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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76448 Find in a Library
Title: Minorities and Criminal Justice - Research and Conceptual Issues
Journal: Research Bulletin  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1980)  Pages:1-8
Author(s): O Rodriguez; L H Rogler
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Existing knowledge about minority experiences with regard to crime, victimization, and differential treatment by criminal justice agencies is reviewed and placed in a theoretical framework.
Abstract: Statistics on the ethnicity of criminal justice populations show overrepresentation of minority group members, especially blacks. Official data seem to indicate greater overrepresentation of blacks in prison in relation to Hispanics but a pattern of increasing commitments among Hispanic groups. Available information also suggests that crime patterns of Native Americans and Asian Americans are different from those of either Hispanics or blacks. While minorities are overrepresented among arrestees and prison inmates, evidence that they actually commit more crimes than the norm is not definitive. Research on minorities and crime must examine the patterns of organized crime enterprises, irregular economic activities, drug and alcohol use among minorities, and the interrelationships of these factors with conventionally defined crime and legitimate employment. Personal victimization rates are higher for nonwhites than for whites but differ for various groups according to the type of offense. Hispanics appear to have higher victimization rates than blacks but lower rates than whites. Future studies should focus on different victimization experiences of the various minorities and on trends in interethnic crime. Inadequate and unequal treatment of minorities is evident in the operations of criminal justice agencies. Race appears to affect criminal case disposition, the quality of relationships with middle-class representatives of the establishment, and use of deadly force by the police. A theoretical approach to crime among minorities would focus on the separate and combined effects of structural and subcultural factors on crime and victimization experiences of minorities. The influence of legal and extralegal factors on the treatment of minorities by the criminal justice system would also be considered. Research on minority crime and criminal justice experiences is necessary in developing new policies to make the criminal justice system responsive to the problems of minorities. Fifty-nine references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Corrections statistics; Court statistics; Crime Rate; Discrimination; Inmate statistics; Minorities; Police attitudes; Social classes; Victimization
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