Raina Shipman

Mentor: Dr. Paul Ortiz
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I have always had an interest in history as well as legal aspects of it. While interning at the Samuel Proctor Oral History program, I became aware of how laws have shaped history whether they be just or unjust. I came across Alan Bean's book "Taking out the Trash in Tulia, Texas," and was astonished at how much injustice could be done if there is no one to shed light on the justice system. I began to wonder if injustice actions like the one in the "Tulia 46" case happened in other places which would account for the astonishing amounts of African Americans that make up prisons. "


Political Science, History


Research Interests

  • African American history
  • Mass incarceration
  • Law

Academic Awards

  • Bob Graham Civic Scholar (2014)
  • University Scholars Program (2014)
  • Dean's List (2013)
  • Phi Alpha Delta in-house Mock Trial Champion


  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Public Leadership Society
  • Multicultural Political Science Association


  • ChampionShips inc
  • Boy's and Girls Club
  • Ronald McDonald House

Hobbies and Interests

  • Volunteering
  • Movies
  • Reading

Research Description

The Injustices of our Justice System: an examination of "Tulia 46" and mass incarceration of minorities

My research project will explore mass incarceration in the United State's justice system by examining a case of inequality and failure of the United States’ justice system that occurred in Tulia, Texas in 1999 to analyze factors like racism and federal funding that is based on the amount of arrests made which directly affects the injustice of the United States justice system. While examining this historic event, I will analyze the factors that contribute to the rising incarcerated population in America as well as the importance of grassroots organizing in order to fix issues like the case of the “Tulia 46.” I will be examining other faith-based organizations that have emerged in the movement against mass incarceration and America’s burgeoning prison-industrial complex. I will read extensively in the secondary literature on crime, race, and incarceration, starting with Levin Law School Professor Katheryn Russell-Brown's “The Color of Crime” (1998) and “Underground Codes: Race, Crime, and Related Fires