Race and Punishment Report on Racial Perceptions of Crime and Punishment Sentencing Project 2014
Download original document:
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
RACE AND PUNISHMENT: RACIAL PERCEPTIONS OF CRIME AND SUPPORT FOR PUNITIVE POLICIES For more information, contact: The Sentencing Project 1705 DeSales Street NW 8th Floor Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 628-0871 sentencingproject.org twitter.com/sentencingproj facebook.com/thesentencingproject This report was written by Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., Research Analyst at The Sentencing Project. Christopher Lewis, Research Associate, provided research assistance. The Sentencing Project is a national non-profit organization engaged in research and advocacy on criminal justice issues. The work of The Sentencing Project is supported by many individual donors and contributions from the following: Atlantic Philanthropies Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation craigslist Charitable Fund Ford Foundation Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church Jewish Communal Fund JK Irwin Foundation Open Society Foundations Public Welfare Foundation David Rockefeller Fund Elizabeth B. and Arthur E. Roswell Foundation Stockwell-Frase Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund of Tides Foundation Wallace Global Fund Working Assets/CREDO Copyright © 2014 by The Sentencing Project. Reproduction of this document in full or in part, and in print or electronic format, only by permission of The Sentencing Project. TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary I. Introduction II. Public Support for Punitive Policies A. Historical Changes in Punitive Sentiment B. The Racial Gap in Punitiveness C. The Racial Gap in Victimization III. Racial Perceptions of Crime A. Overestimating Black and Hispanic Crime Rates B. Implicit Biases About People of Color IV. Racial Perceptions of Crime Linked to Punitiveness V. Sources of Racial Perceptions of Crime A. Racial Differences in Crime Rates B. Media Portrayals of Crime C. Policymakers D. Criminal Justice Professionals VI. Punitiveness Linked to Other Racial Gaps in Views and Experiences A. Whites’ Limited and Favorable Criminal Justice Contact B. Racial Prejudice C. Individualistic Accounts of Crime VII. Consequences of a Biased and Punitive Criminal Justice System A. Eroded Perceived Legitimacy B. Undermining Public Safety VIII. Remedies and Recommendations A. The Media and Researchers: Reduce Racial Disparities in Crime Coverage, Contextualize Stories on Crime and Sentencing, and Improve Public Opinion Polling B. Policymakers: Curb Excessive Incarceration and Tackle Racial Disparities in Crime Policies and Crime Rates C. Practitioners and Other Stakeholders: Recognize and Address Implicit Racial Bias and Revise Policies with Disparate Racial Impact Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 1 2 The Sentencing Project EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The American criminal justice system is at a critical juncture. In recent years, federal policymakers have called for reforms, following the lead of states that have reduced prison populations without compromising public safety. Nationwide prison counts have fallen every year since 2010, and the racial gap in imprisonment rates has also begun to narrow. Yet the recent tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri – where the killing of an unarmed African American teenager has sparked outrage – highlight the ongoing relevance of race in the criminal justice system. To guide and give greater momentum to recent calls for reform, this report examines a key driving force of criminal justice outcomes: racial perceptions of crime. A complex set of factors contributes to the severity and selectivity of punishment in the United States, including public concern about crime and racial differences in crime rates. This report synthesizes two decades of research establishing that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans’ strong associations of crime with racial minorities – have bolstered harsh and biased criminal justice policies. The report concludes that: White Americans are more punitive than people of color. Whites are more punitive than blacks and Hispanics even though they experience less crime. For example, while the majority of whites supported the death penalty for someone convicted of murder in 2013, half of Hispanics and a majority of blacks opposed this punishment. Compared to blacks, whites are also more likely to support “three strikes and you’re out” laws, to describe the courts as not harsh enough, and to endorse trying youth as adults. And yet, blacks and Hispanics are far more likely than whites to be victims of violent and property crimes. Whites misjudge how much crime is committed by African Americans and Latinos. White Americans overestimate the proportion of crime committed by people of color, and associate people of color with criminality. For example, white respondents in a 2010 survey overestimated the actual share of burglaries, illegal drug sales, and juvenile crime committed by African Americans by 20-30%. In addition, implicit bias research has uncovered widespread and deep-seated tendencies among whites – including criminal justice practitioners – to associate blacks and Latinos with criminality. Whites who more strongly associate crime with racial minorities are more supportive of punitive policies. White Americans who associate crime with blacks and Latinos are more likely to support punitive policies – including capital punishment and mandatory minimum sentencing – than whites with weaker racial associations of crime. This relationship exists even after controlling for other relevant factors such as racial prejudice, conservatism, and crime salience. Media crime coverage fuels racial perceptions of crime. Many media outlets reinforce the public’s racial misconceptions about crime by presenting African Americans and Latinos differently than whites – both quantitatively and qualitatively. Television news programs and newspapers over-represent racial minorities as crime suspects and whites as crime victims. Black and Latino suspects are also more likely than whites to be presented in a non-individualized and threatening way – unnamed and in police custody. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 3 Policymakers’ actions and statements amplify the public’s racial associations of crime. Whether acting on their own implicit biases or bowing to political exigency, policymakers have fused crime and race in their policy initiatives and statements. They have crafted harsh sentencing laws that impact all Americans and disproportionately incarcerate people of color. Through public statements, some have stoked the public’s heightened concern about crime and exaggerated associations of crime with racial minorities. Criminal justice practitioners also operate with and reinforce racial perceptions of crime. Disparities in police stops, in prosecutorial charging, and in bail and sentencing decisions reveal that implicit racial bias has penetrated all corners of the criminal justice system. Moreover, policies that are raceneutral on their surface – such as “hot spot” policing and certain risk assessment instruments – have targeted low-income people of color for heightened surveillance and punishment. Racial perceptions of crime have distorted the criminal justice system. prisoners serving life sentences. Racial perceptions of crime, combined with other factors, have led to the disparate punishment of people of color. Although blacks and Latinos together comprise just 30% of the general population, they account for 58% of the prison population. Racial perceptions of crime have undermined public safety. By increasing the scale of criminal sanctions and disproportionately directing penalties toward people of color, racial perceptions of crime have been counterproductive for public safety. Racial minorities’ perceptions of unfairness in the criminal justice system have dampened cooperation with police work and impeded criminal trials. In 2013, over two-thirds of African Americans saw the criminal justice system as biased against blacks, in contrast to one-quarter of whites. Crime policies that disproportionately target people of color can increase crime rates by concentrating the effects of criminal labeling and collateral consequences on racial minorities and by fostering a sense of legal immunity among whites. Finally, racial perceptions of crime have even led to the deaths of innocent people of color at the hands of fearful civilians and police officers. The report concludes with recommendations for how By increasing support for punitive policies, racial the media, researchers, policymakers, and criminal justice perceptions of crime have made sentencing more professionals can address and mitigate the effects of severe for all Americans. The United States now has racial perceptions of crime, and lay the groundwork for the world’s highest imprisonment rate, with one in nine more just crime control policies. 4 The Sentencing Project I. INTRODUCTION Punishment in the United States is both severe and selective. With the world’s highest incarceration rate and one in nine prisoners serving life sentences, the United States remains the only Western democracy still using the death penalty.1 Low-income people of color2 have disproportionately borne the brunt of these policies. Nearly 60% of middleaged African American men without a high school degree have served time in prison.3 And while blacks and Latinos together comprise 30% of the general population, they account for 58% of prisoners.4 Criminal justice policies and practices, and not just crime rates, are key drivers of these trends: correctional populations have grown during periods of declining crime rates and people of color are disproportionately punished even for crimes that they do not commit at higher rates than whites.5 The United States is now at a critical juncture in recalibrating its criminal justice policies. The majority of Americans support easing criminal punishment for drug offenses.6 The Attorney General, bipartisan Congressional leadership, and the United States Sentencing Commission are calling for reforms to reduce the severity and disparate impact of criminal sanctions.7 A number of states have led the way: New York, New Jersey, and California 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 have dramatically reduced their prison populations without compromising public safety and six other states have achieved double-digit reductions in recent years.8 Nationwide, prison counts have receded every year since 2010 after 37 years of consecutive growth.9 The racial gap in incarceration rates has also begun to narrow.10 To guide and give greater momentum to these reforms, this report examines a key force driving criminal justice outcomes: racial perceptions of crime. A complex set of factors explains the severity and selectivity of punishment in the United States, including public concern about crime as well as racial differences in crime rates. This report synthesizes existing research showing that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans’ strong associations of crime with blacks and Latinos – have bolstered harsh and biased crime control policies. White Americans, who constitute a majority of policymakers, criminal justice practitioners, the media, and the general public, overestimate the proportion of crime committed by people of color and the proportion of racial minorities who commit crime. Even individuals who denounce racism often harbor unconscious Walmsley, R. (2013). World Prison Population List (10th Edition). London, U.K.: International Centre for Prison Studies. Available at: http://www. prisonstudies.org/sites/prisonstudies.org/files/resources/downloads/wppl_10.pdf (pp. 1, 3); Nellis, A. (2013). Life Goes On: The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_Life%20 Goes%20On%202013.pdf (p. 1); Amnesty International (2014). Death Sentences and Executions 2013. London, U.K. Available at: http://www. amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/act500012014en.pdf (p. 6). In this report, the terms “African American” and “black” are used interchangeably, as are “Latino” and “Hispanic.” “People of color” and “racial minorities” are used to refer to these two racial and ethnic groups since they are the largest affected populations and because of the preponderance of research about these groups. Western, B. (2006). Punishment and Inequality in America. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation (p. 27). U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts. Available at: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html; Carson, E. A. & Golinelli D. (2013). Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991–2012. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/ content/pub/pdf/p12tar9112.pdf (p. 37, App. Tbl. 4). National Research Council (2014). The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Available at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18613 (pp. 47–56). Pew Research Center (2014). America’s New Drug Policy Landscape. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.people-press.org/2014/04/02/ section-1-perceptions-of-drug-abuse-views-of-drug-policies/; see also The New York Times Editorial Board (2014). Repeal Prohibition, Again. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-marijuana-legalization.html. Peters, J. W. (2014). G.O.P. Moving to Ease Its Stance on Sentencing. The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/ us/gop-moving-to-ease-stance-on-sentencing.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-thecaucus&_r=1; U.S. Sentencing Commission (2014). U.S. Sentencing Commission Unanimously Votes to Allow Delayed Retroactive Reduction in Drug Trafficking Sentences. Available at: http://www. ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/news/press-releases-and-news-advisories/press-releases/20140718_press_release.pdf. Mauer, M. & Ghandnoosh, N. (2014). Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime: A Tale of Three States. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_Fewer_Prisoners_Less_Crime.pdf; Greene, J. & Mauer, M. (2010). Downscaling Prisons: Lessons from Four States. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/ publications/inc_DownscalingPrisons2010.pdf; Lofstrom, M. & Raphael, S. (2013). Public Safety Realignment and Crime Rates in California. San Francisco, CA: Public Policy Institute of California. http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_1213MLR.pdf. Mauer, M. & Ghandnoosh, N. (2013). Can We Wait 88 Years to End Mass Incarceration? The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www. huffingtonpost.com/marc-mauer/88-years-mass-incarceration_b_4474132.html. Carson & Golinelli (2013), note 4 above; Mauer, M. (2013). The Changing Racial Dynamics of Women’s Incarceration. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_Changing%20Racial%20Dynamics%202013.pdf (p. 8, Tbl. 1). