People

Sharon Oselin, Ph.D.

Sharon Oselin

In addition to being the Director of the Presley Center of Crime and Justice Studies, Dr. Oselin is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Sociology, and Affiliated Faculty of the Labor Studies Program. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Irvine and is a past fellow of the American Association of University Women.

Her broad research interests encompass crime, deviance, and criminal justice, gender and sexuality, organizations, and culture. Much of her work, however, focuses on the intersections of crime, deviance, and gender, with a particular emphasis on sex work. Dr. Oselin is the author of Leaving Prostitution: Getting Out and Staying Out of Sex Work (New York University Press, 2014). Based on multi-site ethnographic data, this book exposes the dynamics that unfold between service organizations and female street sex workers who affiliate with them. To that end, she assesses the process of exiting, the extent to which organizations facilitate or constrain this transition, and the agency of women along the way. Dr. Oselin’s work also appears in a wide variety of journals, including American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Gender & Society, Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, Sociological Forum, Deviant Behavior, Sexualities, Sociological Perspectives and elsewhere.  

Sharon is currently working on a project (with Katie Hail-Jares) that investigates how gentrification impacts those engaged in the illicit street sex market and alters the trade. This study draws on sex workers who operate in two distinct neighborhoods within Washington D.C. (one highly gentrified, the other underdeveloped); a comparative analysis that illuminates how they interpret, experience, and adapt to urban changes incited by gentrification. The authors find that urban redevelopment can greatly affect street-based sex markets because it changes ecological conditions, alters social interactions and social support (with police, residents, fellow sex workers, clients), and modifies risks, all of which have implications for where individuals continue to operate and for the neighborhoods in which it transpires. In future papers, the authors will explore the role residents play in attempting to displace sex workers from particular neighborhoods, and the relational dynamics and boundary-setting that unfolds between sex workers and their regular customers.

In an extension of this study, Sharon and Chris Smith are starting a new project that will longitudinally examine whether gentrification displaces illicit markets (both sex and drug) through the enactment of formal social controls, such as policing. This study will use an international comparison of Chicago and Toronto to analyze how urban revitalization impacts “vice” urban markets and those who operate within them. These gentrification projects hold implications for the improvement of city-level urban and health policies and practices. 

Finally, Dr. Oselin’s other ongoing mixed-methods collaborative projects focus on crime, institutions and the criminal justice system. Two of these studies examine re-entry and the role of institutions specifically. The first analyzes the efficacy of Riverside Probation Department’s Day Reporting Centers—which provide an array of services and resources—on former offenders’ recidivism. The second investigates the Inland Empire’s hiring practices of formerly incarcerated individuals in the region, maps the available resources and services that can be leveraged to facilitate successful re-entry for this population, and evaluates the efficacy of the state’s Prison To Employment (P2E) initiative.


Justine Ross, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Justine Ross

Justine Ross is the Associate Director of the Presley Center where she works closely with the director on the creation and implementation of new programming, development, partnerships, and oversees the Center’s special projects, including the Presley Center’s resource compendia and its bulletin series. She also is responsible for the day-to-day administration of its research projects and contributes to the Center’s ongoing research, drawing upon her quantitative and qualitative methods experience. Previously, Justine worked in Government Affairs for a higher-education company and managed the county operations of a national presidential campaign. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Riverside and her B.A. from UC Irvine.

 

Michael A. Ramos 

External Relations Director

Michael A. Ramos was elected as San Bernardino County’s District Attorney in 2003 and served in the position until 2019. An undergraduate alumnus of UC Riverside, he received his law degree from Citrus Belt Law in 1989 and joined the San Bernardino County District Attorney Office as a Deputy District Attorney the same year, serving in the Major Crimes division. Michael is President of the California District Attorneys Association Foundation Board of Directors and a board member of the California Crime Victims Alliance. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Claremont-McKenna colleges, teaching a graduate course on law and economics. 

Michael is a native of San Bernardino County.


Sergio G. Diaz

External Relations Director

Sergio G. Diaz was the chief of police for the city of Riverside, California between July 1, 2010 and September 19, 2019. Born in Cuba, he immigrated to the United States at the age of seven and was educated in public schools in South Florida and Los Angeles County. Sergio holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles and completed all course work in a public policy and administration master’s program at California State University, Long Beach. Prior to joining the Riverside Police Department, Sergio was a police officer in the city of Los Angeles for 33 years, retiring at the rank of Deputy Chief in 2010.  Sergio’s professional philosophy includes a deep commitment to the concept of community policing and a belief that a police department’s effectiveness depends on earning the trust of the community that it serves.

