Krisberg, Barry

Barry A. Krisberg has been the president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) since 1983. He is known nationally for his research and expertise on juvenile and criminal justice issues and is called upon as a resource for professionals and the media. Dr. Krisberg received his master’s degree in criminology and a doctorate in sociology, both from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held several educational posts. He was a faculty member in the School of Criminology at the University of California at Berkeley. He was also an adjunct professor with the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Hawaii. He is currently a lecturer in the Law School and Legal Studies Department of the University of California at Berkeley.

Where is the Fire?

By Barry Krisberg

In a recent May 2010 survey, 9% of Californians identified immigration as the most important issue facing the state today.  In an identical poll conducted two months prior, only 3% of Californians identified immigration as the top priority.  This change in public opinion is a direct result of expanded media coverage as well as a heated political debate on immigration policy.

Locally, some current and potential elected officials have promoted the perception that California and the nation are beset by a crime epidemic that is caused to a large extent by unauthorized immigrants.  Some of the candidates have campaigned on the promise to end “sanctuary cities” in the Golden State. To determine whether there is an association between crime and immigration, I looked at recent data on violent and serious property crimes and immigration trends at a statewide and county level in California.