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Questions to Consider
How do racial perceptions of crime bolster harsh and biased crime control policies? -- The Sentencing Project, 2014
"Seeking the Right Questions on Criminal Justice Reform," Steve David, ACLU of Ohio, 2015
"Questions and Answers about Racial Profiling," Amnesty International
What do Americans think about race and policing in the US? "Ten things we know...," The Fact Tank, Pew Research Center, 2020
Should the federal government enact substantial criminal justice reform? 2020-2021 National Debate Topic
Photo by Sheila Pree Bright, Atlanta, June 7, 2020; printed in The Washington Post Magazine, June 28, 2020
The Latino Experience
Ethnicity and Criminal Justice in the Era of Mass Incarceration: A Critical Reader on the Latino Experience by This book is designed as a Latino reader in criminal justice, covering a much broader spectrum of the Latino experience in criminal justice and society, while giving readers a broad overview of the Latino experience in a single book. Considering the shifting trends in demographics and the current state of the criminal justice system, along with the current political climate, this book is timely and of critical significance for the academic, political, and social arena. The authors report sound evidence that testifies to a historical legacy of violence, brutality, manipulation, oppression, marginalization, prejudice, discrimination, power, and control, and to white America's continued fear about ethnic and racial minorities, a movement that continues in the 21st century--as we witnessed during the 2016 presidential race, highly charged with anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican political rhetoric. A central objective of this book is to demystify and expose the ways in which ideas of ethnicity, race, gender, and class uphold the functioning and "legitimacy" of the criminal justice system. In this mission, rather than attempting to develop a single explanation for the Latino experience in policing, the courts, and the penal system, this book presents a variety of studies and perspectives that illustrate alternative ways of interpreting crime, punishment, safety, equality, and justice. The findings reveal that race, ethnicity, gender, class, and several other variables continue to play a significant role in the legal decision-making process. With the social control (from police brutality to immigration) discourse reaching unprecedented levels, the book will have broad appeal for students, police officers, advocates/activists, attorneys, the media, and the general public.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2017
Hispanics in the U. S. Criminal Justice System by This updated and expanded new edition's findings reveal that race, and other variables continue to play a significant and consequential role in the legal decision-making process. The book is structured into three sections, each of which corresponds to a different body of work on Latinos. Section One explores the historical dynamics and influence of ethnicity in law enforcement, and focuses on how ethnicity impacts policing field practices, such as traffic stops, use of force, and the subsequent actions that police departments have employed to alleviate these problems. A detailed examination of critical issues facing Latino defendants seeks to better understand the law enforcement process. The history of immigration laws as it pertains to Mexicans and Latinos explains how Mexicans have been excluded from the United States through anti-immigrant legislation. Latino officers must cope with structural and political issues, the community, and media, as these practices and experiences within the American police system are explored. Section Two focuses on the repressive practices against Mexicans that resulted in executions, vigilantism, and mass expulsions. The topic of Latinos and the Fourth Amendment reveals that the constitutional right of people to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures has been eviscerated for Latinos, and particularly for Mexicans. Possible remedies to existing shortcomings of the court system when processing indigent defendants are presented. Section Three studies the issue of Hispanics and the penal system. The ethnic realities of life behind bars, probation and parole, the legacy of capital punishment, and life after prison are discussed. Section Four addresses the globalization of Latinos, social control, and the future of Latinos in the U.S. Criminal justice system. Lastly, the race and ethnic experience through the lens of science, law, and the American imagination, are explored, concluding with policy recommendations for social and criminal justice reform, and ultimately humanizing differences. Written for professionals and students of law enforcement, this book will promote the understanding of the historical legacy of brutality, manipulation, oppression, marginalization, prejudice, discrimination, power and control, and white America's continued fear about racial and ethnic minorities.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2018
What Ferguson Can Teach Us by To the dismay of many, gun violence against youth – be it at school or on the streets – is a common theme in American culture. As the occurrences of these gruesome shootings become more frequent, Americans grow even more anesthetized to the events. Even President Obama has indicated that shootings do not affect him as they once did; “Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine” (Bailey 2015, 1). As Americans become less shocked by school shootings and death, they become numb to violence in other aspects of society – like shootings of black males and shootings of law enforcement officers. Yet, nothing has galvanized the country as it relates to police tactics, black deaths, race relations, and criminal justice techniques more than the death of Michael Brown. The fatal shooting of Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, a 28-year old white policeman, occurred on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis. The circumstances of the shooting, which continue to be debated and discussed, resulted in an escalation of existing tensions between the citizens of Ferguson and the institution charged with protecting them and the country as a whole. This book provides a more comprehensive examination of the events surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Wilson and the events that followed. It uncovers the lingering questions surrounding the events of August 9, 2014, and will serve to generate an on-going dialogue about the role race and class play in the criminal justice system, the importance of recognizing the impact of public policy initiatives and laws at the local level when measured through the lens of criminal justice and judicial equity, and the role the media plays in shaping the public agenda. This book does this by exploring the relationship between established historical cultural norms that have propagated classism and racial division and the public policy initiatives that allow the continuation of these problems.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2016
Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma by How can it be, in a nation that elected Barack Obama, that one third of African American males born in 2001 will spend time in a state or federal prison, and that black men are seven times likelier than white men to be in prison? Blacks are much more likely than whites to be stopped by thepolice, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned, and are much less likely to have confidence in justice system officials, especially the police.In "Punishing Race," Michael Tonry demonstrates in lucid, accessible language that these patterns result not from racial differences in crime or drug use but primarily from drug and crime control policies that disproportionately affect black Americans. These policies in turn stem from a lack of whiteempathy for black people, and from racial stereotypes and resentments provoked partly by the Republican Southern Strategy of using coded "law and order" appeals to race to gain support from white voters.White Americans, Tonry observes, have a remarkable capacity to endure the suffering of disadvantaged black and, increasingly, Hispanic men. Crime policies are among a set of social policies enacted since the 1960s that have maintained white dominance over black people despite the end of legaldiscrimination. To redress these injustices, Tonry offers a number of proposals: stop racial profiling by the police, shift the emphasis of drug law enforcement to treatment and prevention, eliminate mandatory sentencing laws, and change sentencing guidelines to allow judges discretion to takeaccount of offenders' life circumstances. Those proposals are all attainable and would all reduce unjustifiable racial disparities and the collateral human and social harms they cause.A damning indictment of decades of misguided criminal justice policy, Punishing Race takes a crucial look at persisting racial injustice in America.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2012
Race, Crime, and Justice by A comprehensive collection of the essential writings on race and crime, this important Reader spans more than a century and clearly demonstrates the long-standing difficulties minorities have faced with the justice system. The editors skillfully draw on the classic work of such thinkers as W.E.B. DuBois and Gunnar Myrdal as well as the contemporary work of scholars such as Angela Davis, Joan Petersilia, John Hagen and Robert Sampson. This anthology also covers all of the major topics and issues from policing, courts, drugs and urban violence to inequality, racial profiling and capital punishment. This is required reading for courses in criminology and criminal justice, legal studies, sociology, social work and race.
Publication Date: 2005
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Race and Criminal Justice
On this page you'll find lists of recommended resources in a variety of formats by Skyline College faculty member Jesse Raskin, public librarians and community created reading lists related to policing, incarceration, and more.
Staffers walk out of Congress in protest over Brown and Garner Cases. Photo by Brendan Smialowski of Getty Images, showing Congressional staff during a walkout at the Capitol in December 2014.
Learn more about Race and Criminal Justice
Resources recommended by Jesse Raskin, Associate Professor, Paralegal Studies, June 2020
Access to Books & More from PLS
Featured Reading Lists
A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice and Freedom by An urgent call to free those buried alive by America's legal system, and an inspiring true story about unwavering belief in humanity--from a gifted young lawyer and important new voice in the movement to transform the system. "An essential book for our time . . . Brittany K. Barnett is a star."--Van Jones, CEO of REFORM Alliance, CNN Host, and New York Times bestselling author Brittany K. Barnett was only a law student when she came across the case that would change her life forever--that of Sharanda Jones, single mother, business owner, and, like Brittany, Black daughter of the rural South. A victim of America's devastating war on drugs, Sharanda had been torn away from her young daughter and was serving a life sentence without parole--for a first-time drug offense. In Sharanda, Brittany saw haunting echoes of her own life, as the daughter of a formerly incarcerated mother. As she studied this case, a system came into focus in which widespread racial injustice forms the core of America's addiction to incarceration. Moved by Sharanda's plight, Brittany set to work to gain her freedom. This had never been the plan. Bright and ambitious, Brittany was a successful accountant on her way to a high-powered future in corporate law. But Sharanda's case opened the door to a harrowing journey through the criminal justice system. By day she moved billion-dollar deals, and by night she worked pro bono to free clients in near hopeless legal battles. Ultimately, her path transformed her understanding of injustice in the courts, of genius languishing behind bars, and the very definition of freedom itself. Brittany's riveting memoir is at once a coming-of-age story and a powerful evocation of what it takes to bring hope and justice to a system built to resist them both.
Call Number: Available through PLS
Publication Date: 2020
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