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Richelle S. Swan, Ph.D

Richelle S. Swan, Ph.D

Professor of Sociology

Office: SBSB 4218

Richelle S. Swan, Ph.D

I joined the Sociology Department as an Assistant Professor in 2003 after completing my Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine, my M.S. in Justice Studies at Arizona State University, and my B.A. in Psychology at UCLA.

I was very happy to be part of the launch of the Criminology and Justice Studies major in 2004, and remain excited about the work that faculty and students in both of our undergraduate majors and our graduate program are doing today. I am currently the Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Sociological Practice (MASP) program.



My current research projects focus on a number of topics related to the intersection of issues of crime, law, and in/justice.  My recent scholarship includes examinations of issues of juvenile delinquency, the impact of gang injunction laws on Southern California communities, and the examination of the legal consciousness of undocumented young adults, as well as ongoing scholarship on popular culture and social constructions of crime.  Past research has included works on topics such as problem solving courts, welfare fraud diversion, restorative justice, and social justice movements.

Selected Publications

Bates, Kristin A. & Swan, Richelle S. (2020).  Juvenile Delinquency in a Diverse Society. 3rd edition.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Clark-Ibáñez, Marisol & Richelle S. Swan. (2019) Unauthorized: Portraits of Latino Immigrants in the United States.  Rowman & Littlefield.

Swan, Richelle S. & Marisol Clark-Ibáñez. (2017). “Perceptions of Shifting Legal Ground: DACA and the Legal Consciousness of Undocumented Students and Graduates.” Thomas Jefferson Law Review 39(2):67-92.

Swan, Richelle S. & Kristin A. Bates. (2017). "Loosening the Ties that Bind: The Hidden Harms of Civil Gang Injunctions in San Diego County".  Contemporary Justice Review 20(1): 132-153.

Bates, Kristin A. & Swan, Richelle S. (2017).  Juvenile Delinquency in a Diverse Society. 2nd edition.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers. 

Swan, Richelle S. (2015). "Popular Culture, Media, and Crime."  In M. Maguire and D. Okada (Eds.) Critical Issues in Crime and Justice:  Thought, Policy and Practice.   Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications.
Bates, Kristin A. & Swan, Richelle S. (2013). Juvenile Delinquency in a Diverse Society.  Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Bates, Kristin A. & Swan, Richelle S. (2010). (Eds.) Through the Eye of Katrina:  Social Justice in the United States(2nd edition).  Durham, NC:  Carolina Academic Press.
Clark-Ibáñez, M. & Swan, Richelle S. (2009). Spicing Up Sociology:  The Use of Films in Sociology Courses.  Wadsworth/Thomson Press.

Swan, Richelle S., Linda Shaw, Sharon Cullity, Joni Halpern, Juliana Humphreys, Wendy Limbert & Mary Roche. (2008).  "The Truth About Welfare Fraud". Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 35(3): 133-151.


I teach a number of classes related to my interdisciplinary background, which include undergraduate courses such as: 

  • Introduction to Justice Studies (Soc 105)
  • Sociology of Deviance (Soc 321)
  • Juvenile Delinquency  (Soc 323)
  • Feminism & Justice (Soc 437)
  • Sociology of Law (Soc 443)
  • Comparative Analysis of Justice Systems (Soc 449)
  • Popular Criminology (Soc 475)
  • Topics in Restorative and Transformative Justice (Soc 490)
  • Internship in Criminology and Justice Studies (Soc 494)

I have experience teaching classes in the graduate program including:

  • Professionalization Seminar in Sociological Practice (Soc 500)
  • Graduate Seminar in Criminological Theory and Policy (Soc 529)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Soc 611)
  • Current Issues in Criminal and Juvenile Justice (Soc 650)

I also advise both undergraduate and graduate students in independent research classes. 


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Selected Service

I am a member of the CSUSM Institutional Review Board (IRB) (2015-2017) and the Fall 2016-Spring 2019 Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Sociological Practice Program.  I am also involved in the Faculty Mentoring Program on campus and serve as the CSUSM Faculty Liaison for San Diego’s JusticeCorps Program. I have long served as the Media Review Editor for the journal, Contemporary Justice Review.

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