Claudio G. Vera Sanchez


Claudio Vera Sanchez


Department of Justice Studies


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

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

In the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd, there is worldwide public awareness about the role of the police in a democratic society and the large volume of deaths of men of color at the hands of the police. My research seeks to understand at least three controversial policy initiatives that have been introduced to address the longstanding violence by the police against communities of color--for example, defunding, reforming, or abolishing the 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 the police so prevalent, and why did it seem like there was nothing to do but get 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 myself. I am also confident 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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