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Shirin Bakhshay

Shirin Bakhshay
Assistant Professor of Practice of Sociology and Public Policy

Professional Interests: Social psychology and law, the criminal justice system, mass incarceration and penal reform, restorative justice, media criminology, race, gender and inequality


At Mills Since 2019


Shirin Bakhshay is a lawyer and social psychologist who studies the criminal justice system. She uses a social-psychological lens to critically examine criminal justice attitudes, processes, institutions, and legal norms in service of broad penal reform. Her current work focuses on ways to build public support for alternatives to incarceration, such as restorative justice, and combat dominant narratives of criminality that fuel mass incarceration. She also researches media representations of criminality and is launching a project that uses popular media, such as Orange is the New Black, as an intervention tool. She has received a number of grants and fellowships to support her work and has been published in outlets such as Psychology, Public Policy, and Law and The Prison Journal.


  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • MS, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • JD, Yale Law School

Spring 2020 Schedule

Day Time Course Title Room
MW11:00 am-12:15 pm Punishment and SocietyGSB 118
W1:00 pm-3:40 pmProseminarGSB 109

Courses Taught

  • PPOL 093: Law and Society
  • SOC 180C: Punishment, Culture, & Society
  • SOC 190: Proseminar in Sociology
  • SOC 191: Senior Seminar