Claudio G. Vera Sanchez

Associate Professor

Justice Studies

Current Research Activities

My work centers on the policing of Latino and African American communities, exploring how policing practices facilitate aggressive policing. In addition, I am interested in understanding immigrants' experiences with the police. Specifically, I am interested in the strategies that undocumented immigrants employ to avoid the police and other institutional agents that can harm their families and facilitate deportation.

Research Connections to Current Events

My RSCA is currently exploring the following: (1) how are policing practices similar or different from the ones of slave patrols in the antebellum south? I am interested in how little policing has changed from the past. This research is critical, considering the longstanding issues between the police and communities of color. (2) how do undocumented immigrants navigate the current immigration and policing regime? How do immigrants negotiate and navigate this anti-immigration regime, and what strategies do they employ to avoid institutional agents (e.g., police)?

Personal Connections to Research

My interest in studying policing and marginalized communities originates from my experiences growing up in Los Angeles during the 1990s, and wondering why some youth were tracked for college and others to prison. Why were police so prevalent, and why did it seem like there was nothing to do but getting in trouble? Why did some communities have such extensive educational and extracurricular activities, but not in my neighborhood? It is  from these experiences that I became a criminologist. I have always been interested in working with students from underrepresented backgrounds and communities, because they remind me of my self. I also know that they will return to their communities armed with the knowledge to create meaningful social change.

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Policing, Youth, Race, Communities, Neighborhoods, Public Policy

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