Nikki Jones is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies. Her research, writing and teaching focuses on the experiences of African American men, women and youth with the criminal justice system, policing and various forms of violence. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for the Study of Law and Society and the Center for Race and Gender at Cal.
Professor Jones’ areas of expertise include urban ethnography, race and ethnic relations and criminology and criminal justice, with a special emphasis on the intersection of race, gender, and justice. Professor Jones has published three books, including the sole-authored Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner City Violence (2010), published in the Rutgers University Press Series in Childhood Studies (betweengoodandghetto.com). Her research appears in peer-reviewed journals in sociology, gender studies, and criminology. Her next book, based on several years of field research in a San Francisco neighborhood, examines how African American men with criminal histories change their lives, and their place in the neighborhood once they do. Her current research draws on the systematic analysis of video records that document routine encounters between police and civilians, including young Black men’s frequent encounters with the police. Professor Jones has served on the editorial boards for prominent journals in sociology, including the American Sociological Review and Gender & Society. She is is the past-Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Race, Gender and Class Section (2012-13) and has received awards for her research and publications including the William T. Grant Award for Early Career Scholars (2007-12) and the New Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology's Division on Women and Crime (2010) and Division on People of Color and Crime (2009). Before joining the faculty at Cal, Professor Jones was on faculty in the Department of Sociology at UC-Santa Barbara (from 2004-2013). She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania.