Angelica Camacho

Assistant Professor
headshot of Angelica Camacho
CJ Advisor

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Tuesday: 12:30-13:30
Thursday: 15:30-16:30


Angelica Camacho is an Assistant Professor in Criminal Justice Studies within the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at San Francisco State University. Angelica received a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. In 2010, she acquired a B.A. in both Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. It was the injustices present in her community, and her desire to understand, explain, and change them that drove her to pursue a career in Ethnic Studies. Today she shares Ethnic Studies’ commitment to intellectual praxis and social justice. Camacho’s current research is on the Pelican Bay California Prisoner Hunger Strikes by incarcerated people and the subsequent uprising of their families. She engages and forefronts SHU prisoners and their families’ theorization about social transformation and the carceral state. Camacho examines the ways prisoners have used their bodies, spirit, and mental strength against the prison apparatus to create a rupture in the process that relegates them to property and resist the conditions of confinement in Security Housing Units (SHU). Additionally, Angelica analyzes how people have become anesthetized to the brutality of solitary confinement and points to the rise of moral panics around the Mexican Mafia. She simultaneously explores how the War on Drugs, Gangs, and the criminalization of Latinx communities has contributed to the rise of the prison industrial complex in California. For future projects, Angelica hopes to examine how the criminalization of Latino masculinity extends to police Latina sexuality and autonomy, as evident through Pete Wilson’s anti-immigrant campaigning that directly waged war on immigrants, street gangs, drugs, and teen pregnancy. Moreover, she will investigate how the proposed tough-on-crime approaches promoting incarceration as an adequate response to deviant and lewd behavior are rooted in conquest. Specifically, how the construction of prisoners as private property is founded on the erasure of native decolonial epistemologies that continuously remind us land and all living beings are sacred. Most importantly, that our desire to label living beings as void objects- and criminal- in order to contain and possess them, is a psychotic dehumanizing illusion.

Research Interests

Prison Studies, Chicana/o Latina/o Studies, Cultural Studies, Black and Brown Criminalization, War on Gangs, War on Drugs, US/Mex Border, Racial State Violence, Community Wellness and Regeneration, Prayer and Spirituality, Grassroots Social Movements, Zapatismo, Activist-Scholarship, Community Based Research, Indigenous and Feminist Research Methods and Methodologies


“Book Review of For the Children?: Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State By Erica R. Meiners” Teachers College Record (June 2017):