Professor, Author, Speaker

Dr. Rios’s New Book Featured in LA Times Festival of Books

More than 150,000 explore everything from politics to poetry as L.A. Times Festival of Books comes to a close.

Victor Rios, a sociology professor at UC Santa Barbara, believes that positive change in the criminal justice system is possible only when authority figures stop placing labels on youth from underprivileged neighborhoods and show more empathy.

“We shouldn’t label them as being ‘at risk,’ we should label them as being ‘at promise,’’’ said Rios, author of “Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Criminalization of Latino Youth.” “We should try to help them see themselves as productive citizens.”

Rios was one of several writers and editors who participated in a panel discussion titled “Police, Prisons and Justice” on the second and final day of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC. It was one of multiple discussions, lectures and workshops on everything from politics to poetry that took place throughout the day.

More than 150,000 people from California and across the country attended the two-day book festival — the largest in the nation — under clear skies and temperatures that fluctuated from a scorching 90 degrees in downtown L.A. on Saturday to the high 70s Sunday.