Sergio and his family reside in Riverside.

Randol Contreras, Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies

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Dr. Contreras acquired his Ph.D. from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of the multiple-award winning book, The Stickup Kids: Race, Drugs, Violence and the American Dream, which captures how the transformation of an illegal drug market in the South Bronx shaped and influenced drug dealers to become violent drug robbers. He has also done research in South Central, where he examined the ethnic conflicts between Mexicans and African Americans, especially in how residents interpret ethnic gangs. Currently, he is doing field research on aging Mexican gang members in East Los Angeles, documenting their struggles with substance abuse, homelessness, and income earning strategies. A common theme in his work is the intersection of history, social structure, and biography, an intersection that sheds light on how criminal phenomena emerge and how they shape and influence the behavior and meanings of people. His research and teaching interests include gangs, illegal drug markets, ethnography, and racial and ethnic conflicts in marginal communities.


Ozkan Eren, Associate Professor of Economics

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John Fischer

Ozkan Eren is an Associate Professor of Economics and the editor of Journal of Labor Research. His main field of research are in economics of education, economics of crime and applied econometrics. His current work focuses on educational policies and crime, juvenile incarceration and adult recidivism, as well as emotional cues and their impact on judicial decisions. His recent research appeared in many prestigious media outlets including New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post and Fortune Magazine.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • Eren, Ozkan and Naci Mocan. “Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2018, 10, 171-205.
  • Depew, Briggs, Ozkan Eren and Naci Mocan. “Judges and Juveniles,” Journal of Law and Economics, 2017, 60, 209-239.
  • Eren, Ozkan, Briggs Depew, and Stephen Barnes. “Test-Based Promotion Policies, Dropping Out, and Juvenile Crime,” Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 153, 9-31
  • Eren, Ozkan, and Serkan Ozbeklik. “What Do Right-to-Work Laws Do? A Case Study Using Synthetic Control Method,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2016, 35, 173-194.

John Fischer, Professor of Philosophy

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John Fischer

Dr. Fischer has written on moral responsibility theory his entire career, starting with his paper in the Journal of Philosophy, "Responsibility and Control," when he was an Associate Professor at Yale (in 1982). He has edited two collections published with the Cornell University Press, Moral Responsibility (1986) and Perspectives on Moral Responsibility (1993). Dr. Fischer's main work on these topics is his book (co-authored with Mark Ravizza), Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He has published roughly 175 articles on these and related topics, three monographs, and a dozen or so anthologies. Dr. Fischer is the first philosopher ever appointed as a University Professor in the University of California.


Augustine Kposowa, Professor of Sociology

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Augustine Kposowa

Augustine J. Kposowa, PhD, (Ohio State) is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. His line of research adopts a multi-disciplinary approach that encompasses Demography, Social Epidemiology, Criminology, and Political Economy. In addition to doing basic research, Dr. Kposowa is convinced that sociological findings must, and should, influence public policy in order to uplift the human condition especially with regard to reducing social and economic inequality, reducing poverty, and improving the overall physical quality of life. Dr. Kposowa is currently involved in research that investigates the link between gun ownership and gun legislation on suicide, the impact of institutional confidence on political violence in the Middle East, cultural and structural racism within police organizations and their effects on police violence and abuse of power. Recent publications by Dr. Kposowa have appeared in DuBois Review, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sociological Spectrum, Social Science & Medicine, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Community Psychology, Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, Social Science Quarterly, Criminal Justice and Behavior, and Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • Augustine J. Kposowa & Dina A. Ezzat (2016). Religiosity, Conservatism and Acceptability of Anti-Female Spousal Violence in Egypt Journal of Interpersonal Violence,1-26 DOI: 10.1177/0886260516660976
  • Augustine J. Kposowa, & Karin A. Johnson (2015). A Cohort Analysis of Employment Status and Homicide in the United States Sociological Spectrum 36,93-108
  • Augustine Kposowa, David Hamilton, & Katy Wang (2016). Impact of Firearm Availability and Gun Regulation on State Suicide Rates Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12243
  • James P. McElvain & Augustine J. Kposowa (2014) Latino Officers and their Involvement in Police Shootings Journal of Criminology http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/726492
  • James P. McElvain, Augustine J. Kposowa & Brian C. Gray (2013). Testing a Crime
  • Control Model: Does Strategic and Directed Deployment of Police Officers Lead to Lower Crime? Journal of Criminology http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/980128
  • Augustine J. Kposowa, Michelle Adams & Glenn T. Tsunokai (2010) Citizenship status and arrest patterns in the United States: Evidence from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program Crime, Law and Social Change 53, 159-181

