This program of research explores the treatment of immigrants - both authorized and unauthorized - and the intersection of immigration and crime control policy. While my focus has been on developments in the United States, I also study the "criminalization" and "hyper-marginalization" of immigrants in Canada and in Europe. I examine the strategies and techniques of social control, the "net-widening" effect of immigration enforcement, the framing of immigration policy proposals, and the impact of enforcement actions on individuals, families, communities, institutions, and society in general. How does the criminal system view immigrants in the new "securitized" environment? What do the various emergent control strategies mean when assessed against the need for fairness, trust and confidence in the system?
The books highlighted above have focused on the development of criminal justice policies based on sound social scientific evidence. My goal has been to work with scholars and policymakers from across the U.S. and Canada to advance a pragmatic agenda for criminal justice reform.
This program of research explores the negative implications of a crime control oriented criminal justice system and the capacity for criminal justice reform. A major objective is to uncover the conscious and unconscious biases and attitudes that govern the operation of institutions of social control (including the criminal justice system, and now the immigration detention system), and to examine what these biases and attitudes reveal about society. I have written on zero-tolerance policing, mass incarceration, and the emergence of criminal justice policies that both "create" crime and further entrench social and economic inequalities. Fundamentally, this program of research, like the others, seeks to reconcile two otherwise distinct fields: criminal justice and social justice.