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Social Ecology E-newsletter April 2018
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• • • Science Driving Solutions • • •

NEWS

Criminology Ph.D. rises from fifth to third in nation

Interdisciplinary criminology program is only one in UC system.

U.S. News & World Report's latest graduate program rankings, released in March, recognized the strength of Social Ecology's Ph.D. in criminology, law and society. The program was previously ranked fifth.

Social Ecology offers a uniquely interdisciplinary criminology program, where students and professors do socially-relevant research and are committed to advancing equity and justice, both locally and globally.

The rankings are based on a peer assessment by fellow academics, using a questionnaire that asked department heads to rate the academic quality of programs. The Department of Criminology, Law and Society is the only criminology department in the University of California system, and one of only two law and society units.
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Proposition 47 not responsible for rising crime: study

Professor Charis Kubrin does first systematic analysis since Prop 47 was implemented in 2014.

Proposition 47, which was implemented in 2014, reduced prison populations by reclassifying certain low-level drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure has frequently been blamed for rising crime rates in California.

But Prop 47 hasn't caused those upticks in crime, according to research by Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society. Using a cutting-edge method of policy analysis, Kubrin's study compares California crime rates in 2015 to those of a synthetic control group.


“What the measure did do was cause less harm and suffering to those charged with crime," Kubrin says. "Of course, we want to keep our streets safe, but we also want to be as humane as possible along the way."
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Spotlighting poverty and breaking it down

Visiting scholar Martin Burt combats poverty by taking focus off income.

Poverty is about more than just a dollar figure or an income level. As Martin Burt found in his home country of Paraguay, it's more complex than that.

Burt, who is the founder of Fundación Paraguaya and a visiting scholar at the School of Social Ecology, has devoted his life to combating poverty. Fundación Paraguaya developed an app-driven tool called Poverty Stoplight that indicates a family's level of poverty in six dimensions based on a battery of 50 indicators.

Families can then target specific fixes with a personalized antipoverty plan, and are directed to local groups that offer resources. The tool has been deployed in six languages across 25 countries.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you stop focusing on income and start to empower people to create change,” he says.
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UPCOMING EVENTS
April 5: Water UCI Colloquium: Colorado River Basin Sustainability
April 17: Daybreak Dialogues - Immigration and Crime
April 18: Luncheon seminar with climate and water scientist Kathleen Miller
April 24: Views by Two: When Justice Fails
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Master of Urban and Regional Planning


Urban planning sparked the interest of Mengdi Li, who comes from Changchun in China's Jilin province, because of its potential to improve people's lives. "Planning could be the very first step to avoid many of the problems people face every day," she says.
Read the Q&A
NEW PUBLICATION

Exonerations in 2017


The National Registry of Exonerations has published a new report about exonerations in 2017. There were 139 exonerations, not including the 96 or more convicted defendants who were part of group exonerations in Chicago and Baltimore after it was discovered police had systematically framed some innocent people for drug crimes.
Learn More
JOIN US

2042 celebration


Coming up June 6: Commemorate Social Ecology’s 25 years of accomplishments as a school and learn about our vision for the next 25 years. Then be transported from the past to the future as acclaimed NASA astronaut Steve L. Smith shares his awe-inspiring perspective of our planet from space.
 
Learn More
IN THE NEWS
There's no solid evidence people get addicted to social media -- and using it could actually be beneficial
Candice Odgers, Business Insider

Was the first year of Detroit's community benefits ordinance successful?
Virginia Parks, WDET

Federal court blocks LAPD's gang injunctions
George Tita, KPCC
 
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