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 5 and unintentional racial biases. Attributing crime to racial minorities limits empathy toward offenders and encourages retribution as the primary response to crime. Consequently, although whites experience less crime than people of color, they are more punitive. minorities’ perception of unfairness in the criminal justice system has dampened cooperation with police work and impeded criminal trials. Excessive criminalization has left millions struggling to stay afloat against the anvil of a criminal record. And finally, a racially biased criminal justice system may foster white Americans’ sense of legal Other racial differences in views and experiences also immunity, with some studies showing that whites are contribute to whites being more punitive than people more likely to break rules when they see that enforcement of color. Black Americans’ negative encounters with the is racially biased. criminal justice system and greater recognition of the root causes of crime temper their preference for punitive The media, policymakers, and criminal justice practitioners policies. White Americans, by contrast, have less frequent can implement several proven interventions to sever and more positive criminal justice contact, endorse more associations of crime with race, and temper their impact. individualistic causal explanations of crime, and are more News producers can monitor and correct for disparities likely to harbor overt racial prejudice. in crime reporting. Policymakers can curb excessive incarceration and develop policies to reduce disparities in Whites’ associations of crime with people of color sentencing and crime rates. All stakeholders – particularly have helped to make the criminal justice system more criminal justice professionals – can use empirically punitive toward people of all races, and especially toward validated tools to detect and reduce the impact of implicit racial minorities, through several mechanisms. First, the racial biases. public’s racial perceptions of crime have gone handin-hand with its support for punitive crime policy, to The report is organized as follows: Section II examines which elected officials,11 prosecutors,12 and judges13 have public opinion about punishment, showing that Americans been responsive. Second, these perceptions directly have grown more punitive over time and that white influence the work of criminal justice practitioners and Americans are more punitive than African Americans and policymakers, who are not immune to these widely held Latinos, even though they are less frequently impacted by biases. crime. Section III describes explicit and implicit measures of Americans’ racial perceptions of crime. Section IV A widespread consequence of racial perceptions of crime presents studies showing that whites with stronger racial is the overrepresentation of people of color in prisons, associations of crime are more punitive than whites with jails, and under community supervision. A less common weaker racial associations of crime. Section V examines but more acutely tragic outcome has been the deaths of the role that crime rates, the media, policymakers, and people of color due to distorted assessments of threat criminal justice professionals have played in shaping by police officers and armed civilians. The deaths of the public’s mental image of, and response to, people Amadou Diallo, an unarmed Guinean immigrant killed who commit crime. Section VI discusses other racial by New York City police officers in 1999, Trayvon differences in views and experiences that account for Martin, an unarmed African American teenager killed by the racial gap in punitive sentiment, including experience a neighborhood watch coordinator in 2012, and Michael with police stops, causal accounts of crime, and overt Brown, an unarmed African American teenager killed by racial prejudice. Section VII describes the negative a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri are all-too-common consequences of a biased and punitive criminal justice flashpoints of the racialization of crime. system. Section VIII suggests how policymakers, criminal By disproportionately directing criminal justice penalties justice professionals, and the media can remedy their own toward people of color, racial perceptions of crime and the public’s perceived link between race and crime, have been counterproductive to public safety. Racial and temper its influence on criminal justice. 11 12 13 Enns, P. K. (Forthcoming). The Public’s Increasing Punitiveness and Its Influence on Mass Incarceration in the United States. American Journal of Political Science; Nicholson-Crotty, S., Peterson, D. A. M., & Ramirez, M. D. (2009). Dynamic Representation(s): Federal Criminal Justice Policy and an Alternative Dimension of Public Mood. Political Behavior, 31(4), 629–55; note caveats discussed in Peffley, M. & Hurwitz, J. (2010). Justice in America: The Separate Realities of Blacks and Whites. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press (pp. 140–8). Baumer, E. P., Martin, K. H., Baumer, E. P., & Martin, K. H. (2014). Social Organization, Collective Sentiment, and Legal Sanctions in Murder Cases. American Journal of Sociology, 119 (1), 131–182. Brace, P. & Boyea, B. D. (2008). State Public Opinion, the Death Penalty, and the Practice of Electing Judges. American Journal of Political Science, 52(2), 360–372. 6 The Sentencing Project II. PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR PUNITIVE POLICIES Two dominant patterns emerge from public opinion surveys about criminal justice. First, Americans of all races are significantly more punitive than they once were, although punitive sentiment has been receding. Second, whites are and have been more punitive than African Americans and Latinos, even though they are less frequently victimized and are less concerned about crime. The racial gap in punitiveness persists even after noting important caveats about criminal justice polling methods. lowest rate of public support for the death penalty, with only 42% of Americans supporting and 47% opposing this form of punishment for a person convicted of murder.14 The public had already grown more punitive by 1972, when the Supreme Court declared then-existing state death penalty statutes to be unconstitutional. That year, 54% of Americans supported capital punishment.15 Death penalty support reached its peak at 80% in 1994, and gradually declined to 60% by 2013.16 The dramatic rise and sustained high levels of support for the death penalty have been accompanied by support for other harsh punishments. Mark Ramirez has charted historical changes in the public’s support for Americans grew dramatically more punitive beginning in the death penalty, harsher judicial sentencing, increased the late 1960s, and one window into this trend is attitudes law enforcement authority, and increased spending for toward the death penalty. In 1966, Gallup recorded the tougher police enforcement.17 He found that support A. HISTORICAL CHANGES IN PUNITIVE SENTIMENT Figure 1. Punitive sentiment, 1951 to 2003 70 60 50 40 0 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Source: Ramirez, M. D. (2013). Punitive Sentiment. Criminology, 51(2), 329–364 (p. 337). 14 15 16 17 Jones, J. M. (2013). U.S. Death Penalty Support Lowest in More Than 40 Years. Gallup. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/165626/deathpenalty-support-lowest-years.aspx. Saad, L. (2007). Racial Disagreement Over Death Penalty Has Varied Historically. Gallup. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/28243/RacialDisagreement-Over-Death-Penalty-Has-Varied-Historically.aspx. Jones (2013), note 14 above. Ramirez, M. D. (2013a). Punitive Sentiment. Criminology, 51(2), 329–364; For recent trends in nationwide views on crime and punishment, see Ramirez, M. D. (2013b). Americans’ Changing Views on Crime and Punishment. Public Opinion Quarterly, 77(4), 1006–1031. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 7 for these policies rapidly escalated in tandem during the 1970s and 1980s, and remained at these high rates until beginning to decrease in 1997 (see Figure 1). Ramirez also searched for the sources of this punitiveness. Punitive sentiment increased, he found, when presidents framed crime as a result of a permissive criminal justice system. Other factors that were closely tied to increases in punitive sentiment included: increased public concern about crime, higher rates of drug use, and public perceptions of greater racial integration.18 It is “no coincidence,” he concludes, “that the increase in support for punitive policies occurred at the same time as the public turned away from the New Deal and Great Society solutions to poverty. […] Conservative politicians implemented a strategy that connected these issues, along with the civil rights movement, to the coddling of criminals and need for punitive solutions to crime.”19 After decades of draconian sentencing, a growing share of the public has described the courts as too harsh in recent years.20 B. THE RACIAL GAP IN PUNITIVENESS Strong support for punitive policies is not only historically novel, it is also racially patterned. A 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that while the majority of whites supported the death penalty for someone convicted of murder (63% supported, 30% opposed), blacks and Hispanics were more likely to oppose rather than support this punishment (with only 36% of blacks and 40% of Hispanics supporting, and 55% of blacks and 50% of Hispanics opposing, see Figure 2).21 Historical trends also reveal that “over a 30-year period, the divide between whites and African Americans in their opinions about the death penalty has remained virtually the same.”22 Whites are also consistently more supportive of other forms of harsh punishment, although often the majority of both whites and blacks support these punitive measures. A national survey conducted between 2000 and 2001 showed that 70% of whites, in contrast to 52% of blacks, supported “three strikes” laws that compelled life sentences for people convicted of a third serious 18 19 20 21 22 Figure 2. Support for death penalty for persons convicted of murder, by race, 2013 63% 50% 40% White 36% Hispanic Black Source: Pew Research Center. Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.pewforum. org/2014/03/28/shrinking-majority-of-americans-support-deathpenalty/. Figure 3. Support for various punitive measures, by race, 2000-2001 White Black 70% 60% 52% 46% Three strikes laws Trying juveniles as adults Source: Peffley, M. & Hurwitz, J. (2010). Justice in America: The Separate Realities of Blacks and Whites. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press (pp. 152–3). Ramirez (2013a), note 17 above (pp. 347–50). Ramirez (2013a), note 17 above (p. 357). Ramirez (2013b), note 17 above; Muller, C. & Schrage, D. (2014). Mass Imprisonment and Trust in the Law. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 651, 139–158. Pew Research Center (2014). Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.pewforum. org/2014/03/28/shrinking-majority-of-americans-support-death-penalty/. Unnever, J. D., Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2008). Race, Racism, and Support for Capital Punishment. Crime and Justice, 37(1), 45–96 (p. 54). 8 The Sentencing Project Figure 4. “Do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals?” 2000s 73% 64% (see Figure 4).25 Whites also consistently outpaced blacks in their preference for more punitive courts during the 1980s and 1990s, when an even higher share of both blacks and whites supported harsher sentencing.26 Finally, white Americans are also more likely than African Americans to endorse the use of the criminal justice system over other social policy tools to reduce crime. When asked how best to reduce crime, 35% of whites said by investing in education and job training (versus 58% of blacks), 10% said by investing in police and prisons (versus 1% of blacks), and 45% said through both means (versus 35% of blacks, see Figure 5).27 These figures should be interpreted with three important caveats. First, the wording of the most widely used survey questions exaggerates public punitiveness. For example, support for the death penalty diminishes significantly when respondents are given the option of sentencing someone White Black to life without the possibility of parole.28 In fact, a recent poll found that the majority of Americans support life “Not harshly enough” without parole over execution for someone convicted of murder.29 Punitive sentiment also recedes when questions Source: Wright, J. D., Jasinski, J. L, Lanier, D. N. (2012). Crime, Punishment, and Social Disorder: Crime Rates and Trends in Public are reworded to ask whether the courts are “too lenient” Opinion over More than Three Decades. In Marsden, P. V. (ed.) Social rather than “not harsh enough.”30 Second, public Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972, pp. 146–176. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (p. 158). support for punitive policies is often based on inaccurate understanding of existing policies.31 For example, research 23 offense (see Figure 3). Asked if juveniles should be tried on federal sentencing shows that juries’ sentencing as adults, 60% of whites agreed, in contrast to 46% of recommendations are far below applicable sentencing blacks (see Figure 3).24 guidelines.32 Finally, Americans remain supportive of rehabilitation as a correctional goal – especially for the When asked on another national survey whether “the young33 – and support addressing the root causes of crime courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough rather than only responding to crime with punishment.34 with criminals,” 73% of whites responded “not harshly In fact, the American public is pragmatic in its crimeenough” in contrast to 64% of blacks during the 2000s 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (p. 153). Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (p. 153). Wright, J. D., Jasinski, J. L, Lanier, D. N. (2012). Crime, Punishment, and Social Disorder: Crime Rates and Trends in Public Opinion over More than Three Decades. In Marsden, P. V. (ed.) Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972, pp. 146–176. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (p. 158). Bureau of Justice Statistics (1996). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1995. Available at: http://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=711243 (p. 172, Tbl. 2.57). Thompson, V. R. & Bobo, L. D. (2011). Thinking about Crime: Race and Lay Accounts of Lawbreaking Behavior. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 634, 16–38 (p. 28, Tbl. 5). Cullen, F. T., Fisher, B. S., & Applegate, B. K. (2000). Public Opinion about Punishment and Corrections. Crime and Justice, 27, 1–79 (pp. 19–21). Ergun, D. (2014). New Low in Preference for the Death Penalty. ABC News. Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/06/new-lowin-preference-for-the-death-penalty/. Applegate, B. K. & Sanborn, J. B. (2011). Public Opinion on the Harshness of Local Courts: An Experimental Test of Question Wording Effects. Criminal Justice Review, 36(4), 487–97. Roberts, J. V. (1992). Public Opinion, Crime, and Criminal Justice. Crime and Justice, 16, 99–180 (pp. 149–50); see also review in Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 140–8). Gwin, J. S. (2010). Juror Sentiment on Just Punishment: Do the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Reflect Community Values? Harvard Law & Policy Review, 4, 173–200 (p. 187). Cullen, Fisher, & Applegate (2000), note 28 above (pp. 48–56); Nagin, D. S., Piquero, A. R. Scott, E. S., & Steinberg, L. (2006). Public Preferences for Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence from a Contingent Valuation Survey. Criminology & Public Policy, 5(4): 627–651; Bishop, D. (2006). Public Opinion and Juvenile Justice Policy. Criminology & Public Policy, 5(4), 653–664. When asked which approach would lower crime during the 1990s and 2000s, the majority of Americans agreed that more money and effort should go to “attacking the social and economic problems that lead to crime through better education and job training” versus “to deterring crime by improving law enforcement with more prisons, police, and judges”: Gallup. Crime. Available at http://www.gallup.com/poll/1603/Crime. aspx#3. