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Jonathan Simon

Title: Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law; Director, Center for the Study of Law and Society
Tel: 510-643-5169
Fax: 510-643-2673
Email Address:

FSU Contact: Ida Ng

In 2010 Professor Simon was named to the Adrian A Kragen Professor of Law, a chair named in memory of one of Boalt Hall's great 20th century scholar/teachers who died in 2005.

Before joining the Boalt Hall faculty in 2003, Simon was a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. Previously, he was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan from 1990 to 1992. He clerked for the Honorable Judge William C. Canby Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1988-89).

In Spring 2011, Simon was appointed the Leverhulme Visiting Professor of Law, University of Edinburgh, School of Law.

Simon teaches courses on criminal law, criminal justice, law and culture, risk and the law, and socio-legal studies. His scholarship concerns the role of criminal justice and punishment in modern societies, insurance and other contemporary practices of governing risk, the cultural lives of law, and the intellectual history of law and the social sciences. Simon is a faculty associate of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice.

Simon's books include Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990 (1993) and Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear" (2007), winner of the 2008 Book Prize of the Sociology of Law section of the ASA and the 2010 Hindelang Prize of the American Society of Criminology. He also the co-editor of Embracing Risk: The Changing Culture of Insurance and Responsibility (with Tom Baker, 2002) Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies, and the Law: Moving Beyond Legal Realism (with Austin Sarat, 2003); "After the War on Crime: Race, Democracy and the New Reconstruction" (with Mary Louise Frampton and Ian Haney Lopez, 2008).

His most recent books, Mass Incarceration on Trial: Courts and the Future of American Prisons (New Press forthcoming), and The SAGE Handbook of Punishment and Society (SAGE forthcoming, co-edited with Richard Sparks) will be published in 2013.

Simon is a member of the Law & Society Association where he has served on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee. He is also a member of the American Society of Criminology and the American Sociological Association. Simon has served as co-editor-in-chief and serves as an editorial board member of Punishment & Society and has served as an associate editor of Law & Society Review.


A.B., UC Berkeley (1981)
J.D., UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) (1987)
Ph.D., UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) (1990)

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