Ron Loveridge, Professor of Political Science

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Ron Loveridge

Mayor Loveridge has 33 years of public service – as a Riverside Council member beginning in 1979 and as Mayor from 1994 to 2012 and received his doctorate from Stanford University. At the national level, he was very involved on the Executive Committee and Board of the National League of Cities, making policy calls and decisions on behalf of some 19,000 cities and towns across the nation. He also served as President of the National League of Cities in 2010. Mayor Loveridge is a member of the National Academy of Public Policy. His statewide and regional service has included Board roles on the broadest array of important organizations: the California Air Resources Board, California Forward Action Fund, California Competes, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Southern California Association of Governments, Western Riverside Council of Governments, and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. Mayor Loveridge’s research investigates urban politics and public policy, particularly environmental policy. He is the author of City Managers in Legislative Politics (Bobbs-Merrill, 1971). His research has appeared in Polity, Environment and Behavior, California Air Environment, and Cry California, as well as several edited volumes.


Aerika Brittian Loyd, Associate Professor of Psychology

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Aerika Brittian Loyd

Dr. Aerika Brittian Loyd is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She received her PhD in Human Development and Child Study from Tufts University, and completed postdoctoral training in the Prevention Research Center at Arizona State University. As a developmental scientist, she investigates social risk and protective factors among African American and Latinx youth and families, and provides recommendations for culturally informed youth practice, prevention, and policy. Her research on the links between racial stress, health, and development in African American justice-involved youth has been funded by NICHD and NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health. Dr. Loyd’s research on youth of color in the United States and youth in South Africa has been published in several outlets, including Applied Developmental Science, Child Development Perspectives, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Adolescent Research, and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • Loyd, A. B., Hotton, A. L., Walden, A. L., Kendall, A. D., Emerson, E., & Donenberg, G. R. (2019). Associations of ethnic/racial discrimination with internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors among juvenile justice-involved youth of color. Journal of Adolescence, 75, 138-150.
  • Brittian, A. S., Toomey, R., Gonzales, N. A., & Dumka, L. E. (2013). Perceived discrimination, coping strategies, and Mexican origin adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors: Examining the moderating role of gender and cultural orientation. Applied Developmental Science, 17, 4-19.

Matthew C. Mahutga, Professor of Sociology

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Aerika Brittian Loyd

Matthew C. Mahutga is a Professor of Sociology and co-chair of UCR’s Political Economy Seminar. His research employs quantitative methodologies to examine how macro (e.g. structural economic changes, institutional context, labor markets) and micro (human capital, race and gender) level factors shape income inequality worldwide. Dr. Mahutga is a principal investigator on the Presley Center’s statewide evaluation of the California Prison to Employment (P2E) initiative where he lends his expertise in labor market stratification and quantitative methods.


Benjamin J. Newman, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

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Benjamin Newman

Dr. Newman is a political scientist whose main fields of research are American politics, class and income inequality, and racial and ethnic politics. He is currently working on collaborative projects exploring the effect of police practices on public trust in law enforcement, public opinion toward corporate and white collar crime, and the response of law enforcement to civilian complaint. These works are under review for publication and in progress.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • Newman, B., & Hartman, T. (2017). Mass Shootings and Public Support for Gun Control. British Journal of Political Science, 1-27. doi:10.1017/S0007123417000333

Tanya Nieri, Associate Professor of Sociology

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Tanya Nieri

Dr. Nieri's research interests include causes and consequences of acculturation, particularly among immigrant families and youths; youth problem behaviors, particularly substance use and violence; and culturally grounded community-based prevention interventions. Her research, which is primarily quantitative, tends to focus on Latinos, particularly those of Mexican-heritage in the United States and in Mexico. Tanya examines the resiliencies in a person's original ethnic culture and the risks associated with the loss of that culture and acquisition of American culture. At UCR, Tanya is affiliated with the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies, School of Public Policy and the Center for Healthy Communities, School of Medicine.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • Nieri, T., Grindal, M., Adams, M.A., Cookston, J., Fabricius, W., Parke, R., & Saenz, D. (2016). Reconsidering the “acculturation gap” narrative through an analysis of parent-adolescent acculturation differences and youth problem behavior in Mexican American families. Journal of Family Issues, 37(14). doi: 10.1177/0192513X14551175
  • Grindal, M., & Nieri, T. (2015). The relationship between ethnic-racial socialization and adolescent substance use: An examination of social learning as a causal mechanism. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 37 pages. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2014.993785
  • Grindal, M., & Nieri, T. (2015). An examination of ethnic identity and academic performance: Assessing the multidimensional role of parental ethnic-racial socialization among a sample of Latino adolescents. Race and Social Problems, 7(3), 242-255. doi: 10.1007/s12552-015-9154-5
  • Nieri, T., Apkarian, J., Marsiglia, F.F., & Kulis, S.S. (2015). Effects of a youth substance use prevention program on stealing, fighting, and weapon use. Journal of Primary Prevention, 36(1), 41-49. doi: 10.1007/s10935-014-0373-0. PMC4289019.
  • Nieri, T., & Bermudez-Parsai, M. (2014). Gap or overlap? Parent-child acculturation differences in Mexican immigrant families. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 36(4), 413-434. doi: 10.1177/0739986314552047

