Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System
Author: David Cole
Publisher: The New Press
Category: Current Events
In a hard-hitting study hailed by "Publishers Weekly" as "well-argued" and "passionate, " a leading constitutional scholar reveals that, despite a veneer of neutrality, race- and class-based double standards operate in virtually every criminal justice setting, from police behavior to jury selection to sentencing.
Die Wahl von Barack Obama im November 2008 markierte einen historischen Wendepunkt in den USA: Der erste schwarze Präsident schien für eine postrassistische Gesellschaft und den Triumph der Bürgerrechtsbewegung zu stehen. Doch die Realität in den USA ist eine andere. Obwohl die Rassentrennung, die in den sogenannten Jim-Crow-Gesetzen festgeschrieben war, im Zuge der Bürgerrechtsbewegung abgeschafft wurde, sitzt heute ein unfassbar hoher Anteil der schwarzen Bevölkerung im Gefängnis oder ist lebenslang als kriminell gebrandmarkt. Ein Status, der die Leute zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse macht, indem er sie ihrer grundsätzlichsten Rechte beraubt – ganz ähnlich den explizit rassistischen Diskriminierungen der Jim-Crow-Ära. In ihrem Buch, das in Amerika eine breite Debatte ausgelöst hat, argumentiert Michelle Alexander, dass die USA ihr rassistisches System nach der Bürgerrechtsbewegung nicht abgeschafft, sondern lediglich umgestaltet haben. Da unter dem perfiden Deckmantel des »War on Drugs« überproportional junge männliche Schwarze und ihre Communities kriminalisiert werden, funktioniert das drakonische Strafjustizsystem der USA heute wie das System rassistischer Kontrolle von gestern: ein neues Jim Crow.
The race problem in the American criminal justice system persists because we enable it. The tendency of liberals to point a finger at law enforcement, racial conservatives, the War on Drugs, is misguided. Black as well as white voters, Democrat as much as Republican lawmakers, President Obama as much as Reagan, both Congress and the Supreme Court alike; all are implicated. We all are 'The Man'. Whether the problem is defined in terms of blacks' overrepresentation in prisons or in terms of the disproportional use of deadly police force against blacks, not enough of us demand that something be done. The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice is the story of how the race problem in criminal justice is continually enabled in the national crime policy process, and why.
Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
Category: Social Science
The U.S. has made significant progress toward ensuring equal treatment under law for all citizens. But in one arena -- criminal justice -- racial inequality is growing, not receding. Our criminal laws, while facially neutral, are enforced in a massively & pervasively biased manner. The injustices of the criminal justice system threaten to render irrelevant 50 years of hard-fought civil rights progress. This policy report examines the systematically unequal treatment of black & Hispanic Americans & other minorities as compared to their similarly situated white counterparts within the criminal justice system. It reviews the effects of such unequal treatment on these groups & on the criminal justice system.
America is the most punitive nation in the world, incarcerating more than 2.3 million people—or one in 136 of its residents. Against the backdrop of this unprecedented mass imprisonment, punishment permeates everyday life, carrying with it complex cultural meanings. In The Culture of Punishment, Michelle Brown goes beyond prison gates and into the routine and popular engagements of everyday life, showing that those of us most distanced from the practice of punishment tend to be particularly harsh in our judgments. The Culture of Punishment takes readers on a tour of the sites where culture and punishment meet—television shows, movies, prison tourism, and post 9/11 new war prisons—demonstrating that because incarceration affects people along distinct race and class lines, it is only a privileged group of citizens who are removed from the experience of incarceration. These penal spectators, who often sanction the infliction of pain from a distance, risk overlooking the reasons for democratic oversight of the project of punishment and, more broadly, justifications for the prohibition of pain.
