Julie A. Beck, Ph.D. Sociology Faculty Profile

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Julie  A.  Beck, Ph.D. Sociology

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology

Current Research (submitted for publication):

 ‘Who Are the Real Criminals?’: Men serving life in California prisons discuss how politics drove California’s parole policy during the get-tough-on-crime movement

Abstract: This paper explores the politicization of California’s parole policy during the recent “get-tough-on-crime” era. Through a content analysis of nearly 100 prison letters of men sentenced to life in prison in California, I explore punitive extremism through the systematic denial of parole to long-term inmates under the terms of Governors George Deukmejian through Arnold Schwarzenegger. I argue that California’s “lifers,” who were systematically detained long past their parole-eligibility dates, experienced a policy of indefinite detention in California that was facilitated by a politically-driven parole policy masked behind state actors’ strategic employment of crime discourse—what I am calling redoubled criminalization. I foreground the voices of prisoners—whose letters evidence legally questionable  behavior and corruption by state actors—to offer a competing narrative that challenges and disrupts the common-sense assumptions about criminality of dominant crime discourse and raises alarm about due process, human rights, and the use and abuse of state power.

Critical Criminology, Justice Studies, Sociology of Race and Gender, Cultural Sociology, Qualitative Research Methods.

Courses: Drug and Alcohol Use; Sociology of Race, Crime, and Justice; Women, Crime, and Punishment; Policing and Society, Research Methods. 

  • Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Designated Emphasis: Feminist Studies
  • M.A., Sociology, Lancaster University, U.K. / Central European University, Prague
  • B.A. Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara . Junior Year Abroad, Bordeaux, France.

Not teaching this semester.

Rush Woods, D., Taylor, S., Austin, D., Beck, J., Chung, K., …Weiss, J. (2015). Building an

inclusive, accessible, and responsive campus at California State University East Bay, 2010-2015. Perspective on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally Linguistically Diverse Populations. August, 2015 Issue. 


Beck, J., Fong, C., Taylor, S., Jackson Kimball, D., Lee, T…Chang, P. (2013).  Diversity

and social justice planning project white paper. Hayward, CA; California State University, East Bay.


Beck, J. (2012). The victims of crime act of 1984. In S.M. Barton-Bellessa, & J. G. Golsen (Eds.).

 Encyclopedia of Community Corrections, Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage Publications.


Beck, J. (2012). Residential community corrections. In S.M. Barton-Bellessa, & J. G. Golsen

            (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Community Corrections, Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage Publications.


Beck, J. (2012). Therapeutic jurisprudence. In S. M. Barton-Bellessa & J. G. Golsen (Eds.).

            Encyclopedia of Community Corrections. Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage Publications.


Beck, J. (2011). Free speech rights of prisoners (pp. 71-86). In W. Chambliss (Ed.), Corrections:

 Key Issues in Crime and Punishment Series. Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage Publications. 


Inman, K. & Beck, J. (2011). DNA evidence (pp. 13-30). In W. Chambliss & J. G. Golson

(Eds.), Courts, Law, and Justice: Key Issues in Crime and Punishment Series, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications.


Beck, J. (2010). Victims’ rights and public safety? Unmasking racial politics in

criminological discourses surrounding parole revocation for ‘lifers’ in California, Western Criminology Review--Special Issue: Race, Crime and Justice, K. Glover, S. Henry, & C. Curtis (Eds.), 11(1):20-36.  


Beck, J. (2007). Recovering selves: women and the governance of conduct in a therapeutic

community (pp. 239-261). In E. Leeder (Ed.), Inside and Out: Women, Prison and Therapy, New York, NY., The Haworth Press, Inc.


Beck, J. (2006). Recovering selves: women and the governance of conduct in a therapeutic

community, Women & Therapy, A Feminist Quarterly--Special Issue: Women, Prisons, and Therapy: A Feminist Dialogue on Challenging Correctional Discourse. Vol. 29, Numbers 3/4: 239-261.


Beck, J. (2003). [Review of the book Women’s Activism and Globalization: Linking Local

Struggles and Transnational Politics, N. A. Naples & M. Desai (Eds.)] Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, A Journal of Social Ecology, 14 (2); 54:171-173.


Beck, J. (2000). (Re)Negotiating selfhood and citizenship in the post-communist Czech

Republic: Five Czech women speak about the transition and feminism (pp. 176-193).  In A. Sisson-Runyan & M. Marchand (Eds.), Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites, and Resistances. New York, N, Y. Routledge.