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 9 Figure 5. Preferred crime reduction policies, by race, 2001 58% White 45% 35% Black 35% 10% 9% 6% 1% More money for education and job training More money for police and prisons Both equally Neither Source: Thompson, V. R. & Bobo, L. D. (2011). Thinking about Crime: Race and Lay Accounts of Lawbreaking Behavior. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 634, 16–38 (p. 28, Tbl. 5). control preferences35 – simultaneously supporting both punishment and rehabilitation rather than expressing ideological support for just one goal, although this finding is also affected by survey wording.36 Yet the racial divide in punitive sentiment persists even with more nuanced survey approaches.37 C. THE RACIAL GAP IN VICTIMIZATION Black Americans are also exposed to violent crime, especially serious violent crime, at much higher rates than whites and Hispanics. In 2012, blacks were 66% more likely than whites to be victims of sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.40 Hispanics were 37% more likely than whites to experience these crimes.41 Black-white victimization differences are most stark when considering homicide. Whites’ greater punitiveness relative to people of color is Homicide is the most common cause of death for African especially striking because whites are far less likely than American men aged 15 to 34, but it is far less common for blacks and Hispanics to be victims of crime. In 2008, African Americans were 78% more likely than whites Whites’ greater punitiveness relative to experience household burglary, 133% more likely to to people of color is especially striking experience motor vehicle theft, and experienced other types of theft at about the same rate.38 Hispanics were because whites are far less likely than blacks and Hispanics to be victims of crime. 46% more likely than non-Hispanics to be victims of 39 property crimes. 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Unnever, J. D., Cochran, J. K., Cullen, F. T., & Applegate, B. K. (2010). The Pragmatic American: Attributions of Crime and the Hydraulic Relation Hypothesis. Justice Quarterly, 27(3), 431–57; for a similar pattern among the Dutch, see Mascini, P. & Houtman, D. (2006). Rehabilitation and Repression: Reassessing their Ideological Embeddedness. British Journal of Criminology, 46, 822–36. Pickett, J. T. & Baker, T. (2014). The Pragmatic American: Empirical Reality or Methodological Artifact? Criminology, 52(2), 195–222. Unnever, J. D. & Cullen, F. T. (2005). Executing the Innocent and Support for Capital Punishment: Implications for Public Policy. Criminology & Public Policy, 4(1), 3–38 (pp. 16–17, fn. 4). Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010). Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2008 Statistical Tables. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/ pub/pdf/cvus08.pdf (Tbl. 16). Note figures do not distinguish by ethnicity and therefore include a sizeable proportion of Hispanics as whites. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010), note 38 above (Tbl. 17). Note figures do not distinguish by race and therefore include a sizeable proportion of blacks among non-Hispanics. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2013). Criminal Victimization, 2012. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv12.pdf (p. 7, Tbl. 7). Bureau of Justice Statistics (2013), note 40 above (p. 7, Tbl. 7). 10 The Sentencing Project Figure 7. Respondents who have an area within a mile of their home where they would be afraid to walk alone at night, 2002 Figure 6: Homicide victimization rates, by race, 1980–2011 40 41% 30 30% 20 Black 10 0 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 White 2011 Figure 6: Homicide victimization rates, by race, 1980–2011 Source: Cooper. A. & Smith, E. L. Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http:// www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf (p. 11, Figure 17); Smith, E.L. & Cooper, A. (2011). Homicide in the U.S. Known to Law Enforcement, 2011. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http:// www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hus11.pdf (p. 4, Tbl. 1). Whites Source: University at Albany (2003). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 2003. Albany, NY: Available at: http://www.albany.edu/ sourcebook/pdf/section2.pdf (p. 130–1, Tbl. 2.38). whites in the same age group and all other age groups. The overall homicide rate for blacks was 6.2 times higher than for whites in 2011, a gap that has persisted for over three decades (see Figure 6). 43 42 Racial minorities’ greater rates of victimization are tied to their heightened fears about crime, and greater likelihood to adjust their behaviors because of this perceived risk. When asked, “Is there any area right around here--that is, within a mile--where you would be afraid to walk alone at night?” non-whites have more often said yes than whites since the 1970s, with 41% of non-whites saying yes in 2002 in contrast to 30% of whites (see Figure 7).44 When asked in 2007 whether they avoided going to certain places or neighborhoods that they might otherwise want to go to, 54% of non-whites said yes, in contrast to 46% of whites (see Figure 8).45 These measures may even underestimate the full extent of the racial gap in crime experiences because people who are exposed to more crime may tolerate more risk than 42 43 44 45 People of color Figure 8. Respondents who have avoided certain places or neighborhoods to which they might otherwise want to go, 2007 54% 46% Whites People of color Source: University at Albany (2007). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 2007. Albany, NY: Available at: http://www.albany.edu/ sourcebook/pdf/t2402007.pdf (p. 132, Tbl. 2.40). Heron, M. (2012). Deaths: Leading Causes for 2009. National Vital Statistics Reports, 61(7). Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/ nvsr61/nvsr61_07.pdf (pp. 27–8, 34–5, Tbl. 1). Also available at: http://www.cdc.gov/men/lcod/2009/LCODBlackmales2009.pdf and http://www. cdc.gov/men/lcod/2009/LCOD_whitemen2009.pdf. Smith, E.L. & Cooper, A. (2011). Homicide in the U.S. Known to Law Enforcement, 2011. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www. bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hus11.pdf (p. 4). Due to limitations in data submitted by law enforcement agencies, these figures do not distinguish Hispanic ethnicity. University at Albany (2003). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 2003. Albany, NY: Available at: http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/ section2.pdf (pp. 130–1, Tbl. 2.38). University at Albany (2007). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 2007. Albany, NY: Available at: http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/ t2402007.pdf (p. 132, Tbl. 2.40). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 11 those in safer environments, and be reluctant to disclose the full extent of their fear to researchers.46 Nevertheless, African Americans are more likely than whites to report dissatisfaction with their level of safety: in 2003, 43% of blacks said they were “very satisfied” about their physical safety in contrast to 59% of Hispanics, and 63% of whites.47 African Americans are also more likely to rank crime as a major national problem. After crime and drugs subsided as the most highly ranked national problem in the mid-1990s,48 more blacks than whites remained concerned. When asked to identify the nation’s most important problem in a 2001 survey, 24% of African Americans pointed to “crime, violence, and drugs” in contrast to 13% of whites.49 Whites, on the other hand, were most likely to bemoan the “breakdown of morals/ family.” What then accounts for whites’ greater proclivity for punishment? 46 47 48 49 Chiricos, T., McEntire, R., & Gertz, M. (2001). Perceived Racial and Ethnic Composition of Neighborhood and Perceived Risk of Crime. Social Problems, 48(3), 322–340. Saad, L. (2004). Blacks Lag Behind Whites in Life Satisfaction. Gallup. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/10258/blacks-lag-behindwhites-life-satisfaction.aspx. University at Albany (2012). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 2012. Albany, NY: Available at: http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/ t212012.pdf (Tbl. 2.1). Bobo, L. D. & Thompson, V. R. (2006). Unfair by Design: The War on Drugs, Race, and the Legitimacy of the Criminal Justice System. Social Research, 73(2), 445–72 (pp. 455–6). 12 The Sentencing Project III. RACIAL PERCEPTIONS OF CRIME Race influences public opinion about criminal justice policies in two ways. First, as described above, the race of respondents is a strong predictor of punitive sentiment. Second, the perceived race of offenders – as in, people’s mental image of who commits crimes – shapes views about criminal justice policies. A number of studies have shown that Americans, and whites in particular, strongly associate crime with racial minorities, and racial minorities with crime. A. OVERESTIMATING BLACK AND HISPANIC CRIME RATES Racial minorities commit certain crimes at higher rates than whites, but whites overestimate these differences. When asked for numerical estimates of crime rates, whites attribute an exaggerated amount to people of color. And when asked to what degree various racial groups are “prone to violence,” whites rank people of color as more violence-prone than their own race. Survey researchers have measured the “racial typification of crime” – particularly the extent to which people associate crime with blacks and Latinos – using two types of questions.50 One approach has been to ask respondents to estimate the racial composition of specific crimes. These studies consistently show that Americans, and whites in particular, significantly overestimate the proportion of crime committed by blacks and Latinos. 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 A national survey conducted in 2010 asked white respondents to estimate the percentage of burglaries, illegal drug sales, and juvenile crime committed by African Americans.51 The researchers found that the respondents overestimated actual black participation in these crimes – measured by arrests – by approximately 20 to 30 percent (between 6.6 to 9.5 percentage points).52 Similarly, a racially diverse group of participants in a 2002 survey estimated that 40% of people who committed violent crimes were African American, when crime victimization surveys showed this rate to be 29%.53 These respondents estimated the overall rate of violent crime committed by Hispanics to be 27%.54 This figure significantly exceeded Hispanics’ share of the general population (14%) and prison population (17%) in that year.55 The focus of these studies – on whites or a racially and ethnically mixed group of respondents – leaves unclear whether and to what extent racial minorities also racially typify crime. But the next measure of racial typification offers some insights into this question. The second approach to measuring racial perceptions of crime draws on the General Social Survey (GSS). Produced by NORC at the University of Chicago, this long-running survey has asked respondents to rank various racial and ethnic groups on a scale ranging from “tend to be violence prone” to “tend not to be prone to violence.” This question was last asked in the year 2000.56 On a scale where 1 refers to not violence-prone See Chiricos, T., Welch, K., & Gertz, M. (2004). Racial Typification of Crime and Support for Punitive Measures. Criminology, 42(2), 359–389. Pickett, J. T., Chiricos, T., Golden, K. M., & Gertz, M. (2012). Reconsidering the Relationship Between Perceived Neighborhood Racial Composition and Whites’ Perceptions of Victimization Risk: Do Racial Stereotypes Matter? Criminology, 50(1), 145–186 (p. 155–6, 160), using data from: Federal Bureau of Investigation (2009). Crime in the United States, 2009. Available at: https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_43.html (Tbl. 43). Respondents overestimated the proportion of robberies committed by blacks by 3% (1.4 percentage points). Chiricos, Welch, & Gertz (2004), note 50 above (pp. 368–70), using data from: Bureau of Justice Statistics (2003). Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2001 Statistical Tables. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cvus0102.pdf (Tbl. 40). For a similar pattern in a 1991 survey, see Pickett, Chiricos, Golden, & Gertz (2012), note 51 above (p. 150). Welch, K., Payne, A. A., Chiricos, T., & Gertz, M. (2011). The Typification of Hispanics as Criminals and Support for Punitive Crime Control Policies. Social Science Research, 40, 822–840 (p. 827). This is the only reference point because neither national victimization surveys nor national arrest records reported Hispanic ethnicity among offenders or suspects. National Opinion Research Center University of Chicago (2013). General Social Surveys, 1972-2012: Cumulative Codebook. Chicago, IL. Available at: http://publicdata.norc.org:41000/gss/documents/BOOK/GSS_Codebook.pdf. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 13 and 7 refers to violence-prone, non-Hispanic whites on average rated whites at 3.70, Hispanics at 4.20, and blacks at 4.48.57 This represented a reduction in how much more violent whites rated blacks than their own race in 1990.58 This question, however, is not optimal: the wording may suggest biological racial undertones that the public increasingly disavows, and it does not allow a comparison to actual crime rates.59 how unstated implicit biases influence behavior. Here, researchers capture unintentional and unconscious racial biases by observing people’s decisions and actions. Implicit bias tests have shown that the general public holds negative associations of blacks and Latinos, and suspects them of criminality. These biases have also been documented among police officers and judges, and are believed to reach all corners of the criminal justice system. The “prone to violence” survey question can help to The Implicit Association Test (IAT) examines determine whether people of color differences in the speed with also racially typify crime. In 1993, which respondents classify These studies have uncovered when violent crime was a major pictures or words into strongly implicit racial bias even among national concern, Reverend Jesse or weakly associated categories.62 individuals who “explicitly Jackson famously told a Chicago In a pioneering study, Anthony disavowed prejudice.” audience, “There is nothing more Greenwald and colleagues painful to me at this stage in my showed white subjects names that life than to walk down the street are associated with whites (e.g., and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery— Andrew, Wilbur) or blacks (e.g., Jerome, Leroy), coupled then look around and see somebody white and feel with positive or negative words (e.g., gentle, honor; agony, relieved.”60 But the 2000 GSS data suggest that Jackson’s disaster).63 The researchers found that respondents were racialization of crime may not have been representative much faster to categorize the white-pleasant and blackof African Americans: non-Hispanic black respondents unpleasant pairings than the white-unpleasant and ranked blacks, Hispanics, and whites at essentially the black-pleasant pairings. Researchers have found similar same level on the violence-prone scale (4.39, 4.22, and results when using the IAT to measure whites’ implicit 4.45 respectively).61 These results indicate that racial bias towards Latinos.64 Importantly, these studies have typification occurs more strongly among whites than uncovered implicit racial bias even among individuals African Americans. who “explicitly disavowed prejudice.”65 Implicit racial biases also permeate the work of criminal justice professionals and influence the deliberation of jurors. When researchers administered the IAT to judges66 and capital defense lawyers,67 they found that the majority While survey researchers depend on respondents to of white and a minority of black judges and counsel be fully aware of and willing to disclose their beliefs, exhibited bias favoring whites over African Americans. experimental researchers have indirectly measured Scholars have also explored the potential impact of implicit B. IMPLICIT BIASES ABOUT PEOPLE OF COLOR 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 Barkan, S. E. & Cohn, S. F. (2005). Why Whites Favor Spending More Money to Fight Crime: The Role of Racial Prejudice. Social Problems, 52(2), 300–314 (p. 307). Unnever, J. D. & Cullen, F. T. (2012). White Perceptions of Whether African Americans and Hispanics are Prone to Violence and Support for the Death Penalty. