Criminology, Law & Justice
ash stephens (he/him & they/them pronouns) studies policing, surveillance, gender violence, critical trans studies, and abolitionist social movements. He completed his PhD in Criminology, Law and Justice with concentrations in Black Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies in 2021 from UIC. ash's dissertation research focused on trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people's experiences of policing and surveillance, across a continuum of experiences from the family, DMV, TSA, and the police. This work contributes to queer criminology studies, policing and surveillance studies, and social movement research concerned with the range of ways that policing and surveillance show up in both interpersonal and state-based dynamics. Prior to his PhD, ash completed a BS degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University, and an MA degree in Criminology, Law and Justice from UIC.
ash is most interested in supporting trans and intersectional organizing that focuses its work through an abolitionist lens. During their time as a student at UIC, ash was a founding member of the Abolition@UIC collective and an active participant of the Gender and Sexuality Center. He has also served as a board member of the Transformative Justice Law Project, and a collective member of Love & Protect, Survived & Punished, and the Chicago Community Bond Fund. You can also find some of his writing in Truthout, In These Times, and the LGBTQ+ publication The Advocate. When he's not writing, he's usually playing his Nintendo Switch, watching a Marvel movie, or creating floral bouquets.