Jensen Lecture - Dr. Victor Rios


Speaker(s): Dr. Victor Rios

Dr. Victor Rios of the University of California Santa Barbara.

The Youth Control Complex, the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and The Criminalization of Black and Latino Boys

This talk discusses the culture of control that marginalizes Black and Latinx youth.  Drawing on the findings of a recent two-year ethnographic study, Rios shows that institutional figures, like educators and police officers, impact the cultural frames and resources used by marginalized students. Rios argues that top-down reform measures are often ineffective in urban high schools and police departments.  He proposes culturally responsive and culturally anchored programs, policies, and practices for reversing the youth control complex and the school-to-prison pipeline.

A short Bio for Dr. Victor Rios:

Victor Rios is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Associate Dean of Social Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.   He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. His research agenda focuses on the role of social control in determining the well-being of young people living in poverty; tracking the social consequences of the punitive practices and punitive social control, across institutional settings; and examining young people’s resilience and responses to social marginalization.  He is the author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (New York University Press 2011) and Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Criminalization of Latino Youth (University of Chicago Press 2017).  He is also co-editor of the Latina/o Sociology Book Series with New York University Press.  Rios has worked with school districts to train educators on restorative justice, cultural proficiency, the achievement-opportunity gap, and what he terms “educator projected self-actualization.”  His programs have been implemented in various institutions including, Los Angeles County Office of Education; Omaha Public Schools; Santa Barbara Unified School District; and juvenile detention facilities.  His Ted Talk “Help for Kids the Education System Ignores” has garnered over 1.4 million views.  Rios’s work is featured in a documentary film funded by Sundance, the Ford Foundation, and Soros.  The film ( launched on national public television (Independent Lens) in 2019.  Rios is currently writing a book, Opportunity Gaps: Teacher Support, Race, and The Future of Public Education, based on a recently completed two-year study at a large, racially and economically diverse Southern California, High School.

This is a virtual meeting, please contact Lisa Olds for the link and passcode to attend.



Dr. Victor Rios.

Virtual - Zoom


Lisa Olds