Amada Armenta

Amada Armenta’s research examines the connections between the immigration enforcement system and the criminal justice system, and the implications of this connection for immigrants, bureaucracies, and cities.

Her award-winning book, “Protect Serve and Deport: The Rise of Policing as Immigration Enforcement” (University of California Press, 2017), analyzes the role of local law enforcement agencies in immigration enforcement in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently, she is working on her second book project, an examination of the legal attitudes of unauthorized Mexican immigrants in Philadelphia.

Dr. Armenta’s research has been published in journals of sociology, law and society, and policy. She has received research funding from the American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, the American Society of Criminology, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Prior to joining Luskin as a faculty member, she was an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark A.R. Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is Professor Emeritus of Public Policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and is now at NYU.

Mr. Kleiman is the author of Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control; of Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results;  and of When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment, listed by The Economist as one of the “Books of the Year” for 2009.  Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (co-authored with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) was published in July 2011 by Oxford University Press. He edits the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis.

In addition to his academic work, Mr. Kleiman provides advice to local, state, and national governments on crime control and drug policy. Before he came to UCLA in 1995, he taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and at the University of Rochester. Outside of academia, he has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice (as Director of Policy and Management Analysis for the Criminal Division), for the City of Boston (as Deputy Director for Management of the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget), for Polaroid Corporation (as Special Assistant to the CEO, Edwin Land), and on Capitol Hill (as a legislative assistant to Congressman Les Aspin). He graduated from Haverford College (magna cum laude, majoring in political science, philosophy, and economics) and did his graduate work (M.P.P. and Ph.D.) at the Kennedy School.

Mr. Kleiman blogs at The Reality-Based Community, at samefacts.org

Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

When Brute Force Fails
Since the crime explosion of the 1960s, the prison population in the United States has multiplied fivefold, to one prisoner for every hundred adults — a rate unprecedented in American history and unmatched anywhere in the world. Even as the prisoner head count continues to rise, crime has stopped falling, and poor people and minorities still bear the brunt of both crime and punishment. When Brute Force Fails explains how we got into the current trap and how we can get out of it: to cut both crime and the prison population in half within a decade.
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Excess: Drug Policy for Results
Kleiman, M. Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results. New York: Basic Books, 1992. Kleiman, M.Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Cost of Control. Greenwich, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989.
Read more

Michael Lens

A large and growing body of research shows that neighborhoods matter for several life outcomes including economic mobility, education, and safety. For many reasons, positive neighborhood attributes remain unattainable for low-income households in many U.S. metropolitan areas. Professor Lens’ work fulfills gaps in the literature that evaluates the potential for housing policy to reduce this separation by focusing on neighborhood safety and access to jobs. This research contributes to this literature in both conceptual and empirical ways. Specifically, this research 1) measures the neighborhood conditions of families that receive housing subsidies; 2) analyzes the potential interactions of crime with subsidized housing and commercial development; 3) identifies how residential location affects employment outcomes; and 4) improves how scholars and policy makers measure neighborhood opportunity for low-income households.

In recent research, Professor Lens is studying the effect of the housing bust on housing subsidy demand and local government finances, the role of public investments in gentrification processes, and the spatial concentration of eviction. Professor Lens’ research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.

Among several grants, Professor Lens has – along with fellow UCLA Urban Planning Professor Paavo Monkkonen – a multiyear grant from the MacArthur Foundation to study the effect of the housing boom and bust on local government finances.

Professor Lens teaches courses on Quantitative Analysis, Community-Based Research, Housing Markets and Policy, Poverty and Inequality, and Research Methods.

