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Dr. Michael Sierra-Arévalo


Michael Sierra-Arévalo is an Assistant Professor in the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. His research focuses on policing in the United States and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate police culture, behavior, and legitimacy. His current book project uses ethnographic observations and interviews across three urban departments to explore how police officers are formally and informally socialized to emphasize danger and the threat of violence in their work, as well as how the constant demand for officer safety shapes police culture and encourages behaviors that perpetuate inequalities in the criminal justice system.

Michael’s research interests also include gangs, firearms, social networks, and violence prevention. His research has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Criminology, Law & Society Review, Crime & Delinquency, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, and multiple edited volumes. In addition to peer-reviewed research, he continues to work with practitioners to use data-driven approaches to enhance public safety.

Michael holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University and a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.