Steve Herbert is Professor of Law, Societies, and Justice and Geography at the University of Washington. He has served as Director of the LSJ Program since 2010.
Professor Herbert is trained as a geographer (PhD, UCLA 1995), and has focused much of his research energy on exploring the relationship between the exercise of power and the control of space, particularly with respect to the work of urban police departments. He has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork with the Los Angeles and the Seattle Police Departments. This work resulted in three books: Policing Space: Territoriality and the Los Angeles Police Department (University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Citizens, Cops, and Power: Recognizing the Limits to Community (University of Chicago Press, 2005); and (with Katherine Beckett) Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America (Oxford University Press, 2009). He has also published in leading journals in the disciplines of Geography, Socio-Legal Studies, and Criminology.
Professor Herbert’s more recent work has focused on the politics of the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, particularly with respect to the Southern Resident Killer Whales, who occupy the waters of the Salish Sea in the summer months. He is in the early stages of a project exploring the consequences for both prisons and prisoners of the increasing numbers of life sentences. This work has been inspired by his recent work in teaching courses inside the Washington State Reformatory, some of which have combined inmate students and LSJ students.
Professor Herbert teaches the introductory course in LSJ and such department seminars as “Law, Justice and the Environment,” and “Geography and the Law.” He was honored with the UW Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009.