Click here to view available office hours.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients
Housing Policy Debate 24(4): 671-691.
Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate
Download file

The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs
Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289.
Author: Lens, M.C.
Download file 

The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City
Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221.
Author: Lens, M.C.
Best Article of 2014, Journal of the American Planning Association
Download file

Safe, but Could Be Safer: Why Do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?
Cityscape 15(3): 131-152.
Author: Lens, M.C.
Download file

Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence
Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363.
Author: Lens, M.C.
Download file

American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-572.
Download file

Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program
2011, Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159.
Download file

Other Links:

How Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse
Memphis Murder Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Gang Injunction Draws Suspicion In Hidden Valley
Moving Poor People Into a Neighborhood Doesn’t Cause Crime

 

Refereed Journal Articles

Lens, Michael C., and Vincent Reina. “The Impact of Housing Subsidy Expirations on Neighborhood Opportunity.” Housing Policy Debate. Forthcoming.

Lens, Michael C., and C.J. Gabbe. “Employment Proximity and Outcomes for Moving to Opportunity Families.” Journal of Urban Affairs. Forthcoming.

Lens, Michael C., and Rachel Meltzer. “Is Crime Bad for Business? New York City Neighborhoods 2004 to 2010.” Journal of Regional Science, Forthcoming 

Lens, Michael C. “Measuring the Geography of Opportunity.” Progress in Human Geography, Forthcoming 

Lens, Michael C., and Paavo Monkkonen. 2016. “Housing Market Regulation and Economic Segregation.”Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1): 6-21.

Lens, Michael C. 2014. “Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients.” Housing Policy Debate24(4): 671-691. Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate.

Lens, Michael C. 2014. “The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs.” Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City.” Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221. Best Paper of Volume 79, Journal of the American Planning Association.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “Safe, but Could Be Safer: Why Do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?” Cityscape 15(3): 131-152.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence.” Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363.

Ellen, Ingrid Gould, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2012.  “American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?” Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-572.

Lens, Michael C., Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2011. “Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program.” Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159.

 

Papers in Progress

Sugie, Naomi and Michael C. Lens. “Spatial Job Search, Residential Job Accessibility, and Employment Outcomes for Returning Parolees.” Revise and resubmit (Demography)

Lens, Michael C. “Housing Subsidy Demand During The Great Recession.” Revise and resubmit (Urban Studies)

 

Laura Abrams

Professor Abrams’ scholarship focuses on improving the well being of youth and young adults with histories of incarceration. Her ethnographic studies have examined youths’ experiences of criminality, risk, and institutions seeking to reshape their identities through both therapeutic and punitive practices. These themes are presented in her 2013 book (co-authored with Ben Anderson-Nathe) Compassionate Confinement: A Year in the Life of Unit C, (Rutgers University Press). Her most recent book (c0-authored with Diane Terry) Everyday Desistance: The Transition to Adulthood Among Formerly Incarcerated Youth (Rutgers University Press, 2017), examines how formerly incarcerated young men and women navigate reentry and the transition to adulthood in the context of urban Los Angeles. Dr. Abrams is also the lead editor of a 2016 multidisciplinary volume on the role of volunteers and non-profits in changing lives and promoting more humane conditions in prisons and jails:  The Voluntary Sector in Prisons: Encouraging Personal and Institutional Change (Palgrave, 2016).

Dr. Abrams is currently involved in several studies concerning juvenile justice, reentry, and transition age youth both locally and globally. She recently completed a four year evaluation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Foster Youth Strategic Initiative in Los Angeles and New York City. The Institute on  Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin also funded a pilot  study on global youth justice models in four countries, examining how age and culpability are constructed in law and practice. She is also working with Dr. Elizabeth Barnert at UCLA Department of Pediatrics on a study of very young offenders, incarceration, and health, funded by the University of California Criminal Justice and Health Consortium and the UCLA Faculty Senate Transdisciplinary Seed Grant. Dr. Abrams is currently partnering with professor Laura Wray-Lake (social welfare) on a study of civic engagement among urban youth.

In the community, Dr. Abrams has served as an expert witness for death row appeals and in cases involving minors fighting their fitness to be tried as adults. She has provided public and congressional testimony regarding treatment in the juvenile justice system, the reentry needs of youth, and effective practices for the reintegration of reentry youth into the community. Serving the larger social work profession, Dr. Abrams  is a former vice-chair of the Group for the Advisement for Doctoral Education (GADE) and is currently a board member at large for the Society for Social Work Research. She serves on the editorial board of Social Service Review, Qualitative Social Work, and the International Journal of Social Welfare.

