University of California, Riverside

Presley Center


The Robert Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies is a research center at the University of California Riverside, housed within the School of Public Policy.

Our Mission

The mission of the Center, as it is articulated in the Penal Code, is to conduct research toward the following goals:

(a) To better protect the public from crime by determining the causes of, and means of preventing, violence, crime, and criminal deviance.

(b) To identify the methods and practices necessary for the most beneficial operation of law enforcement and local and state youth and adult correctional institutions.

(c) To reduce violence and recidivism rates in prisons, jails, and youth facilities.

Named for former State Sen. Presley, who was the Riverside County Undersheriff for 12 years before his election to the California Senate in 1974, the Presley Center was established at UCR in 1994. Presley worked with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for 24 years, served in the state Senate from 1975 to 1994, was chairman of the California Youthful Offender Parole Board from 1995 to1999, and served as secretary of the California Youth and Adult Correctional Agency from 1999 to 2003.

The Presley Center was established as part of a major $12 million federal effort at six sites across the country and has continued locally with results-based support from the state and the city of Riverside. The center has also worked with local agencies to reduce the number of juvenile repeat-offenders; to create wellness centers that emphasize reducing youth violence at schools in the Riverside Unified School District; and to create a Mental Health Court to provide solutions, rather than just punishment, to mentally ill offenders.

Steven E. ClarkSteven E. Clark, Professor of Psychology
Director, Presley Center

Mistaken eyewitness identification is one of the leading contributors to false convictions in the United States. To address this problem, many state and local law enforcement jurisdictions have changed their identification procedures. Research by Professor Steven Clark suggests that the new procedures create a trade-off by reducing the risk of mistaken identification of the innocent but also reducing the rate of correct identifications of the guilty.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Presley Center
Tel: (951) 827-4604
Fax: (951) 827-7394

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