Valerie Jenness

Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine

Areas of Expertise

  • Prostitution
  • Hate crime
  • Prisons
  • Prison violence
  • Transgender prisoners
  • Corrections

Key Findings

  • Almost 75% of prisoners filed at least one grievance while in a California prison. MORE
  • Of the prisoners that filed one grievance, more than 75% had filed more than once, some having filed dozens. MORE
  • When the grievance is granted, the prisoner is likely to be satisfied with the outcome and the procedures through which it was managed; when the grievance is not granted, the prisoner is likely to be dissatisfied with the outcome and management of the issue. MORE


Valerie Jenness, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine, is an expert in prison violence, prostitutions’ rights movement, hate crime, deviance and social control, the politics of crime control, social movements, corrections and public policy.

Jenness was a visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a senior visiting scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan. Jenness previously served as dean of the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine and chair of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. She was the co-editor of the journal, Contemporary Sociology, and past president of the Pacific Sociological Association as well as the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

She has been published in numerous academic journals and is the author of several books, including “Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic” and “Making Hate a Crime: From Social Movement to Law Enforcement Practice.”

Jenness received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her B.S. from Central Washington University.