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49(4), 519–544. See Bobo, L., Kluegel, J. R., Smith, R. A. (1997). Laissez-Faire Racism: The Crystallization of a Kindler, Gentler, Antiblack Ideology. In Tuch, S. A. and Martin, J. K. (eds.) Racial Attitudes in the 1990s: Continuity and Change, pp. 15–42. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. Quoted in Tonry, M. (1995). Malign Neglect: Race, Crime, and Punishment in America (p. 256). New York, NY: Oxford University Press (p. 50). Based on the author’s analysis of these data. Hispanics rated Hispanics as more violence-prone than whites (4.40 versus 3.76, respectively) and less so than blacks (4.98), but this is based on a very small number of respondents (58). Project Implicit has made a version of the test available on this website: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/user/ncsc/ca/. Greenwald, A. G., Mcghee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K. (1998). Measuring Individual Differences in Implicit Cognition: The Implicit Association Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(6), 1464–80 (p. 1474), discussed in Jolls, C. & Sunstein, C. R. (2006). The Law of Implicit Bias. California Law Review, 94, 969–996. Blair, I. V., et al. (2013). An Assessment of Biases Against Latinos and African Americans Among Primary Care Providers and Community Members. American Journal of Public Health, 103(1), 92–98. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518332/. Greenwald, Mcghee, & Schwartz (1998), note 63 above (p. 1475). Rachlinski, J. J., Johnson, S. L., Wistrich, A. J., & Guthrie, C. (2009). Does Unconscious Racial Bias Affect Trial Judges? Notre Dame Law Review, 84(3), 1195–1246 (p. 1210). Eisenberg, T. & Johnson, S. L. (2004). Implicit Racial Attitudes of Death Penalty Lawyers, DePaul Law Review, 1545–55 (pp. 1546–51). 14 The Sentencing Project bias on the work of prosecutors68 and defense attorneys.69 Studies of case outcomes – including bail determinations, prosecutorial charging, and sentencing – also reveal that the work of criminal justice professionals is affected by a defendant’s race even after other relevant factors are controlled, as described later. Finally, studies of mock jurors have found that a defendant’s race has some impact on verdicts and sentencing.70 Mock jurors in one recent study even exhibited skin-color bias in how they evaluated evidence: they were more likely to view ambiguous evidence as indication of guilt for darker skinned suspects than for those who were lighter skinned.71 with images of a black or white face and then asked to identify an object that was either a gun or tool (see Image 1).72 Payne found that priming subjects with the image of a black rather than white face improved the speed at which they identified guns but also reduced their accuracy by causing them to mistake tools as weapons. Video simulated shooter studies are another means of measuring implicit bias. In these studies, subjects are asked to quickly identify and shoot armed suspects, but not to shoot unarmed suspects (see Image 2). One such Implicit bias research has been extended more directly study found that non-black participants more quickly into the realm of criminal justice with studies that assess and accurately decided to shoot an armed target when how the public and police officers evaluate ambiguous, the target was African American, but more quickly and and potentially threatening, scenarios. In Keith Payne’s accurately did not shoot when an unarmed target was 73 formative study, non-black college students were primed white. Image 1. Examples of images used in implicit bias studies Source: Payne, K. B. (2001). Prejudice and Perception: The Role of Automatic and Controlled Processes in Misperceiving a Weapon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(2), 181–192 (p. 184). 68 69 70 71 72 73 Smith, R. J. & Levinson, J. D. (2012). The Impact of Implicit Racial Bias on the Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion. Seattle University Law Review, 35(3), 795–826. Richardson, L. S. & Goff, P. A. (2013). Implicit Racial Bias in Public Defender Triage. The Yale Law Journal, 122(8), 2626–2649; Lyon, A. D. (2012). Race Bias and the Importance of Consciousness for Criminal Defense Attorneys. Seattle University Law Review, 35, 755–768. On mock jury studies showing a small but statistically significant impact of race on the determination of guilt and sentencing, see Mitchell, T. L., Haw, R. M., Pfeifer, J. E., Meissner, C. A. (2005). Racial Bias in Mock Juror Decision-Making: A Meta-Analytic Review of Defendant Treatment. Law and Human Behavior, 627–28; Sommers, S. R. & Ellsworth, P. C. (2003) How Much Do We Really Know about Race and Juries? A Review of Social Science Theory and Research, Chicago-Kent Law Review, 997–1031. Levinson, J. D. & Young, D. (2010). Different Shades of Bias: Skin Tone, Implicit Racial Bias, and Judgments of Ambiguous Evidence. West Virginia Law Review, 307–350. Payne, K. B. (2001). Prejudice and Perception: The Role of Automatic and Controlled Processes in Misperceiving a Weapon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(2), 181–192. See also Eberhardt, J. L., Goff, P. A., Purdie, V. J., & Davies, P. G. (2004). Seeing Black: Race, Crime, and Visual Processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(6), 876–93. Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2002). The Police Officer’s Dilemma: Using Ethnicity to Disambiguate Potentially Threatening Individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(6), 1314–1329. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 15 Image 2. Examples of images used in video simulated shooter studies Source: Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2002). The Police Officer’s Dilemma: Using Ethnicity to Disambiguate Potentially Threatening Individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(6), 1314–1329 (p. 1316). When researchers conducted this study with a predominantly white group of Denver-based police officers, they found that the officers were less likely than the general public to mistakenly shoot at black unarmed suspects.74 However, the officers more quickly shot at armed black suspects than armed white suspects. The researchers concluded that while these officers exhibited bias in their speed to shoot, their training reduced bias in their decision to shoot. Another study of police 74 75 officers from across the United States found that officers exhibited similar reaction time bias towards Latinos relative to whites and Asians.75 The conflation of African Americans and Latinos with criminality extends beyond perceptions of individuals: it also shapes impressions of neighborhoods. Residents – particularly whites but also blacks – of neighborhoods with higher proportion of racial minorities are more Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., Wittenbrink, B., Sadler, M. S., & Keesee, T. (2007). Across the Thin Blue Line: Police Officers and Racial Bias in the Decision to Shoot. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1006–23. Sadler, M. S., Correll, J., Park, B., & Judd, C. M. (2012). The World Is Not Black and White: Racial Bias in the Decision to Shoot in a Multiethnic Context. Journal of Social Issues, 68(2), 286–313. 16 The Sentencing Project likely to overestimate their neighborhood’s crime rates.76 Even after accounting for differing crime rates and other measures of disorder, researchers have found that the “percentage [of] young black men is one of the best predictors of the perceived severity of neighborhood crime.”77 Together, these studies reveal that even white Americans who denounce racism still hold unconscious and unintentional racial biases, associating people of color with criminality. By demonstrating that race distorts perceptions of risk, this research sheds light on the circumstances leading to the deaths of unarmed men and women including Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, and Michael Brown. 76 77 Quillian, L. & Pager, D. (2001). Black Neighbors, Higher Crime? The Role of Racial Stereotypes in Evaluations of Neighborhood Crime. American Journal of Sociology, 107(3), 717–67; Sampson, R. J. & Raudenbush, S. W. (2004). Seeing Disorder: Neighborhood Stigma and the Social Construction of “Broken Windows.” Social Psychology Quarterly, 67(4), 319–342. Whites in neighborhoods with greater racial diversity also overestimate their personal victimization risk, although this may be because they have fewer social ties and experience weaker community cohesion: see Quillian, L. & Pager, D. (2010). Estimating Risk: Stereotype Amplification and the Perceived Risk of Criminal Victimization. Social Psychology Quarterly, 73(1), 79–104: Pickett, Chiricos, Golden, & Gertz (2012), note 51 above (pp. 170–1); Wickes, R., Hipp, J. R., Zahnow, R., & Mazerolle, L. (2013). “Seeing” Minorities and Perceptions of Disorder: Explicating the Mediating and Moderating Mechanisms of Social Cohesion. Criminology, 51(3), 519–560. Quillian & Pager (2001), note 76 above (p. 747). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 17 IV. RACIAL PERCEPTIONS OF CRIME LINKED TO PUNITIVENESS Researchers have shown that white Americans who more strongly associate crime with people of color are more likely to support punitive criminal justice policies. When individuals believe that those who commit crime are similar to them, they more readily reflect on the underlying circumstances of the crime and respond with empathy and mercy. But when people perceive a racial gap between themselves and those who commit crime, they are less compassionate and react instead with anger and outrage. agreed that “African Americans pose a greater threat to public order and safety than other groups” were more likely to hold punitive views than those who did not, and that the same pattern did not hold for blacks.80 Strong associations of crime with Hispanics have also been linked to greater punitiveness.81 To determine whether racial perceptions of crime also impact views of juvenile justice, Chiricos and colleagues analyzed a 2010 national survey.82 They found that racialized views “Public support for punitive Ted Chiricos and colleagues have of youth crime and victimization – juvenile justice policies to some demonstrated the link between in particular, the belief that black extent represents a desire to racial perceptions of crime and youth commit a larger proportion control other people’s children.” 78 punitive policy preferences. In one of juvenile crime than whites, or study, they analyzed a 2002 survey that whites are more likely than on preferences for policies including “making sentences blacks to be victims of violent crime – led whites, but not more severe for all crimes,” “executing more murderers,” blacks, to support punitive juvenile justice policies. The “making prisoners work on chain gangs,” “taking away researchers concluded that “public support for punitive television and recreation privileges from prisoners,” and juvenile justice policies to some extent represents a “locking up more juvenile offenders.” They found that desire to control other people’s children.”83 Whites who whites – though not blacks and Hispanics – who attributed associate crime with racial minorities therefore support higher proportions of violent crime, burglary, or robbery both punitive adult and juvenile justice policies. to blacks were significantly more likely to support these punitive policies.79 This relationship remained statistically Why are whites with strong racial associations of crime significant even when the researchers controlled for other more punitive? One likely explanation is that a racial factors related to punitiveness including racial prejudice, gap between individuals and their conceptions of conservatism, crime salience, and residence in the South. typical offenders stifles empathy. Lack of “empathetic Another group of researchers found that whites who identification,” James Unnever and Francis Cullen 78 79 80 81 82 83 Chiricos, Welch, & Gertz (2004), note 50 above (p. 369). Chiricos, Welch, & Gertz (2004), note 50 above (p. 375–6). Based on 2003 survey: see King, R. D. & Wheelock, D. (2007). Group Threat and Social Control: Race, Perceptions of Minorities and the Desire to Punish. Social Forces, 85(3), 1255–1280 (see p.1269 and p. 1276, fn. 20). But note that this relationship is weakened when controlling for how often whites considered blacks to be an economic threat. See also Wheelock, D., Semukhina, O., & Demidov, N. N. (2011). Perceived Group Threat and Punitive Attitudes in Russia and The United States. British Journal of Criminology, 51(6), 937–959 (p. 952). Welch, Payne, Chiricos, & Gertz, (2011), note 54 above (p. 831): note that this study did not disaggregate respondents by race. Pickett, J. T. & Chiricos, T. (2012). Controlling Other People’s Children: Racialized Views of Delinquency and Whites’ Punitive Attitudes Toward Juvenile Offenders. Criminology, 50(3), 673–710 (p. 692); Pickett, J. T., Chiricos, T., & Gertz, M. (2014). The Racial Foundations of Whites’ Support for Child Saving. Social Science Research, 44, 44–59. Pickett & Chiricos (2012), note 82 above (p. 697), referencing Feld, B. C. (1999). Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 18 The Sentencing Project have theorized, increases the desire for retaliation, decontextualizes offensive behavior, and decreases capacity for forgiveness.84 These factors reduce empathetic concern about the hardships of punishment. In a study with Bonnie Fisher, these scholars measured levels of empathy through degree of agreement with statements such as “When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel kind of protective toward them,” “Other people’s misfortunes do not usually disturb me a great deal,” and “When I see someone treated unfairly, I sometimes don’t feel very much pity for them.”85 They found that individuals who were more empathetic were less supportive of capital punishment in part because they were more likely to be politically liberal and racially or ethnically tolerant. But empathy was linked to decreased punitiveness even independent of these other attributes. The authors concluded, “To the extent that people can begin to imagine ‘what it must be like’ to face the finality and enormity of execution, they are likely to be more reluctant to endorse the imposition of the death penalty as the preferred sanction for offenders.”86 more likely to support capital punishment.87 While respondents with stronger stereotypical associations of blacks and Hispanics with violence were more supportive of the death penalty in both years, this relationship lost its statistical significance in 2000. Instead, a more general measure of racial prejudice was one of the strongest correlates of support for the death penalty in 2000. Another study examined whether respondents with stronger racial associations of crime – as measured by the 2000 GSS violence-prone question – believed there was too little “spending on halting the rising crime rate.”88 These researchers found that whites who described blacks – but not Hispanics – as more violence-prone were more supportive of greater anti-crime spending, which the researchers argued denoted criminal justice spending. But they found that this pattern was limited to whites who held more prejudicial views of African Americans. It remains unclear, though, how much these findings are products of the measures used in these studies: the problematically worded question about groups being “prone to violence,” the narrow measure of death penalty support, and the The weight of the evidence suggests that people with ambiguously worded question about anti-crime spending. racial associations of crime are more punitive regardless of whether they are overtly racially prejudiced. But studies The more white Americans attribute crime to people of that have used alternative measures of racial perceptions color, the more they support punitive policies for adults of crime, or of punitiveness, suggest that overt prejudice and juveniles. Section V examines the factors that shape plays a stronger role. One study relied on the 1990 and racial perceptions of crime. Section VI describes other 2000 GSS to determine whether whites who believed racial differences in views and experiences that contribute that blacks were more violence-prone than whites were to the racial gap in punitiveness. 84 85 86 87 88 Unnever, J. D. & Cullen, F. T. (2009). Empathetic Identification and Punitiveness: A Middle-Range Theory of Individual Differences. Theoretical Criminology, 13(3), 283–312 (p. 287). Unnever, J. D., Cullen, F. T., & Fisher, B. S. (2005). Empathy and Public Support for Capital Punishment. Journal of Crime and Justice, 28(1), 1–34 (p. 12). Unnever, Cullen, & Fisher (2005), note 85 above (p. 22). Unnever & Cullen (2012), note 58 above (pp. 530–5). The authors do not state that their study is limited to non-Hispanic whites. For a detailed look at the conditions under which racially stereotyping blacks as violent predict support for the death penalty, see Weber, C. R., Lavine, H., Huddy, L., & Federico, C. M. (2014). Placing Racial Stereotypes in Context: Social Desirability and the Politics of Racial Hostility. American Journal of Political Science, 58(1), 63–78. Barkan & Cohn (2005), note 57 above. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 19 V. SOURCES OF RACIAL PERCEPTIONS OF CRIME Why do white Americans often associate crime with blacks and Hispanics? This section explores three causes. First, racial differences in certain crime rates – resulting from socioeconomic and racial inequalities – provide some basis to the public’s racial perceptions of crime. Second, media representations of crime draw on, and contribute to, racial stereotypes. Third, through their statements and policies, policymakers and criminal justice practitioners have deployed their own and reinforced the public’s associations of crimes with racial minorities. violent and property crimes. Comparisons of arrest records with crime victimization surveys have shown that especially for the most serious crimes, the race of those arrested resembles the race of offenders as described by victims.89 Nationwide arrest records attribute higher rates of violent and property crimes to blacks than whites, though whites still commit the majority of these crimes because of their larger numbers.90 In 2012, blacks comprised 39% of arrests for violent crimes and 29% of arrests for property crimes, but represented only 13% of the U.S. population.91 Blacks accounted for 49% of those arrested for the most serious and violent crimes: murder A. RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN CRIME and nonnegligent manslaughter. These data, which do RATES not distinguish by Hispanic ethnicity, depict an overall overrepresentation of blacks among arrestees, which is Legacies of overt racism and contemporary practices of likely to correspond to their overrepresentation in certain willful neglect have divested many black communities violent and property crimes. Yet as described earlier, of the economic and social resources that act as buffers whites attribute even higher rates of crime to people of to criminal offending. In large part because African color, and overestimate rates of white victimization. Americans are more likely to experience concentrated urban poverty, they are more likely to commit certain The disproportionate rate of black crime should not be violent and property crimes – although racial minorities surprising given that African Americans are far more buy and sell drugs at similar rates as whites. Yet racial likely than whites to experience and to live in communities disparities in criminal behavior fully explain neither with concentrated disadvantage.92 But the criminal justice the public’s racial perceptions of crime, nor the racial system does not simply mirror these differences in crime disparities in the prison population. rates – it exacerbates them through codified policies and individual discretion. As Michael Tonry has observed, Because of limitations in self-reported data on criminal “Although black Americans continue to be overrepresented activity, researchers generally rely on arrest records to among arrestees, the degree of overrepresentation has measure racial disparities in criminal involvement for 89 90 91 92 Sampson, R. J. & Lauritsen, J. L. (1997). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Crime and Criminal Justice in the United States. Crime and Justice, 21, 311–374 (pp. 324–330). This statement relies on data that do not distinguish between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites: Federal Bureau of Investigation (2012). Crime in the United States, 2012. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/ tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf (Tbl. 43A). “Violent crimes” include: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. “Property crimes” include: burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Federal Bureau of Investigation (2012), note 90 above; Humes, K. R., Jones, N. A, & Ramirez, R. R. (2011). Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010. U.S. Census Bureau. Available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/ c2010br-02.pdf. See Sampson & Lauritsen (1997), note 89 above (pp. 333–341); Brown, M. K., Carnoy, M., Duster, T., & Oppenheimer, D. B. (2003). Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (pp. 153–159). 20 The Sentencing Project been falling for a quarter century.”93 And yet the profile of prisoners has been slow to adjust.94 Criminologist Alfred Blumstein has estimated the degree to which racial differences in crime rates account for the disproportionate presence of African Americans While there are racial differences in violent and property in prisons.101 Based on research showing that the racial crime rates, the picture is quite different for drug crimes, profile of those arrested for the most serious crimes which account for one-quarter of state prison admissions is a reliable reflection of those who committed these and almost one-third of federal prison admissions.95 crimes, Blumstein measured how arrestees compared Whites comprise the majority of drug users and sellers,96 to prisoners for specific crimes. He found that in 1991, but were only 30% of the state prison population with blacks were imprisoned for homicide at lower rates than drug convictions in 2011.97 Surveys by the National they were arrested: given that homicide is a primarily Institute on Drug Abuse and the Department of Health intra-racial crime, this outcome may be attributable to and Human Services show that what Blumstein calls “‘victim both recently98 and historically,99 discounting,’ a form of racial If drug laws were equally enforced, whites, blacks, and Hispanics discrimination that diminishes have used illicit drugs at roughly prosecuted, and sentenced, the racial the punishment if the victim is similar rates, with whites profile of drug offenders in the prison black.”102 But as the seriousness sometimes outpacing people of population would match that of the of the crime decreased, the general population. color. Research also suggests that racial gap between arrests and drug users generally purchase prisoners increased in the other drugs from people of the same race or ethnicity.100 Thus direction. Differential arrest rates accounted for the overif drug law violations were equally enforced, prosecuted, representation of blacks in prison by 89% for robbery, and sentenced, the racial profile of drug offenders in 75% for burglary, and 50% for drug crimes.103 Overall, the prison population would match that of the general this approach determined that racial differences in arrests population. But police policies and practices, prosecutorial accounted for 76% of the racial disparity in the prison charging discretion, and sentencing laws have created a population in 1991.104 The remainder might be caused schism between who participates in the illicit drug market by racial bias, as well as other factors including differing and who is punished for it. criminal histories.105 Blumstein concluded, “The bulk of 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 Tonry, M. & Melewski, M. (2008). The Malign Effects of Drug and Crime Control Policies on Black Americans. Crime and Justice, 37(1), 1–44 (p. 18). Some of the decline in the proportion of black arrests is caused by the growth of the Latino population, see Steffensmeier, D., Feldmeyer, B., Harris, C. T., & Ulmer, J. T. (2011). Reassessing Trends in Black Violent Crime, 1980-2008: Sorting Out the “Hispanic Effect” in Uniform Crime Reports Arrests, National Crime Victimization Survey Offender Estimates, and U.S. Prisoner Counts. Criminology, 49(1), 197–251 (pp. 201, 219–222); see also Snyder, H. N. Arrest in the United States, 1980-2009. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/ pub/pdf/aus8009.pdf. Mauer (2013), note 10 above (p. 8, Tbl. 1). Carson & Golinelli (2013), note 4 above (p. 6, Tbl. 4); United States Sentencing Commission (2014). 2013 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics. Available at: http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/annual-reports-and-sourcebooks/2013/FigureA. pdf (Figure A). Mauer, M. (2009). The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://www. sentencingproject.org/doc/dp_raceanddrugs.pdf (p. 8, Tbl. 3). Carson, E. A. & Golinelli, D. Prisoners in 2012 - Advance Counts. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ p12ac.pdf (p. 11, Tbl. 10). Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M., Bachman, J.G., Schulenberg, J.E. (2012). Monitoring the Future: National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2012. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Available at: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtfvol1_2012.pdf (Tbls. 4-5, 4-6, and 4-7); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2013). Results from the 2012 Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2012SummNatFindDetTables/NationalFindings/ NSDUHresults2012.htm#fig2.12 (Figure 2.12). Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M., Bachman, J.G., Schulenberg, J.E. (2013). Demographic Subgroup Trends among Adolescents for Fifty-One Classes of Licit and Illicit Drugs 1975-2012. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Available at: http://www. monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/occpapers/mtf-occ79.pdf (Figure 6). Beckett, K., Nyrop, K., Pfingst, L. (2006). Race, Drugs, and Policing: Understanding Disparities in Drug Delivery Arrests. Criminology, 44(1), 105–37; Riley, K. J. (1997). Crack, Powder Cocaine, and Heroin: Drug Purchase and Use Patterns in Six Major U.S. Cities. National Institute of Justice. Available at: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/167265.pdf (pp. 15–16). Blumstein, A. (1993). Racial Disproportionality of U.S. Prison Populations Revisited. University of Colorado Law Review, 64, 743–760; Blumstein, A. (1982). On the Racial Disproportionality of United States’ Prison Populations. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 73, 1259–1281. Blumstein (1993), note 101 above (p. 749). As Blumstein notes, racial disparities in drug arrests are an especially poor proxy for offending patterns and so racial disparities in drug crimes, rather than arrests, likely account for far less than 50% of the disparities among prisoners. See also Langan, P. A. (1986). Racism on Trial: New Evidence to Explain the Racial Composition of Prisons in the United States. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 76(3), 666–683. Unwarranted racial disparity in arrests and convictions contributes to racial minorities being more likely to have prior criminal records: see Brown, Carnoy, Duster, & Oppenheimer (2003), note 92 above (pp. 139–147); Mauer, M. (2006). Race to Incarcerate. New York, NY: The New Press (pp. 141–2). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 21 the disproportionality [in the criminal justice system] is a consequence of the differential involvement by blacks in the most serious kinds of crime.”106 crime trends.113 Drug-related deaths of major figures spurred crisis coverage about drugs in the 1980s, while prominent violent deaths led to an upsurge of violent crime news in the 1990s, even while violent crimes began Others have updated and qualified Blumstein’s conclusion. to decline. Although audiences do not passively receive A replication of his study found that differential arrests information, consuming higher levels of television news accounted for only 61% of the racial disparity in prisons and nonfictional crime programming is associated with by 2004,107 though this figure is distorted by the growing greater fear of crime among some.114 Latino population being counted as white in arrest records.108 Nationwide figures also obscure vast regional Media crime coverage not only increases the salience of variation.109 Still, the overall conclusion is that racial crime, it also distorts the public’s sense of who commits differences in criminal offending explain a substantial, but crime and triggers biased reactions. By over-representing incomplete, portion of the racial differences in the prison whites as victims of crimes perpetrated by people of color, population for non-drug crimes. If racial differences in crime news delivers a double blow to white audiences’ crime rates do not fully account for white Americans’ potential for empathetic understanding of racial racial perceptions of crime, what else is driving these minorities. This focus at once exaggerates black crime associations? while downplaying black victimization. Homicide, for example, is overwhelmingly an intra-racial crime involving men (see Figure 9 and Table 1). But media accounts often B. MEDIA PORTRAYALS OF CRIME “If it bleeds, it leads,” goes the saying about local news coverage. But not all spilt blood gets equal attention. Researchers have shown that crime reporting exaggerates crime rates and exhibits both quantitative and qualitative racial biases.110 This includes a tendency, as described below, to exaggerate rates of black offending and white victimization and to depict black suspects in a less favorable light than whites. Although there is a broad range of media coverage about crime, with some venues and reporters cautious not to promote biased public perceptions, less mindful coverage abounds on television and in print.111 Given that the public widely relies on mass media as its source of knowledge about crime and crime policy, these disparities have important consequences.112 Because of the media’s gravitation toward notable crimes and ensuing policy debates, upticks in news media coverage of crime often have little to do with broader 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 Figure 9. Homicides by race of offender and victim, 1980–2008 50 Black on black 40 White on white 30 20 10 0 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 Black on white White on black 2008 Source: Cooper. A. & Smith, E. L. Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http:// www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf (p. 13, Figure 19). Blumstein (1993), note 101 above (p. 759). Tonry & Melewski (2008), note 93 above (p. 18). Steffensmeier, Feldmeyer, Harris, & Ulmer (2011), note 93 above (pp. 201, 219–222). See for example, Crutchfield, R. D., Bridges, G. S., & Pitchford, S. R. (1994). Analytical and Aggregation Biases in Analyses of Imprisonment: Reconciling Discrepancies in Studies of Racial Disparity. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 31, 166–182. Dorfman, L. & Schiraldi, V. (2001). Off Balance: Youth, Race & Crime in the News. Washington, D.C.: Building Blocks for Youth. Available at: http:// www.bmsg.org/sites/default/files/bmsg_other_publication_off_balance.pdf (pp. 7–22). While this section focuses on news media, scholars have also documented biases in entertainment media – particularly in dramatizations of crime and the criminal justice system: see Cavender, G. (2004). Media and Crime Policy A Reconsideration of David Garland’s The Culture of Control. Punishment and Society, 6(3), 335–348; Beckett, K. & Sasson, T. (2004). The Politics of Injustice: Crime and Punishment in America. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publication (Chapter 5). Warr, M. (2000). Fear of Crime in the United States: Avenues for Research and Policy. Criminal Justice 2000: Measurement and Analysis of Crime and Justice, Volume 4, 451–489. National Institute of Justice (pp. 466–7). Chiricos, T., Eschholz, S., & Gertz, M. (1997). Crime, News and Fear of Crime: Toward an Identification of Audience Effects. Social Problems, 44(3), 342–357; Beckett & Sasson (2004), note 111 above (pp. 74–5). Eschholz, S., Chiricos, T., Gertz, M., Problems, S., & August, N. (2003). Television and Fear of Crime: Program Types, Audience Traits, and the Mediating Effect of Perceived Neighborhood Composition. Social Problems, 50(3), 395–415; Chiricos, Eschholz, & Gertz (1997), note 113 above; Kort-Butler, L. A & Sittner Hartshorn, K. J. (2011); Watching the Detectives: Crime Programming, Fear of Crime, and Attitudes About the Criminal Justice System. The Sociological Quarterly, 52(1), 36–55. 22 The Sentencing Project Table 1. Homicide offenders and victims by sex, 1980–2008 Victim/Offender Relationship Percent Male offender/male victim 67.8% Male offender/female victim 21.0% Female offender/male victim 9.0% Female offender/female victim 2.2% Note: Percentages are based on the 63.1% of homicides from 1980 through 2008 for which the victim/offender relationships were known. Source: Cooper. A. & Smith, E. L. Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http:// www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf (p. 9, Tbl. 4). portray a world overrepresented by black, male offenders and white, female victims. One study of how Columbus, Ohio’s major newspaper reported on the city’s murders – which were predominantly committed by and against black men – examined whether unusual or typical cases were considered newsworthy.115 The researcher found that journalists gravitated to unusual cases when selecting victims (white women) and to typical cases when selecting perpetrators (black men). Yet reporters did not choose to cover the most infrequent murders, of blacks by whites or of white men by white women. This peculiar focus suggests that newsworthiness is not a product of how representative or novel a crime is, but rather how well it can be “scripted using stereotypes grounded in White racism and White fear of Black crime.”116 Researchers have found similar selection bias in coverage of Hispanic suspects and non-Hispanic victims on television news.117 Racial distortions are pervasive in crime news. A study in Los Angeles found that 37% of the suspects portrayed on television news stories about crime were black, although blacks made up only 21% of those arrested in the city.118 Another study found that whites represented 43% of homicide victims in the local news, but only 13% of homicide victims in crime reports.119 And while only 10% of victims in crime reports were whites who had been victimized by blacks, these crimes made up 42% of televised cases.120 These disparities exist nationwide and are greatest when the victim’s race is taken into consideration.121 Newsworthiness is not a product of how representative or novel a crime is, but rather how well it can be “scripted using stereotypes grounded in White racism and White fear of Black crime.” Crime coverage also betrays subtler racial differences. A study of television news found that black crime suspects were presented in more threatening contexts than whites: black suspects were disproportionately shown in mug shots and in cases where the victim was a stranger.122 Black and Latino suspects were also more often presented in a non-individualized way than whites – by being left unnamed – and were more likely to be shown as threatening – by being depicted in physical custody of police.123 Blacks and Hispanics were also more likely to be treated aggressively by police officers on realitybased TV shows, including America’s Most Wanted and Cops.124 Mass media are therefore a major contributor to Americans’ misconceptions about crime, with journalists 115 Lundman, R. J. (2003). The Newsworthiness and Selection Bias in News About Murder: Comparative and Relative Effects of Novelty and Race and Gender Typifications on Newspaper Coverage of Homicide. Sociological Forum, 18(3), 357–386; see also Pritchard, D. & Hughes, K. D. (1997). Patterns of Deviance in Crime News. Journal of Communication, 47(3), 49–67. 116 Lundman, (2003), note 115 (p. 361). 117 Chiricos, T. & Eschholz, S. (2002). The Racial and Ethnic Typification of Crime and the Criminal Typification of Race and Ethnicity in Local Television News. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 39(4), 400–420. 118 Dixon, T. L. & Linz, D. G. (2000). Overrepresentation and Underrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos as Lawbreakers on Television News. Journal of Communication, 50(2), 131–54; Gilliam, F. D. & Iyengar, S. (2000). Prime Suspects: The Influence of Local Television News on the Viewing Public. American Journal of Political Science, 44(3), 560–73; Gilliam, F. D., Iyengar, S., Simon, A., & Wright, O. (1996). Crime in Black and White: The Violent, Scary World of Local News. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 1(3), 6–23; Peffley, M., Shields, T., & Williams, B. (1996). The Intersection of Race and Crime in Television News Stories: An Experimental Study. Political Communication, 13(1), 309–27. 119 Dixon, T. L. & Linz, D. G. (2000). Race and the Misrepresentation of Victimization on Local Television News. Communication Research, 27(5), 547–73. 120 Romer, D., Jamieson, K. H., & de Coteau, N. J. (1998). The Treatment of Persons of Color in Local Television News: Ethnic Blame Discourse or Realistic Group Conflict? Communication Research, 25(3), 268–305. 121 Dixon, T. L., Azocar, C. L., & Casas, M. (2003). The Portrayal of Race and Crime on Television Network News. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 47, 498–523 (pp. 512–5); Entman, R. (1992) Blacks in the News: Television, Modern Racism, and Cultural Change. Journalism Quarterly, 69(2), 341–61; Entman, R. & Rojecki, A. (2000). The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; Gilens, M. (1996). Race and Poverty in America: Public Misperceptions and the American News Media. Public Opinion Quarterly, 60(4), 515–41; Reeves, J. L. & Campbell, R. (1994). Cracked Coverage: Television News, the Anti-Cocaine Crusade, and the Reagan Legacy. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 122 Chiricos & Eschholz (2002), note 117 above. 123 Entman & Rojecki (2000), note 121 above. 124 Oliver, M. B. (1994). Portrayals of Crime, Race, and Aggression in “Reality-Based” Police Shows: A Content Analysis. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 179–192. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 23 and producers apparently acting based on their own or expectations of their audiences’ stereotypes about crime. C. POLICYMAKERS that the campaign effectively activated racial prejudice.129 The Horton case “was saturated with racial meaning,” Mendelberg writes, and was especially effective because it was “very much a deniable play of the race card.”130 Messaging is only one means by which policymakers contribute to a racialized understanding of crime: policies leading to the disproportionate incarceration of people of color are another. Many apparently race-neutral criminal justice policies collide with broader socioeconomic patterns to have a disparate racial impact. For example, drug-free school zone laws mandate sentencing enhancements for people caught selling drugs near school zones. The expansive geographic range of these zones coupled with high urban George H. W. Bush’s publicization of density has disproportionately Willie Horton during his successful “Survey data have clearly affected residents of urban areas presidential bid against Massachusetts been telling us, for some time and particularly those in highgovernor Michael Dukakis in 1988 is now, that the public is not as poverty areas, who are largely a famous example of how political conservative as policy makers people of color.131 Other laws with discourse influences public views think them to be.” disparate racial impact include hefty about crime and crime policy. mandatory minimum sentences for Through ads and fliers supporting Bush’s campaign, Bush’s speeches, and media coverage, drugs for which people of color are disproportionately the public learned that Horton, an African American arrested and charged, restrictive admissions criteria for man who had been sentenced to life without parole for diversion programs and alternative courts, and habitual first-degree murder in Massachusetts, had raped a white offender laws that disproportionately affect people woman and assaulted her white fiancé while temporarily of color because they are more likely to have criminal released under the state’s weekend furlough program.127 records. Although the Bush campaign never overtly mentioned race, its frequent references to Horton prompted Policymakers not only help to shape public opinion, repeated media portrayals of his mug shot. The Dukakis they sometimes misunderstand or are unresponsive to team, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and others criticized the the public’s preferences. Elected officials sometimes Bush campaign for flaring racial fears. Susan Estrich, overestimate public support for punitive policies. A study Dukakis’ campaign manager, told a reporter, “There is no conducted during the peak of the crack epidemic found stronger metaphor for racial hatred in our country than that Michigan policymakers estimated that 12% of the sentencing in 1985, when the black man raping the white woman.”128 Bush and his public supported alternative 132 supporters denied that they were making coded racial the actual rate was 66%. Policymakers are also at times appeals. But Tali Mendelberg’s analysis of public opinion immune to public support for less punitive policies. Thus during this episode and experimental research has shown despite decreasing punitive sentiment among the public Elected officials and candidates do more than respond to public preferences for harsh punishment. Through their words and work, they also shape public salience of crime and its racial associations.125 One study revealed that federal and state officials’ public statements about crime and drugs, rather than the actual incidence of crime or drug use, significantly influenced public concern with these issues between the 1960s and 1990s.126 125 Enns (Forthcoming), note 11 above; Nicholson-Crotty, Peterson, & Ramirez (2009), note 11 above. 126 Beckett, K. (1994). Setting the Public Agenda: “Street Crime” and Drug Use in American Politics. Social Problems, 41(3), 425–447. 127 Simon, R. (1990). How A Murderer And Rapist Became The Bush Campaign’s Most Valuable Player. The Baltimore Sun. Available at: http:// articles.baltimoresun.com/1990-11-11/features/1990315149_1_willie-horton-fournier-michael-dukakis; Love, K. (1988). Bush Backers Have Horton Victims Speak. The Los Angeles Times. Available at: http://articles.latimes.com/1988-10-08/news/mn-2925_1_willie-horton. 128 Rosenthal, A. (1988). Bush Campaign Called ‘Racist.’ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Available at: http://news.google.com/ newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19881024&id=gNRRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2W0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5191,7433713. 129 Mendelberg, T. (1997). Executing Hortons: Racial Crime in the 1988 Presidential Campaign. Public Opinion Quarterly, 61, 134–57; Mendelberg, T. (2001). The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; Jamieson, K. H. (1992). Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction, and Democracy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 130 Mendelberg (1997), note 129 above (p. 152). 131 Porter, N. & Clemons, T. (2013). Drug-Free Zone Laws: An Overview of State Policies. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/sen_Drug-Free%20Zone%20Laws.pdf. 132 Clark, P. M. 1985. Perceptions of Criminal Justice Surveys, Executive Summary. Lansing: Michigan Prison and Jail Overcrowding Project, cited in Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above. 