Professor Abrams teaches the following courses: SW 211B- Theory II; SW 285- Advanced Research Methods with Children and Youth; SW286- Qualitative Research Methods; SW 229: The Craft of Social Welfare Scholarship, and SW 290T: Juvenile Justice Policy.

You can follow Dr. Abrams on Twitter or the Facebook page for the Social Welfare Chair

Recent News Releases and Media Interviews:

Vera Institute of Justice: Everyday Desistance

Growing Pains of Formerly Incarcerated Youth 

GPS Rules Send California Juveniles Into a Jail Cycle

Jailed Indiana Teens Reach a Crossroads

MPR News On Abuse in a Private Juvenile Facility

Seeking Justice for Juveniles

More Protections for Juvenile Offenders are Before California Legislators

Take Two: Is Jail for Juveniles Effective in Preventing Future Crime?

Juvenile Arrests Plunged Last Year, why?

Expanding rehabilitation Programs under Federal Decree- NPR

The California Report: NPR

Jorja Leap

Jorja Leap has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1992.

As a trained anthropologist and recognized expert in crisis intervention and trauma response, she has worked nationally and internationally in violent and post-war settings. Dr. Leap has been involved with training and research for the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as part of post-war development and conflict resolution in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Closer to home, she worked with the families of victims of the 9/11 WTC disaster. Since that time, Dr. Leap has focused on gangs, youth development, juvenile and criminal justice, and reentry at the local, national and international level.  In 2011, Los Angeles Magazine named her one of five “Action Heroes” and in 2012 she was listed as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Los Angeles.”  At UCLA in 2012, she was the recipient of the Joseph A. Nunn Alumnus of the Year Award.

Research and Community-based Initiatives

Dr. Leap’s research examines gangs, high-risk and system-involved youth, prison culture and the dilemmas faced by the formerly incarcerated working to reenter mainstream society. Her current work is ethnographically driven and community based — designed to inform policymakers and practitioners through rigorous research and evaluation-based knowledge and evidence. As part of these efforts, Dr. Leap is currently the Clinical Director of the Watts Regional Strategy and a member of the California Board of State And Community Corrections (BSCC) Gang Standing Committee.  She also serves as an advisor to the Los Angeles Unified School District Safety and Violence Prevention Executive Advisory Committee. As part of the Advancement Project, Dr. Leap helped to organize and establish the Violence Reduction Applied Research Group and now serves on the AP-Los Angeles County Probation Data Project Research Roundtable. Additionally, Dr. Leap is affiliated with The California Endowment, working as an Evaluation and Learning Specialist for its Building Healthy Communities Initiative.  Along with her efforts in Los Angeles, Dr. Leap serves as an expert reviewer on gangs for the National Institute of Justice. She has testified at local, state and federal legislative committee hearings and at numerous Congressional briefings. Additionally, Dr. Leap has spoken nationally and internationally on gang violence and youth development. She has also been appointed as an expert in death penalty sentencing hearings and has offered expert testimony in criminal cases involving youth and emerging adults.

Current Projects and Writing

Drawing on her expertise in qualitative research and ethnographic methodology, Dr. Leap has conducted numerous evaluations of anti-gang programs including Youth Uprising in Oakland, California and the Los Angeles Unity Collaborative Gang Intervention Program. In 2008, Dr. Leap and Dr. Todd Franke received funding from the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation to initiate a two-year longitudinal evaluation of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the United States, which was augmented by funding from The California Wellness Foundation and The California Endowment.  In 2010, they subsequently received funding through Los Angeles Countyto evaluate the HBI-Los Angeles County Gang Intervention and Re-entry Project. Together, these efforts will be expanded to ultimately follow the Homeboy program for five years, and will be the first longitudinal research study of anti-gang efforts ever completed.  Aligned with these efforts, in 2013 Dr. Leap traveled to Scotland to participate in the planning and evaluation of the “Braveheart Violence Intervention Program,” based on the Homeboy model, creating a learning partnership with St. Andrews University. She also is now serving as a qualitative research coordinator for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) Department.

