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NCJ Number: NCJ 242162    
Title: Malign Effects of Drug and Crime Control Policies on Black Americans (From Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Volume 37, P 1-44, 2008, Michael Tonry, ed. - See NCJ-242161)
Author(s): Michael Tonry ; Matthew Melewski
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 44
  Annotation: This essay examined if the patterns of racial disparity have changed since the mid-1990s.
Abstract: The disproportionate presence of Blacks in American prisons, jails, and Death Rows, and the principal reasons for it—higher rates of commission of violent crimes and racially disparate effects of drug policies and sentencing laws governing violent and drug crimes—are well known. Since the late 1980s, Black involvement in violent crime has declined substantially, but racial disproportions have not. Blacks are six to seven times more likely than whites to be in prison. Nearly a third of young Black men are under criminal justice system control. A third of Black boys born in 2001 are predicted to spend some time in prison. The simplest explanation for these patterns is that drug and sentencing policies that contribute to disparities have not been significantly changed in decades. The question then is, why not? The answer is that the White majority does not empathize with poor Black people who wind up in prison. That in turn is because recent punishment policies have replaced the urban ghetto, Jim Crow laws, and slavery as a mechanism for maintaining White dominance over Blacks in the United States. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans ; Sentencing disparity ; Racial discrimination ; Sentencing factors ; Black/White Crime Comparisons ; Sentencing trends ; Minority overrepresentation
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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