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Dr. Michael Sierra-Arévalo


Michael Sierra-Arévalo is an Assistant Professor in the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. His current research focuses on policing in the United States and employs ethnographic observations and interviews across three urban departments to investigate police culture and how it shapes police perception and practice on the street. This research examines how 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 encourages officer behaviors that unintentionally put police and and the public at great risk.

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

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.