Kim Richman

Kimberly Richman

Professor, Department Chair

Department Chair
Full-Time Faculty


Kimberly Richman received a BA at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and an MA and a PhD in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at UC Irvine, where she also completed a graduate emphasis in women's studies. She currently teaches Criminology; Sociology of Law; Deviance and Social Control; Senior Thesis Workshop; and Capstone in Sociology.

Professor Richman's primary areas of research interest are law and society, criminology, and the effects of legal rights (or their lack) on social, civic, and personal aspects of life, including legal consciousness, identity, and civic personhood. The majority of her past research has focused on the creation of legal and social meaning in legal processes involved with LGBT family law issues, as well as legal consciousness among same-sex married (or would-be married) couples and parents. Her current research focuses on the experience of incarceration, rehabilitative prison programming, and its effects on parole and reentry. She is co-founder and chief executive of the Bay Area reentry nonprofit Alliance for CHANGE.


  • Criminology
  • Legal Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Social Justice and Inequalities

Research Areas

  • Crime, law and deviance
  • Gender, sexuality, and law
  • Incarceration, rehabilitation and reentry
  • Family law
  • Legal consciousness


  • Chair, CORE Area E Committee
  • Chair, Sociology Department Search Committee


  • PhD, University of California, Irvine
  • MA, University of California, Irvine
  • BA, Pitzer College

Prior Experience

  • Chair, Department of Sociology Colloquium Committee
  • Chair, Society for the Study of Social Problems Law and Society Division
  • Co-Founder, President of Board of Directors, Alliance for CHANGE
  • Honors Coordinator, Department of Sociology
  • Instructor, University of California, Irvine
  • President, Western Society of Criminology

Awards & Distinctions

  • Richard Tewksbury Award for Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship and Activism at the Intersection of Sexuality and Crime, Western Society of Criminology, 2020
  • Dean's Scholar Award for Distinguished Research in the Social Sciences
  • Joseph D. Lohman Award from the Western Society of Criminology for Outstanding Contributions
  • Edwin Sutherland Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, for her book, License to Wed.

Selected Publications

  • Richman, Kimberly. (2021). The Perils of Parole and ‘Program Speak’: Understanding and Managing Culpability Statements in Post-Conviction Settings. The Champion: Journal of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
  • Richman, Kimberly. (2018). “Race and Incarceration.” Invited book chapter in Today I Gave Myself Permission to Dream: Race and Incarceration in America, Ed. Erin Brigham and Kimberly Rae Connor. University of San Francisco Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought. University of San Francisco Press.
  • Richman, K. (2015). License to Wed: What Legal Marriage Means to Same-Sex Couples. New York: New York University Press.
  • Richman, K. (2010). Courting Change: Queer Parents, Judges, and the Transformation of American Family Law. New York: New York University Press.
  • Richman, K. (2010). "By Any Other Name: The Social and Legal Stakes of Same-Sex Marriage." University of San Francisco Law Review, 45.2, p. 357-387.
  • Richman, K. (2002). "Lovers, Legal Strangers, and Parents: Negotiating Parental and Sexual Identity in Family Law." Law & Society Review, 36.2, Special Issue on Nonbiological Parenting, p. 285-324.