24 The Sentencing Project since the late 1990s (see Figure 1 above), policymakers have been slow and reluctant to implement significant reforms. In Pennsylvania, the divide between policymakers and the public – with over 80% of the public supporting investment in early intervention rather than prison construction to reduce crime – has led one group of researchers to conclude: “Survey data have clearly been telling us, for some time now, that the public is not as conservative as policy makers think them to be.”133 D. CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSIONALS Figure 10. Racial disparities in marijuana use in past month and marijuana possession arrests, 2010 Usage rates 1.3 Blacks used marijuana at 1.3 times the rate of whites. Through official procedures and individual discretion, criminal justice practitioners contribute to the racial imbalance of the justice system. From police officers’ selection of whom to stop and search, judges’ and administrators’ bail determinations, prosecutors’ charging and plea bargaining decisions, to parole board recommendations about whom to release – each stage of the criminal justice system is affected by policies and discretion that often unintentionally disfavor low-income individuals and people of color. The resulting racial disparities in arrests and correctional supervision reinforce the public’s racialized perceptions of crime. Police tactics that cast a wide net in neighborhoods and on populations associated with high crime rates disproportionately affect racial minorities. Broadly surveilling neighborhoods that are considered “hot spots” of criminal activity and disproportionately using “stop, question, and frisk” tactics on young men of color have led to their higher arrest rates even for crimes that are not racially patterned. For example, a recent study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that African Americans were 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites in 2010, despite similar Prosecutors are more likely to charge people of color than whites with crimes that carry heavier sentences under mandatory minimum and habitual offender laws. Arrest rates 3.7 Blacks were arrested for marijuana possession at 3.7 times the rate of whites. Source: Edwards, E. Bunting, W. Garcia, L. (2013). The War on Marijuana in Black and White. New York, NY: American Civil Liberties Union. Available at: https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/1114413-mjreport-rfs-rel1.pdf (p. 47); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2011).Results from the 2010 Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/ nsduh/2k10NSDUH/tabs/Sect1peTabs1to46.htm (Tbl. 1.28B). rates of drug use (see Figure 10).134 This outcome stems from formal police policies and, as will be discussed in the following section, from implicit bias affecting officers’ discretion. Differential prosecutorial charging follows differential arrest rates. Prosecutors are more likely to charge people of color than whites with crimes that carry heavier sentences under mandatory minimum and habitual offender laws. Federal prosecutors are twice as likely to charge black defendants with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences than otherwise-similar whites.135 State prosecutors are more likely to charge black rather than comparable white defendants under habitual offender laws.136 These disparities indicate 133 Sims, B. & Johnson, E. (2004). Examining Public Opinion about Crime and Justice: A Statewide Study. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 15(3), 270–293 (pp. 284, 290). 134 Edwards, E. Bunting, W. Garcia, L. (2013). The War on Marijuana in Black and White. New York, NY: American Civil Liberties Union. Available at: https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/1114413-mj-report-rfs-rel1.pdf. 135 Starr, S. B. & Rehavi, M. M. (2013). Mandatory Sentencing and Racial Disparity: Assessing the Role of Prosecutors and the Effects of. The Yale Law Journal, 123(2), 2–80. 136 Crawford, C., Chiricos, T., & Kleck, G. (1998). Race, Racial Threat, and Sentencing of Habitual Offenders. Criminology, 36(3), 481–512. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 25 that mandatory minimum sentencing did not eliminate Judges are also more likely to sentence people of color discretion in sentencing, but shifted it instead from judges than whites to prison and jail and to impose longer to prosecutors. sentences, even after accounting for differences in crime severity, criminal history, and educational level.139 The In setting bail terms, sentences, or departing from race penalty is harshest for certain categories of people sentencing guidelines, judges often favor whites over and offenses: it particularly affects men and the young, racial minorities, and wealthier defendants over the and is more pronounced for less serious offenses.140 disadvantaged. A growing proportion of pre-trial release requires money bond,137 and blacks and Latinos are more Through codified practices and use of discretion, criminal likely than whites to be denied bail or to be imposed a justice professionals contribute to the overrepresentation bond that they cannot afford.138 Racial minorities are of people of color in the correctional population. often assessed to be higher safety or flight risks because These biases affect not only the work of police officers, of their lower socioeconomic status, criminal records, prosecutors, and judges, but also defense attorneys141 and because of their race. Pre-trial detention increases and juvenile probation officers.142 The resulting the odds that defendants will accept less favorable plea overrepresentation of people of color in prisons and jails deals. helps to reinforce the public’s racial perceptions of crime. 137 Cohen, T. H. & Reaves, B. A. (2007). Pretrial Release of Felony Defendants in State Courts. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Available at: https://www.accredited-inc.com/pdf/summaries/BJS-Special-Report-on-Pretrial-Release.pdf. 138 Jones, C. E. (2013). “Give Us Free”: Addressing Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations. New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, 16(4), 919–62. Available at: http://www.nyujlpp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jones-Give-Us-Free-16nyujlpp919.pdf. 139 See for example, Steffensmeier, D. & Demuth, S. (2000). Ethnicity and Sentencing Outcomes in U.S. Federal Courts: Who is Punished More Harshly? American Sociological Review, 65(5), 705–729; Steffensmeier, D. & Demuth, S. (2001). Ethnicity and Judges’ Sentencing Decisions: Hispanic-Black-White Comparisons. Criminology, 39(1), 145–178; Spohn, S. C. (2000). Thirty Years of Sentencing Reform: The Quest for a Racially Neutral Sentencing Process. Criminal Justice, 3, 427–501. 140 Steffensmeier, D., Ulmer, J., & Kramer, J. (1998). The Interaction of Race, Gender, and Age in Criminal Sentencing: The Punishment Cost of Being Young, Black, and Male. Criminology, 36(4), 763–798. 141 Eisenberg, T. & Johnson, S. L. (2004). Implicit Racial Attitudes of Death Penalty Lawyers. Cornell Law Faculty Publications, Paper 353, 1539–1556. 142 Bridges, G. S. & Steen, S. (1998). Racial Disparities in Official Assessments of Juvenile Offenders: Attributional Stereotypes as Mediating Mechanisms. American Sociological Review, 63(4), 554–570. 26 The Sentencing Project VI. PUNITIVENESS LINKED TO OTHER RACIAL GAPS IN VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES Researchers have identified several other factors beyond racial perceptions of crime that explain why white Americans are more punitive than blacks and Latinos. First, whites have fewer and more positive encounters with the police and courts relative to racial minorities. Second, some whites harbor and express overt racial prejudice, which is strongly linked to punitive sentiment. Finally, white Americans are more likely than African Americans to attribute criminal behavior to individual failure, rather than to contextual causes. These factors lead whites to perceive the criminal justice system as legitimate while limiting their ability to “empathetically identify” with people who have broken the law.143 African Americans – who hold little overt anti-black prejudice, are less trusting of the criminal justice system, and are more likely to recognize structural causes of crime – more often empathize with people accused and convicted of crime, and are therefore less punitive than whites. Racial differences in personal encounters with the police and courts, and familiarity with the experiences of others through social networks, have polarized perceptions of the justice system. Whites have less frequent encounters with the criminal justice system than African Americans and Latinos. And when whites do encounter the police and courts, their experiences are often qualitatively different from those of people of color. These differences contribute to whites’ positive views of these institutions and greater reliance on them for crime control. Lifetime chances of imprisonment are one measure of the differing rates of exposure to the criminal justice system. Bruce Western has determined that “prison has become commonplace for African American men born since the late 1960s,” with more than 20% of black men in that generation experiencing incarceration by their mid-30s.145 The comparable rate for whites is 3%. Consider next the chances of being arrested. A recent study found that although a high proportion of white A. WHITES’ LIMITED AND FAVORABLE men (38%) reported having been arrested by age 23, the rate was still higher for African Americans (49%).146 And CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONTACT finally, consider police stops. As discussed below, police A 2013 Gallup survey revealed that while over two-thirds officers are more likely to make discretionary traffic stops, of blacks believed that the American justice system was to conduct searches, and to rely on physical force against biased against blacks, only one-quarter of whites agreed.144 143 Unnever & Cullen (2009), note 84 above (p. 286). 144 Newport, F. (2013). Gulf Grows in Black-White Views of U.S. Justice System Bias. Gallup. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/163610/gulfgrows-black-white-views-justice-system-bias.aspx. Similarly, Pew’s 2013 survey found that seven-in-ten blacks and one-third of whites said that blacks are treated less fairly than whites in their dealings with the police while 68% of blacks and 27% of whites said blacks are not treated as fairly as whites in the courts: see Pew Research Center (2013). King’s Dream Remains an Elusive Goal; Many Americans See Racial Disparities. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/08/22/kings-dream-remains-an-elusive-goal-many-americans-see-racialdisparities/. 145 Western (2006), note 3 above (pp. 25–26); see also Bonczar, T. P. (2003). Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/piusp01.pdf. 146 Brame, R., Bushway, S. D., Paternoster, R., & Turner, M. G. (2014). Demographic Patterns of Cumulative Arrest Prevalence by Ages 18 and 23. Crime & Delinquency, 60(3), 471–486. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 27 people of color. While some of these disparities may be Among drivers under 25 years old, 28% of black men due to differences in suspect behavior, a detailed look at had experienced an investigatory traffic stop, as had 17% the data indicates that bias plays a key role. of black women, 13% of white men, and 7% of white women.151 While older age reduced the likelihood of Traffic stops are a domain of civil law that can lead to experiencing these stops, it did not diminish the racial criminal charges. While the frequency of stops has not gap. Consequently, “Black men must reach age 50 years differed significantly by race in recent years, the causes or older to have the same likelihood of being stopped for and outcomes of stops have. In 2011, blacks were 30% an investigatory reason as white men under age 25.”152 more likely than whites and Hispanics to report a recent Epp and colleagues also found that class differences traffic stop, though this disparity has faded in some mattered but did not fully account for the racial disparity. recent years.147 Officers’ stated reasons for making a stop Drivers of lower-valued cars experienced investigatory differed significantly by the driver’s race. While half of stops more frequently than those in higher-valued cars. traffic stops for whites were for speeding, the rate for But black men and women under age 40 were over blacks and Hispanics was under 40%, meaning that racial twice as likely as their white counterparts to experience minorities were more frequently investigatory stops for both the stopped for other reasons. A closer highest and lowest valued cars.153 Traffic-safety stops, the look at those reasons suggests that Traffic-safety stops, the authors authors conclude, are based on conclude, are based on “how people the police relied more on discretion to stop people of color: blacks and “how people drive,” whereas drive,” whereas investigatory stops Hispanics were significantly more investigatory stops are based are based on “how they look.”154 likely than whites to be stopped for on “how they look.” a record check (14.0%, 9.7%, and Nationwide surveys also uncover 9.0% respectively), for a vehicle vast racial differences in outcomes of defect (19.0%, 16.5%, and 12.7% respectively), or for no traffic stops. Once pulled over, blacks and Hispanics were reason at all (4.7%, 3.3%, and 2.6% respectively).148 These three times as likely as whites to be searched (6% and 7% national statistics also obscure staggering disparities in versus 2%)155 and blacks were twice as likely as whites to some jurisdictions.149 be arrested during a traffic stop.156 Police officers’ greater reliance on discretion when stopping racial minorities Charles Epp and colleagues conducted a study of police suggests that differences in drivers’ behavior alone are stops between 2003 and 2004 in Kansas City, a nationally unlikely to account for these disparities. representative metropolitan area. 150 The researchers distinguished between traffic-safety stops (reactive Racial disparities in the causes, rates, and outcomes of stops used to enforce traffic laws or vehicle codes) and traffic stops contribute to marked differences in drivers’ investigatory stops (proactive stops used to investigate outlooks about their personal experiences. Among whites drivers deemed suspicious). They found that rates of who were pulled over, 84% believed that the police had traffic-safety stops did not differ by the driver’s race, but a legitimate reason for doing so, in contrast to 74% of rates of investigatory stops did, and did so significantly. Hispanics and 67% of blacks.157 Traffic stop trends help 147 Langton, L. & Durose, M. (2013). Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www. bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pbtss11.pdf (p. 3); Eith, C. & Durose, M. R. (2011). Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2008. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpp08.pdf (p. 7). 148 Langton & Durose (2013), note 147 above (p. 4). 149 Cole, D. (1999) No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the Criminal Justice System. New York: The New Press (pp. 34–38). 150 Epp, C. R., Maynard-Moody, S., & Haider-Markel, D. P. (2014). Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press (pp. 6–9, 59). Based on respondents’ reports of the officer’s reasons for the stop, the researchers defined trafficsafety stops to include: speeding at greater than 7 miles per hour, suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, running a red light, reckless driving, and random roadblock checks for driving under the influence. Investigatory stops were defined to include: failure to signal a turn or lane change, malfunctioning light, driving too slowly, stopping too long, expired license tag, check for valid license or to conduct warrant check, and no justification given for the stop. See also Epp, C. & Maynard-Moody, S. (2014). Driving While Black. Washington Monthly. Available at: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january_february_2014/ten_miles_square/driving_while_black048283.php. 151 Epp, Maynard-Moody, & Haider-Markel (2014), note 150 above (p. 67). Black respondents viewed traffic safety stops as legitimate but were critical of investigatory stops. See also Epp & Maynard-Moody (2014), note 150 above. 