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NCJ Number: 228159 Find in a Library
Title: Revisiting the Racial Threat Thesis: The Role of Police Organizational Characteristics in Predicting Race-Specific Drug Arrest Rates
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:26  Issue:3  Dated:September 2009  Pages:528-561
Author(s): David Eitle; Susanne Monahan
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 34
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the role of police organizational characteristics, in the context of structural factors, to determine whether the structure, organization, and behavior of the police were predictive of, or serve as moderators for, race-specific drug arrests across cities in United States.
Abstract: Two main conclusions drawn from this study reveal that several organizational factors predicted variation in the race-specific arrest rates of African-Americans and Whites, including measures of structural complexity and that both spatial and functional differentiation were positively associated with drug arrest activity for both African-Americans and Whites. In addition, racial threat measures were associated with African-American drug arrest rates under conditions of relatively low organizational control. The results clearly suggest that police organizations should not be treated as black boxes wherein variation did not matter. Further research is recommended to explore the association between structural controls and police behavior in order to evaluate the extent to which greater controls reduce the influence of extralegal factors on critical police activities, such as arrests. In the past, research has examined the relationship between structural factors and drug arrest rates; however, it has neglected the role of the police organization. Utilizing data from 260 cities, this study examined police organizational factors as direct predictors of race-specific drug arrest rates and as potential moderators of the effects of structural factors on drug arrest rates. Tables, figures, references, and appendixes 1-4
Main Term(s): Drug law enforcement
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Drug law offenses; Drug offenders; Police-minority relations; Race relations; Racial discrimination; Threat assessment
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