Faculty Profiles

Sharon Dolovich

Sharon Dolovich

Professor of Law
Faculty Director, UCLA Prison Law & Policy Program
B.A. Queen's University
Ph.D. Cambridge University
J.D. Harvard Law School
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 also has served as an expert witness and as a consultant on myriad prisoners’ rights cases, and has testified before the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons and the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.

Dolovich’s recent book, The New Criminal Justice Thinking (co-edited with Alexandra Natapoff) was published by NYU Press in April 2017 and appeared in paperback in December 2018; her chapter, “Canons of Evasion in Constitutional Criminal Law,” appears in that volume. Dolovich's 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 27,000 times in more than 130 countries worldwide.

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

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.

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, Dolovich 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.

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 interview about the future of the California prisons, published in Boom: A Journal of California.