Crime in the United States has fluctuated considerably over the past thirty years, as have the policy approaches to deal with it. During this time criminologists and other scholars have helped to shed light on the role of incarceration, prevention, drugs, guns, policing, and numerous other aspects to crime control. Yet the latest research is rarely heard in public discussions and is often missing from the desks of policymakers. This book accessibly summarizes the latest scientific information on the causes of crime and evidence about what does and does not work to control it. Thoroughly revised and updated, this new version of Crime and Public Policy will include twenty chapters and five new substantial entries. As with previous editions, each essay reviews the existing literature, discusses the methodological rigor of the studies, identifies what policies and programs the studies suggest, and then points to policies now implemented that fail to reflect the evidence. The chapters cover the principle institutions of the criminal justice system (juvenile justice, police, prisons, probation and parole, sentencing), how broader aspects of social life inhibit or encourage crime (biology, schools, families, communities), and topics currently generating a great deal of attention (criminal activities of gangs, sex offenders, prisoner reentry, changing crime rates). With contributions from trusted, leading scholars, Crime and Public Policy offers the most comprehensive and balanced guide to how the latest and best social science research informs the understanding of crime and its control for policymakers, community leaders, and students of crime and criminal justice.
In a series of newly commissioned essays from the leading scholars and advocates in criminal justice, Invisible Punishment explores, for the first time, the far-reaching consequences of our current criminal justice policies. Adopted as part of “get tough on crime” attitudes that prevailed in the 1980s and ’90s, a range of strategies, from “three strikes” and “a war on drugs,” to mandatory sentencing and prison privatization, have resulted in the mass incarceration of American citizens, and have had enormous effects not just on wrong-doers, but on their families and the communities they come from. This book looks at the consequences of these policies twenty years later.
A man murders his wife after she has admitted her infidelity; another man kills an openly gay teammate after receiving a massage; a third man, white, goes for a jog in a “bad” neighborhood, carrying a pistol, and shoots an African American teenager who had his hands in his pockets. When brought before the criminal justice system, all three men argue that they should be found “not guilty”; the first two use the defense of provocation, while the third argues he used his gun in self-defense. Drawing upon these and similar cases, Cynthia Lee shows how two well-established, traditional criminal law defenses—the doctrines of provocation and self-defense—enable majority-culture defendants to justify their acts of violence. While the reasonableness requirement, inherent in both defenses, is designed to allow community input and provide greater flexibility in legal decision-making, the requirement also allows majority-culture defendants to rely on dominant social norms, such as masculinity, heterosexuality, and race (i.e., racial stereotypes), to bolster their claims of reasonableness. At the same time, Lee examines other cases that demonstrate that the reasonableness requirement tends to exclude the perspectives of minorities, such as heterosexual women, gays and lesbians, and persons of color. Murder and the Reasonable Man not only shows how largely invisible social norms and beliefs influence the outcomes of certain criminal cases, but goes further, suggesting three tentative legal reforms to address problems of bias and undue leniency. Ultimately, Lee cautions that the true solution lies in a change in social attitudes.
In this compulsively readable social history, political scientist Stephen Pimpare vividly describes poverty from the perspective of poor and welfare-reliant Americans from the big city to the rural countryside. He focuses on how the poor have created community, secured shelter, and found food and illuminates their battles for dignity and respect. Through prodigious archival research and lucid analysis, Pimpare details the ways in which charity and aid for the poor have been inseparable, more often than not, from the scorn and disapproval of those who would help them. In the rich and often surprising historical testimonies he has collected from the poor in America, Pimpare overturns any simple conclusions about how the poor see themselves or what it feels like to be poor—and he shows clearly that the poor are all too often aware that charity comes with a price. It is that price that Pimpare eloquently questions in this book, reminding us through powerful anecdotes, some heart-wrenching and some surprisingly humorous, that poverty is not simply a moral failure.