In 2011, Dr. Leap began work on a two-year initiative funded by The California Wellness Foundation to inventory community-based efforts, conduct focused evaluation and build capacity in youth development programs throughout California. As an outgrowth of this initiative, she is now is the lead researcher on the Children’s Defense Fund Juvenile Justice Reform Policy Project.  She is also involved in research and community building efforts in South Los Angeles and is currently a lead member of the multi-disciplinary team implementing the parenting program, “Project Fatherhood,” in the Jordan Downs housing project of Watts, South Los Angeles. In addition, she serves as a member of the Jordan Downs Community Advisory Committee.  She is the also part of the UCLA research team funded by the California Community Foundation to evaluate its five year “Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men” (BLOOM) Initiative.  As a result of this work, Dr. Leap now serves as the Director of the UCLA Health and Social Justice Partnership.

Dr. Leap is the author of numerous evaluation reports, articles, book chapters as well as the book, No One Knows Their Names. She has recently completed a chapter on gang membership prevention for a book to be published jointly by the National Institute ofJustice and the Center for Disease Control as well as a chapter on Gangs, Violence and Drugs for the volume, Violence: A Global Health Priority to be published by Oxford University Press.   Her newest book, Jumped In:  What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love and Redemption was published by Beacon Press in March 2012.  All proceeds from this book will go to Homeboy Industries.  Dr. Leap is currently writing her next book, focusing on Project Fatherhood and the Watts community.

Downloads and other Links:

 

Todd Franke

Trained in social work and educational psychology, Professor Franke seeks to achieve a better understanding of, and improve the responsiveness of service systems in the fields of social services, education and health. Using cognitive theory to better define policy issues related to the integration of these two important fields, Dr. Franke’s research has focused in part on the impact of disability and chronic illness on school-age children. He is currently conducting a study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on the use of personal assistance services for children with disabilities. In addition, Dr. Franke studies how adolescents solve social problems; urban mobility and its impact on children’s education and social development; and how to successfully integrate health and social services in school settings.

Dr. Franke is active in several local and regional efforts to restructure social services in the schools, helping to conceptualize planning and implementation and the design of evaluation measures in Los Angeles Unified School District, the country’s second-largest school district. He also serves as a consultant to local school districts for the preparation of funding proposals for Healthy Start, a state program to establish linkages between community social service agencies and schools. HIs primary work occurs at the intersection of youth violence (child welfare and gang involved youth) and education. In these areas he designs and undertakes evaluative research and has obtained over $9 million in research funding over the past 7 years. He is currently the Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Dr. Franke has been involved with agencies that serve thousands of families representing unique geographic and cultural communities in California, particularly southern California counties. He recently prepared a report for the Los Angeles City Council which examines the measurement issues involved in assessing the success of gang-related and youth development prevention and intervention programs in the city. The link between involvement in the child welfare system and gang involvement is well documented. Dr. Franke is currently the Co-PI of the Best Start LA Initiative which aims to shape, strengthen and support five Los Angeles communities by building resources and providing access to activities that improve the well-being, development and care experienced by pregnant women, parents of newborns and children age 3 and under.

Dr. Franke was also the Principal Investigator for the First 5 LA-funded Partnership for Families Initiative, which is a secondary prevention initiative that is designed to prevent child maltreatment in vulnerable families. Dr. Franke has been the PI for the Small County Initiative, which was designed to systematically examine California’s efforts to build and enhance child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in 11 rural counties in northern California. Additionally, he has numerous years of experience in conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal research in the fields of education, child welfare and adolescent violence.