Sharon Dolovich

Sharon Dolovich

Professor of Law
Faculty Director, UCLA Prison Law & Policy Program
B.A. Queen's University, 1989
Ph.D. Pol. Theory, Cambridge University, 1994
J.D. Harvard, 1998
UCLA Faculty Since 2000

Sharon Dolovich is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, and Director of the UCLA Prison Law & Policy Program. She teaches courses on criminal law, the constitutional law of prisons, and other post-conviction topics, and her scholarship focuses on the law, policy, and theory of prisons and punishment. Dolovich has been a visiting professor at NYU, Harvard, and Georgetown, and a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She served as Deputy General Counsel for the Los Angeles Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, which was charged with investigating use of force in the L.A. County Jail and making recommendations for institutional reform. She has served as a consultant on myriad prisoners’ rights cases, and as an expert witness in a challenge to the policy of racially segregated lockdown in the California prisons. She has testified before the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons and the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.

Dolovich’s new book, The New Criminal Justice Thinking (co-edited with Alexandra Natapoff) was published by NYU Press in April 2017; her chapter, “Canons of Evasion in Constitutional Criminal Law,” appears in that volume. Her article on prison conditions and the Eighth Amendment (“Cruelty, Prison Conditions and the Eighth Amendment,” 84 NYU L. Rev. 881 (2009)) has been downloaded over 21,000 times in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Work growing out of Dolovich’s landmark empirical study of the LA County Jail’s segregation unit for gay men and trans women appeared in the American Criminal Law Review and the Journal Of Criminal Law And Criminology; both articles were selected for inclusion in the Dukeminier Awards journal, which annually honors the best legal scholarship on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Click here to read an interview with Professor Dolovich about her new book, The New Criminal Justice Thinking.

Other major articles include “State Punishment and Private Prisons,” 55 Duke L. J. 437 (2005), and “Legitimate Punishment in Liberal Democracy,” 7 Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 307 (2004). The latter was selected for the 2004 Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum as the best article in both criminal law and jurisprudence & philosophy, the first article ever to be selected in two categories. In 2005, she was honored by the Cornell University Program on Ethics and Public Life with its Young Scholar Award.

Professor Dolovich has also written in the field of legal ethics. Her article, “Ethical Lawyering and the Possibility of Integrity," appeared in volume 70 in the Fordham Law Review.

To listen to Professor Dolovich discuss the phenomenon of “pay-to-stay” jails and prisons on NPR’s All Things Considered, click here.

To see Professor Dolovich discuss the safety implications of the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Plata, click here.

Click here to read “Teaching Prison Law,” Professor Dolovich’s 2012 essay in the Journal of Legal Education, which argues that prison law and other post-conviction topics should be a standard component of the criminal law education of future prosecutors, defense counsel and judges alike.

Click here to read Professor Dolovich's recent interview about the future of the California prisons, published in Boom: A Journal of California.