Priscilla Ocen

Associate Professor of Law

BA, San Diego State University
JD, University of California Los Angeles, School of Law


Priscilla Ocen's work examines the relationship between race and gender identities and punishment. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, Professor Ocen served as the Critical Race Studies Law Fellow at UCLA. While at UCLA she developed a project that examined conditions of confinement within women’s prisons and the race and gender implications of the use of practices such as shackling during labor and childbirth.

Professor Ocen graduated magna cum laude from San Diego State University with a BA in African American Studies and Political Science. Thereafter, she received her JD from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Critical Race Studies. Upon graduation, Professor Ocen clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit, Michigan. Following her clerkship, Professor Ocen served as the Thurgood Marshall Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she litigated in the areas of voting rights, affirmative action, school desegregation, police misconduct and spearheaded the development of a Black Women’s Reentry Project.

Selected Scholarship

  • Punishing Pregnancy: Race, Incarceration and the Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners, 100 Cal. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2012)
  • The New Racially Restrictive Covenant: Race, Welfare and the Policing of Black Women in Public Housing, 59 UCLA L. Rev. 1540 (2012) 
Representative Academic Presentations
  • Discussant, Panel on “Racialized and Gendered Punishment and Reentry,” American Sociological Association, August 18, 2012.
  • Keynote Speaker, Reproductive Justice and Women’s Prisons: A Contradiction in Terms?, California Reproductive Justice Roundtable, September 2011.
  • The New Racially Restrictive Covenant presented at Intersecting Relations of Domination, University of Paris, June 2011.
  • Punishing Pregnancy: Race, Incarceration and the Punishment of Pregnant Prisoners presented at UC Berkeley Department of African-American Studies, Seminar on Race and Public Policy, May 2011.
  • Sovereign Violence, Fifth Annual Critical Race Studies Symposium: Race and Sovereignty (moderator), April 2011.
  • Speak So You Can Speak Again: A Discussion of the Challenges and Agency of Africana Women, Department of Africana Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills, April 2011.
  • African American Girls and the Intersection of Race, Gender, Class, Age and Place, African-American Girls and the Criminal Justice System: A Call to Action, The Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law, April 2011.