Faculty Diversity Scholarship and Research

Our faculty, driving change and leading the call for justice and reform.

Hands emerging from jail bars


Study Shows Racial Inequity in Parole Decisions

A recent California law created parole hearings to provide a “meaningful opportunity for release” to people who were sentenced to life in prison as children. Under this law, hundreds of people have been granted parole, and as of 2017, none of them had returned to prison.

New research by Assistant Professor Kristen Bell suggests, however, that the law’s promise of a meaningful opportunity is not an equal opportunity. Black people and people without a private attorney were more likely to be denied parole.

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Analyzing Racial Disparities in School Discipline


children in a class with little racial diversity raising their hands to be called on

In the US there are significant racial inequalities in school discipline but little agreement on how best to measure them.

Grant-funded research done by UO Professors Erik J. Girvan (Associate Professor, School of Law) and Kent McIntosh (College of Education), and Keith Smolkowski (Oregon Research Institute), examines common measures of racial disparities, proposes and explains alternatives, and makes recommendations to schools, districts, and states on how to better assess and understand this important problem.

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