 

This research center is supported by the School of Public Policy. To view the SPP staff directory, click here.


Richard Alvarado

 

Richard Alvarado

Chief Deputy Warden (Retired), California Institution for Men 

 


Jason Anderson

 

The Honorable Jason Anderson 

District Attorney, San Bernardino County

 


 Chad Bianco

Chad Bianco 

Sheriff-Coroner, Riverside County

 


 Larry Gonzalez

Larry Gonzalez 

Chief of Police, City of Riverside

 


 Steve Harmon

Steven Harmon 

Public Defender, Riverside County  

 


Mike Hestrin

 

The Honorable Mike Hestrin

District Attorney, Riverside County

 


Jacqueline Jackson

 

The Honorable Jaqueline Jackson 

Riverside County Superior Court

 


John McMahon

 

Sheriff John McMahon

Sheriff-Coroner, San Bernardino County

 


Jose Medina

 

The Honorable Jose Medina

Assembly Member 61st District

 


Ronald Miller

 

Ronald L. Miller

Chief Probation Officer, Riverside County

 


Tracy Reece

 

Tracy Reece

Chief Probation Officer, San Bernardino County

 


Richard Roth

 

The Honorable Richard D. Roth

California’s 31st Senate District

 


Emma Smith

 

The Honorable Emma Smith

Riverside County Superior Court Judge

 


Thomas Sone

 

Thomas Sone

Public Defender, San Bernardino County

 


Susan Turner

 

Susan Turner

Professor, Director, Center for Evidence-Based Corrections

 


Glenn Yabuno

 

The Honorable Glenn Yabuno

Riverside County Superior Court Judge

 


 

2021-2022

Jessie Bridgewater  

Sara Bruene

Sociology Department

 

2020-2021

Jessie Bridgewater

 

April Leviton

Humberto Flores

Sociology Department
Summary Report

Jared Smith

Philosophy Department

2019-2020

Jessie Bridgewater April Leviton

Jessie Bridgewater

Psychology Department

Summary Report

April Leviton

Sociology Department

Summary Report

2018-2019

Sarah Bannister Allison Monterrosa

Sarah Bannister

Sociology Department

Allison Monterrosa

Sociology Department

2017-2018

David Chavez Logan Marg

David Chavez

History Department

Logan Marg

Sociology Department

 

2016-2017

Jude Ezeobiejesi Roberto Gallardo

Jude Ezeobiejesi

Engineering Department

Roberto Gallardo

Sociology Department

 

2015-2016

Amanda Admire David Beglin

Amanda Admire

Sociology Department

David Beglin

Philosophy Department

 

Dietlinde Heilmayr

 

Ren-yo (Jenyou) Hwang

Dietlinde Heilmayr

Psychology Department

Ren-yo (Jenyou) Hwang

Ethnic Studies Department

 

Jonathan Kurzfeld

 

Jonathan Kurzfeld

Economics Department
 

Current Interns

Prior Interns

Arleth Flores Aparicio (2020 - 2021)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Public Policy
Lennin Kuri (2020)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Public Policy
Sam Habibi (2020 - 2021)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Public Policy
Alyssa Aguilera (2019)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Political Science
 
Kodiak Ly (2019) 
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Sociology
 
Abigaile Paragele (2019)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Public Policy
 
Biane Arias (2018 - 2019)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Political Science
 
James Rayo (2018 - 2019)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Political Science
 
Savannah Taylor (2018 - 2019)
Undergraduate Student 
UCR, Sociology
 
Elizabeth Curtis (2018)
Undergraduate Student 
Northwestern University, Social Policy