#1 New York Times Bestseller | Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction | Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award | Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize | Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. Praise for Just Mercy “Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books “Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times “You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review “Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post “As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times “Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham “Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
This ain't no Dreamgirls," Rhodessa Jones warns participants in the Medea Project, the theater program for incarcerated women that she founded and directs. Her expectations are grounded in reality, tempered, for example, by the fact that women are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons. Still, Jones believes that by engaging incarcerated women in the process of developing and staging dramatic works based on their own stories, she can push them toward tapping into their own creativity, confronting the problems that landed them in prison, and taking control of their lives. Rena Fraden chronicles the collaborative process of transforming incarcerated women's stories into productions that incorporate Greek mythology, hip-hop music, dance, and autobiography. She captures a diverse array of voices, including those of Jones and other artists, the sheriff and prison guards, and, most vividly, the women themselves. Through compelling narrative and thoughtful commentary, Fraden investigates the Medea Project's blend of art and activism and considers its limits and possibilities for enacting social change. Rhodessa Jones is co-artistic director of the San Francisco-based performance company Cultural Odyssey and founder of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women. An award-winning performer, she has taught at the Yale School of Drama and the New College of California.
The Origins, Development, and Future of Constitutional Criminal Procedure
Author: Donald A. Dripps
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
This remarkably original and vital work argues that the problems are rooted in a disjunction between prevailing values and the prevailing doctrinal regime in constitutional law. Dripps asserts that the Fourteenth Amendment's more general standards of due process and equal protection encompass the values that ought to govern the criminal process. Why does the American criminal justice system punish too many innocent people, failing to punish so many guilty parties and imposing a disproportionate burden on blacks? This remarkably original and vital work argues that the problems are rooted in a disjunction between prevailing values and the prevailing doctrinal regime in constitutional law. Dripps asserts that the Fourteenth Amendment's more general standards of due process and equal protection encompass the values that ought to govern the criminal process. Criminal procedure ought to be about protecting the innocent, punishing the guilty, and doing equal justice. Modern legal doctrine, however, hinders these pursuits by concentrating on the specific procedural safeguards contained in the Bill of Rights. Dripps argues that a renewed focus on the Fourteenth Amendment would be more consistent than current law with both our values and with the legitimate sources of Constitutional law, and will promote the instrumental values the criminal process ought to serve. Legal and constitutional scholars will find his account of our criminal system's disarray compelling, and his argument as to how it may be reconstructed important and provoking.
This three volume reference set offers a comprehensive look at the roles race and ethnicity play in society and in our daily lives. General readers, students, and scholars alike will appreciate the informative coverage of intergroup relations in the United States and the comparative examination of race and ethnicity worldwide. These volumes offer a foundation to understanding as well as researching racial and ethnic diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective. Over a hundred racial and ethnic groups are described, with additional thematic essays offering insight into broad topics that cut across group boundaries and which impact on society. The encyclopedia has alphabetically arranged author-signed essays with references to guide further reading. Numerous cross-references aid the reader to explore beyond specific entries, reflecting the interdependent nature of race and ethnicity operating in society. The text is supplemented by photographs, tables, figures and custom-designed maps to provide an engaging visual look at race and ethnicity. An easy-to-use statistical appendix offers the latest data with carefully selected historical comparisons to aid study and research in the area
Social Science by Gregg Barak,Paul Leighton,Jeanne Flavin
Drawing examples from history, news stories, and popular culture, argues that crime, criminals, and the criminal justice system are socially constructed phenomena and are dependent upon social movements, political interests, media dissemination, and policymakers.
Much as we “select” computer settings by default—reflexively, without thinking, and sometimes without realizing there are other options—we often discriminate by default as well. And just as default computer settings tend to become locked in or entrenched as the standard, discrimination by default creates a situation in which disparate outcomes are expected, accepted, and taken for granted. The killing of Amadou Diallo, racial disparities in medical care, the dominance of Whites and men in certain professions, and even the uneven media attention paid to crimes depending on their victims’ race and class, all might be cases of discrimination by, or as, default. Wang contends that, today, most discrimination occurs by default and not design, making legal prohibitions that focus on those who discriminate out of ill will inadequate to redress the largest share of modern discrimination. She draws on social psychology to detail three ways in which unconscious assumptions can lead to discrimination, showing how they play out in a range of everyday settings. Wang then demonstrates how these dynamics interact in medical care to produce an invisible, self-fulfilling, and self-perpetuating prophecy of racial disparity. She goes on to suggest ways in which institutions and individuals might recognize, interrupt, and override the discriminatory default.
