Associate professor of history Kelly Lytle Hernandez has won the 2015 Louis Knott Koontz Memorial Award from the Pacific coast branch of the American Historical Association. The award recognizes the most deserving contribution to the Pacific Historical Review, a publication of the University of California Press.

Lytle Hernandez was honored for “Hobos in Heaven: Race, Incarceration, and the Rise of Los Angeles, 1880–1910,” in which she documents a nearly forgotten history of poor white men who were targeted for incarceration, stripped of civil rights and sentenced to chain gangs, rock piles and forced labor in building the public infrastructure of an elite and “idyllic white settler society” in Los Angeles.

Lytle Hernandez has research interests in 20th Century U.S. history with a concentration on race, migration, and police and prison systems in the American West and U.S.-Mexico borderlands. She is the author of “MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol” (University of California Press, 2010), which won the William P. Clements Prize for the best non-fiction book on Southwestern America. Her current research focuses upon exploring the social world of incarceration in Los Angeles between 1876 and 1965.