The LSA Magazine recently featured Associate Professor Jeremy Levine for his work surrounding crime victim compensation policies, shedding light on how a personal traumatic experience fueled his passion for this research. 

Jeremy Levine has largely focused his work on studying inequality and public policy, with his main interests lying in urban and criminal justice policy. His first book, Constructing Community, was published by Princeton University Press, and he has also been published in notable journals like the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Social Forces

Levine’s current research is focused on the historical development and modern implications of crime victim policy in the U.S, with a specific emphasis on racial and gender inequality. His work has evolved over the years, reflecting the hardships and triumphs that have led him to where he is today. Jeremy shared the traumatic story that altered his personal and professional life forever with the LSA Magazine in their most recent publication. 

In 2014, Jeremy Levine was caught in the crossfire of a public shooting while visiting San Francisco for an annual sociology conference. It wasn’t until after Jeremy found a place to hide with his wife that he noticed he had been hit. “It was at that point that I looked down at my thigh, and there was a hole in my pants and blood slowly growing… I knew I was in trouble,” he recounted. 

As it turns out, the stray bullet had managed to avoid bone and the femoral artery, allowing Levine to eventually fully recover. However, his struggles were far from over, as he would come to find nothing but red tape and complications regarding his medical bill coverage, which the police told him would be completely compensated by the state. Prompted to research this compensation process more thoroughly and advocate for himself, Levine was eventually compensated--unlike the many people “who are not white males like him,” as his research found. 

Levine credits this traumatic experience as a turning point in his research, as well as his life. “Being a student of inequality, I wanted to learn anything and everything,” says Levine, looking back on who he was at the time of the traumatic event. His experiences have prompted him with a unique perspective on victim compensation laws, and his work today continues to fight for more equitable access to compensation among marginalized groups.

Read the full LSA Magazine article here.