Claire Nolasco Braaten

Dr. Claire Nolasco Braaten comes from a family of educators, both her parents and grandmother having been educators in the Philippines. Having been educated in a variety of international institutions, she realizes the importance of a global education in increasing awareness of diverse cultures and histories. She obtained her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, her Masters in International and Economic Business Law from Kyushu University in Japan, and both her Bachelors Degree in Political Science and her J.D. in Law from the University of the Philippines College of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Purple Feather, the law school’s honor society. She is authorized to practice law in both the State of California and the Philippines. She interned in the Japanese law firms of Minamitani and Sogo in Fukuoka, Japan and the Ohebashi law office in Osaka, Japan. Her studies in her LLM program in Japan was funded through the highly competitive Young Leaders Program (Monbukagakusho scholarship) sponsored by the Japanese government for emerging leaders in the Southeast Asian region. She is currently a member of both the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (through the University of the Philippines chapter) and the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society. 

As an Asian-American and an immigrant from the Philippines, her research focuses on the following: (1) immigration and the interaction of race/ethnicity and criminal justice, specifically social harms resulting from systems of racialized social control, and (2) historical and/or contemporary policy and practice. In her publications, she analyzed racial justice and social inequities in immigration law, refugee resettlement in the U.S., and the processing of unaccompanied minors in the U.S. at various stages of immigration enforcement proceedings. She also conducts research on historical and contemporary policy and practice, employing qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods to study the cumulative disadvantages created or reproduced by the criminal legal system and its intersections with other systems and institutions. She examined legal inequities in corrections law and its ramifications among inmates. Other areas of interest include financial crime where she published articles on cryptocurrency crime litigation, to empirically analyze whether the conditions under which cryptocurrency offenses occurred show support for the convenience theory, insider trading, and Ponzi schemes.

She has published in several peer-reviewed criminal justice journals, including Deviant Behavior, Law & Society, Journal of Refugee Studies, Journal of Criminal Justice, Crime Law and Social Change, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, and Security Journal as well as law reviews such as the American Journal of Criminal Law and Criminal Law Bulletin.

Her book with co-author Dr. Daniel Braaten titled, Benched Justice: How Judges Decide Asylum Claims and Asylum Rights of Unaccompanied Minors was published by Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield in September 5, 2023. The book examines judicial decision making in asylum proceedings involving unaccompanied alien children in the U.S. at the level of immigration courts, BIA proceedings, and federal district and circuit courts. Applying theories of judicial decision making, the book parses out the factors that affect whether immigration judges grant or deny asylum to unaccompanied minors. 

Her research Interests include empirical legal research, immigration rights and policies, financial crime, legal issues in policing, legal issues in corrections.


Claire Nolasco Braaten

College Of Arts And Sciences

Department of Criminology and Political Science

Associate Professor

Main Campus-CAB Room 349C
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Course Teachings

CRIM 5301 600 Advanced Criminological Theory Spring 2024 Syllabus
CRIM 5322 600 Cyber Crime, Cybersec & Law Spring 2024 Syllabus