November 16, 2007
Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System
"With the recent “Jena 6” racial incident at the forefront of debate and controversy in the United States, the relationship between race and the criminal justice system is once again the center of national attention.
A new research brief released recently by the American Sociological Association, in its series on How Race and Ethnicity Matter, highlights data and research on racial and ethnic disparities in crime and the criminal justice system in the United States. Focusing on studies that span several decades, the brief demonstrates how research from the social and behavioral sciences serves as a resource to understand the relationship between race and the criminal justice system.
The brief indicates that researchers have concluded that there is a substantial body of evidence to show race differences in the juvenile justice system. Studies also show that the most severe impacts of criminal justice outcomes over the past several decades have been experienced by young, black males, who are stopped, searched by police, arrested, sentenced, and incarcerated at levels far beyond their representation in the general population." [RJ]
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