Susan A. Phillips has studied gangs and the US prison system since 1990. Phillips received her Ph.D. in anthropology in 1998 from UCLA, where she taught for four years before coming to Pitzer College. Her first book, Wallbangin: Graffiti and Gangs in L.A., was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1999. Her second book, Operation Fly Trap: Gangs, Drugs, and the Law, was published in July 2012, also by Chicago. Phillips was named a Soros Justice Media Fellow in 2008, and received a Harry Frank Guggenheim research grant in 2005 to fund her fieldwork. Previous to that she was a fellow at the Getty Research Institute from 1996-1997, during the scholar year on Los Angeles. Phillips is interested in theories of violence, in the relationship between gangs and the state, and in utilizing academic writing and scholarship toward criminal justice reform. She currently directs community-based research programs in Ontario, California for Pitzer College and is a member of the Environmental Analysis field group, where she contributes curriculum on urban studies.

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