A landmark work by twelve leading critics and community leaders—essential reading for anyone interested in the history of American race relations. Ignited by the infamous shooting of Amadou Diallo, unarmed and innocent, at the hands of New York City police officers, journalist Jill Nelson was moved to assemble this landmark anthology on the topic of police violence and brutality: an indispensable collection of twelve "groundbreaking" (Ebony) essays by a range of contributors—among them academics, historians, social critics, a congressman, and an ex-New York City police detective. This "important and valuable book" (Emerge) places a centuries-old issue in much-needed historical and intellectual context, and underscores the profound influence police brutality has had in shaping the American identity. "[S]hould be read by anyone concerned about ending brutality, and should be required reading in police academies throughout America!"—Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School "Without hysteria or hyperbole, [Nelson] examines the issue of police abuse in literary form."—Emerge "A memorable and useful contribution to an increasingly volatile national dialogue."—Publishers Weekly "[N]ot only timely, but explores and exposes the sickness of this unbalanced, uncivilized Western pastime thoroughly."—Chuck D of Public Enemy, author of Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality
"A compelling and challenging work."—Frances K. Pohl, author of Framing America "Berger is unafraid to tackle the major issues, and this book shows it."—Bruce Robertson, author of Marsden Hartley and Reckoning with Winslow Homer "Berger, writing on topics as diverse as landscape photography and early film, pushes into fascinating issues of gender, race, and class with sensitivity, insight, and largely jargon-free analysis. Having made a mark as a key Eakins scholar, he promises to achieve a similar feat in Sight Unseen, getting us to rethink traditional material in a new light."—John Wilmerding, Christopher Binyon Sarofim Professor of American Art, Princeton University
Transforming Race, Nation, and the Limits of the Law
Author: Philip Kretsedemas
Publisher: Columbia University Press
In the debate over U. S. immigration, all sides now support policy and practice that expand the parameters of enforcement. Philip Kretsedemas examines this development from several different perspectives, exploring recent trends in U.S. immigration policy, the rise in extralegal state power over the course of the twentieth century, and discourses on race, nation, and cultural difference that have influenced politics and academia. He also analyzes the recent expansion of local immigration law and explains how forms of extralegal discretionary authority have become more prevalent in federal immigration policy, making the dispersion of local immigration laws possible. While connecting such extralegal state powers to a free flow position on immigration, Kretsedemas also observes how these same discretionary powers have been used historically to control racial minority populations, particularly African Americans under Jim Crow. This kind of discretionary authority often appeals to "states rights" arguments, recently revived by immigration control advocates. Using these and other examples, Kretsedemas explains how both sides of the immigration debate have converged on the issue of enforcement and how, despite differing interests, each faction has shaped the commonsense assumptions defining the debate.
Language Arts & Disciplines by Arthur A. Raney,Jennings Bryant
This distinctive Handbook covers the breadth of sports and media scholarship, one of the up-and-coming topics bridging media entertainment, sports management, and popular culture. Organized into historical, institutional, spectator, and critical studies perspectives, this volume brings together the work of many researchers into one quintessential volume, defining the full scope of the subject area. Editors Arthur Raney and Jennings Bryant have recruited contributors from around the world to identify and synthesize the research representing numerous facets of the sports-media relationship. As a unique collection on a very timely topic, the volume offers chapters examining the development of sports media; production, coverage, and economics of sports media; sports media audiences; sports promotion; and race and gender issues in sports and media. Unique in its orientation and breadth, the Handbook of Sports and Media is destined to play a major role in the future development of this fast-growing area of study. It is a must-have work for scholars, researchers, and graduate students working in media entertainment, media psychology, mass media/mass communication, sports marketing and management, popular communication, popular culture, and cultural studies.