Nikki Jones Head Shot

Research Expertise and Interest

African American communities, policing, racial/gender disparities and the criminal justice system, violence and violence interventions

Research Description

Nikki Jones is a Professor and the H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Department Chair of African American Studies at UC-Berkeley. Her work focuses on the experiences of Black women, men, and youth with the criminal legal system, policing, and violence. Professor Jones is the author of two books: Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence (2010) and The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption (June 2018), which received the Michael J. Hindelang Outstanding Book Award from the American Society of Criminology in 2020. Her current research efforts are focused on the systematic analysis of video records that document routine encounters between police and civilians, with a focus on encounters that involve the police and Black youth in high-surveillance neighborhoods. These records are housed in the Justice Interaction Lab in the Department of African American Studies at UC-Berkeley. Professor Jones has shared her expertise with numerous print, radio, and television news media outlets, including NPR, KCBS Radio,,, BBC World Newshour, Minnesota Public Radio, Time Magazine, KQED’s Forum, Ireland Today, Australia Broadcasting Corporation (The Drum), SF Weekly, The Dallas Morning News, and CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” among others. Professor Jones is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Race and Gender; the Department of Women and Gender Studies; and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC-Berkeley.

In the News

America on edge: Berkeley scholars’ early election thoughts

UC Berkeley scholars awoke Wednesday, Nov. 4 to signs of a deeply divided U.S. electorate, and no blue wave on the horizon. Despite a surge in early voting, ballots were still being counted in several battleground states. As of noon that day, the race between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden remained too close to call. 

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
December 2, 2020
Ivan Natividad

UC Berkeley African American Studies professor Nikki Jones has won the 2020 Michael J. Hindelang Award. The national honor given by the American Society of Criminology recognizes a book published within the past three years that makes the most outstanding contribution to research in criminology. Jones recently received the award for her book The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption. Through the use of ethnographic interviews with inner-city police officers and recordings of police encounters collected by and alongside law enforcement, the book delves into the reasons why violence persists in inner cities, despite the presence of adequate funding and resources.

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