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance, Vol. 13. Bingley, UK: Emerald/JAI Press.
• Matsueda, Ross L., Kevin Drakulich, and Charis E. Kubrin. 2006. “ Race, and Neighborhood Codes of Violence.” Pp. 334-356 in Ruth D. Peterson, Lauren J. Krivo, and John Hagan (Eds.), The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity and Crime in America. New York: New York University Press.
• Steen, Sara, Christine E.W. Bond, George S. Bridges, and Charis E. Kubrin. 2005. “ Explaining Assessments of Future Risk: Race and Attributions of Juvenile Offenders in Pre-Sentencing Reports.” Pp. 245-269 in Darnell F. Hawkins and Kimberly Kempf-Leonard (Eds.), Our Children, Their Children: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Differences in American Juvenile Justice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
• Austin, James, John Irwin and Charis E. Kubrin. 2003. “ It’s About Time: America’s Imprisonment Binge.” Pp. 433-469 in Thomas G. Blomberg and Stanley Cohen (Eds.), Punishment and Social Control, 2nd Edition. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.