152 Epp, Maynard-Moody, & Haider-Markel (2014), note 150 above (p. 67) 153 Epp, Maynard-Moody, & Haider-Markel (2014), note 150 above (p. 69). 154 Epp, Maynard-Moody, & Haider-Markel (2014), note 150 above (p. 64). 155 Langton & Durose (2013), note 147 above (p. 9); see also Epp, Maynard-Moody, & Haider-Markel (2014), note 150 above (Chapter 4). 156 Eith & Durose (2011), note 147 above (p. 9). 157 Langton & Durose (2013), note 147 above (p. 4). 28 The Sentencing Project to explain why people of color are more likely to believe that the police have discriminated against them because of their race: one of every three African Americans reported being treated unfairly by the police because of their race, whereas closer to only one of ten whites reported unfair treatment for any reason at all.158 Researchers have shown similar patterns with youth. In Chicago, black high school students were more likely to have police contact than Latinos, who were more likely than whites.159 Students with more police contact were more likely to perceive the criminal justice system as unjust. Perceptions of police brutality – arising from both personal experience and awareness of others’ experiences – also differ significantly by race. Several surveys conducted between 2002 and 2008 have shown that Hispanics were up to twice as likely, and blacks were up to three times as likely as whites to experience physical force or its threat during their more recent contact with the police.160 Given that most people exposed to force saw it as excessive, and at similar rates across races, racial minorities more frequently reported experiencing excessive force. More broadly, when a 1999 Gallup survey asked Americans about perceptions of police brutality in their neighborhoods, 58% of non-whites believed police brutality took place in their area, in contrast to only 35% of whites.161 Racial differences in criminal justice experiences have polarized perceptions of fairness in the justice system, and assessments of its equal protection. Mark Peffley and Jon Hurwitz observe that “being treated unfairly by the police is associated with sharp decreases in appraisals of system fairness.”162 They also show that evaluations of the police and criminal justice system are based not only on personal experiences, but also on “vicarious experiences” – the experiences of those in one’s community.163 These racial differences lead to the majority of blacks describing the justice system as discriminatory and the majority of whites rejecting this characterization (see Figure 11).164 Similarly, a 2002 survey found that while three-quarters of blacks and half of Hispanics expressed that the police treated blacks and Hispanics worse than whites in their city, three-quarters of whites stated that the police treated all of these groups equally.165 Black and white Americans’ conflicting evaluations of the criminal justice system also extend to their differing explanations for African Americans’ higher rates of arrest and incarceration. White Americans more often attribute this disparity to higher rates of crime among blacks and to lack of respect for authority among black youth; black respondents more often point to a biased police force and justice system.166 Whites are also more likely to see disparate police treatment of blacks as rational discrimination given differences in crime rates, whereas Figure 11. Respondents who think the American justice system is biased against black people, 1993–2013 68% 67% 68% Blacks 33% 32% Whites 25% 1993 2008 2013 Source: Newport, F. (2013). Gulf Grows in Black-White Views of U.S. Justice System Bias. Gallup. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/ poll/163610/gulf-grows-black-white-views-justice-system-bias. aspx. 158 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 41–2); Similarly, a 1999 Gallup survey found that blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to report personal unfair treatment by the police (43% versus 24%, respectively), and nearly four times as likely to report experiencing unfair police treatment because of their race (34% versus 9%, respectively): Gillespie, M. (1999). One Third of Americans Believe Police Brutality Exists in Their Area. Gallup. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/4003/one-third-americans-believe-police-brutality-exists-their-area.aspx. 159 Hagan, J., Shedd, C., & Payne, M. R. (2005). Race, Ethnicity, and Youth Perceptions of Criminal Injustice. American Sociological Review, 70, 381–407. 160 Eith & Durose (2011), note 147 above (pp. 6, 12). 161 Gillespie (1999), note 158 above; See also Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (p. 43) for black-white differences in other measures of disparate treatment in the criminal justice system. 162 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 92, 124, 132); see also Weitzer, R. & Tuch, S. A. (2005). Racially Biased Policing: Determinants of Citizen Perceptions. Social Forces, 83(3), 1009–1030. 163 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 42f.); see also Klein, E. (2013). White People Believe the Justice System is Color Blind. Black People Really Don’t. The Washington Post. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/22/white-people-believe-thejustice-system-is-color-blind-black-people-really-dont/. 164 Newport (2013), note 144 above; Pew Research Center (2013), note 144 above. 165 Weitzer & Tuch (2005), note 162 above (p. 1017). 166 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 87–88, 170–2, 178–9) see also Unnever, J. D. (2008). Two Worlds Far Apart: Black-White Differences in Beliefs About Why African-American Men Are Disproportionately Imprisoned. Criminology, 46(2), 511–538 (pp. 523) and note that he finds that while African Americans are more likely than whites to attribute high rates of black incarceration to structural factors and bias, they are also more likely to attribute this to a problem with morals and parenting. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 29 blacks see it as unjustifiable because it leads to lawabiding individuals having to confront a “presumption of wrongdoing.”167 As a young black man interviewed in one study observed: “When black people walk with our hands in our pockets, we look like we’re up to something. When a white man walk with his hands [in his pockets] we know he cold.”168 Another young black man stated: “Always assuming the worst when it’s someone of color.”169 in job openings, but only 3% expressed this opinion in 1972 – such a low rate that surveyors stopped asking this question in future years.171 Surveys also show slower-to-rise but eventually overwhelming support for school integration and lower but rising rates of support for interracial romantic relationships. But as Bobo and colleagues establish, Jim Crow racism has been replaced by a “kinder, gentler antiblack ideology,” which they label “laissez-faire racism.”172 Whites’ experiences with the criminal justice system – which are both less frequent and less frequently perceived This modern form of racism, according to Bobo and coas unjust than the experiences of racial minorities – help to authors, includes persistent negative stereotypes of blacks explain whites’ greater trust in these institutions to address based on culture rather than biology, individualistic rather crime. Based on personal and than structural accounts vicarious experiences, people of of racial inequality, and “When black people walk with our color are more likely to experience resistance to ameliorative hands in our pockets, we look like greater use of discretion in police public policies. As late as we’re up to something. When a stops, more intensive investigation 1990, the majority of white white man walk with his hands [in his Americans expressed the during these stops, and more pockets] we know he cold.” frequent use of physical force. belief that blacks were less These experiences lead many to intelligent, lazier, more believe that the criminal justice prone to violence, and more system is biased, violent, and illegitimate. But whites’ likely to prefer living on welfare compared to whites.173 personal exposure and indirect observations bolster their A smaller proportion of white Americans continued to view of these institutions as legitimate and effective. express these views in 2008, with just over 40% describing whites as more hard-working than blacks and about onequarter describing whites as more intelligent. And while B. RACIAL PREJUDICE the majority of whites attributed the black-white economic Overt racial prejudice is another major reason why inequality during the late 1990s to individualistic factors whites support more punitive policies than blacks. Most such as the need for blacks to try harder or to have more white Americans no longer endorse traditional forms of motivation, only a minority endorsed structural factors prejudice associated with the era of Jim Crow racism – including discrimination in the labor market – though overt beliefs about the biological inferiority of blacks and a majority agreed with the more ambiguous statement support for segregation and discrimination. As Lawrence “most Blacks just don’t have the chance for education Bobo has observed, “The single clearest trend shown that it takes to rise out of poverty.”174 The prevalence of in studies of racial attitudes has involved a steady and lingering prejudices and the reluctance to acknowledge sweeping movement toward general endorsement of the structural racism creates a schism for many whites between principles of racial equality and integration.”170 Bobo widely-held egalitarian principles and support for policies and his colleagues have illustrated this point by noting to address racial gaps: “Whites are increasingly unwilling that in 1942, 68% of white Americans supported school to support public policies such as affirmative action segregation, but only 7% did so by 1972. In 1944, 55% that they believe offer unfair advantages to a group of of whites thought whites should be given preference people they believe are unwilling to help themselves.”175 167 African American woman quoted in: Weitzer, R. (2000). Racialized Policing: Residents’ Perceptions in Three Neighborhoods. Law & Society Review, 34(1), 129–155 (p. 138). 168 Weitzer (2000), note 167 above. 169 Weitzer (2000), note 167 above. 170 Bobo, L. (2001). Racial Attitudes and Relations at the Close of the Twentieth Century. In Smelser, N. J., Wilson, W. J., Mitchell, F. (eds.) America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume 1, pp. 264–301. Washington, D. C.: National Academy Press (p. 269). 171 Bobo, Kluegel, & Smith (1997), note 59 above (p. 23). 172 Bobo, Kluegel, & Smith (1997), note 59 above (p. 15). 173 Bobo, L. D., Charles, C. Z., Krysan, M., & Simmons, A. D. (2012). The Real Record on Racial Attitudes. In Marsden, P. V. (ed.) Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972, pp. 38–83. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (Figure 11). 174 Bobo (2001), note 170 above (pp. 283–4); see also Bobo, Charles, Krysan, & Simmons (2012), note 173 above (Figure 13). 175 Bobo, L. D. & Charles, C. Z. (2009). Race in the American Mind: From the Moynihan Report to the Obama Candidacy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 621, 243–259 (p. 248). 30 The Sentencing Project For example, when white Americans were asked in 2008 whether the government has a special obligation to help improve the living standards of African Americans because of longstanding discrimination, the majority said no, with fewer than one in four saying yes.176 more than half of Americans would support the death penalty.”183 Thus whites who harbor overt racial prejudices – and many still do – are very likely to support the death penalty and other harsh penalties. But this alone does not fully Researchers have shown that both traditional and modern explain whites’ punitiveness: racial perceptions of crime, forms of prejudice and racism are strong predictors of and the other factors described in this section, inspire punitiveness. Devon Johnson found that from the late punitive preferences even among those who do not 1970s until the early 2000s, traditional and laissez-faire express overt prejudice. racism were significant predictors of support for punitive policies.177 Racial animus and negative racial stereotypes C. INDIVIDUALISTIC ACCOUNTS OF were also strong predictors of punitiveness in the studies described above, on the link between racial perceptions CRIME of crime and punitiveness.178 The strong connection Another reason that whites are more punitive than racial between prejudice and punitiveness is perhaps clearest minorities is their attribution of crime to individual for the death penalty. shortcomings, rather than to structural causes. Crime is James Unnever, Francis Cullen, and colleagues’ sustained the product of both an individual’s choices and the life investigation of public opinion about the death penalty circumstances that shape those choices. But black and has led them to conclude that racial animus is “one of white Americans differ in which of these forces they the most salient and consistent predictors of American emphasize when accounting for crime. punitiveness.”179 Like others,180 they found that in both Whites are significantly more likely than blacks to 1990 and 2000, racial prejudice against blacks and emphasize individualistic causes of criminal behavior Hispanics – as measured by disapproval of interracial – agreeing, for example, that “people commit crime marriage and residential integration – was one of the because they don’t care about the rights of others or strongest predictors of support for the death penalty.181 their responsibilities to society,” or because they are lazy Analyzing a 2000 survey, they estimate that almost one– over structuralist explanations – agreeing, for example, third of the black-white divide in support for capital that “people turn to crime because our society does not punishment could be explained by their measure of white guarantee that everyone has regular employment,” or racism.182 Similar findings led Steven Barkan and Steven that “poverty and low income are responsible for much Cohn to write in 2005 that “if we had a society composed of crime.”184 Individualistic explanations of crime are solely of blacks and nonprejudiced whites, only slightly 176 Bobo, Charles, Krysan, & Simmons (2012), note 173 above (Figure 7). 177 Johnson, D. (2001). Punitive Attitudes on Crime: Economic Insecurity, Racial Prejudice, or Both? Sociological Focus, 34(1), 33–54; Johnson, D. (2008). Racial Prejudice, Perceived Injustice, and the Black-White Gap in Punitive Attitudes. Journal of Criminal Justice, 36(2), 198–206. For an experimental demonstration of the impact of racial prejudice on punitive policy preferences, see Hurwitz, J. & Peffley, M. (1997). Public Perceptions of Race and Crime: The Role of Racial Stereotypes. American Journal of Political Science, 41(2), 375–401. 178 Chiricos, Welch, & Gertz (2004), note 50 above (p. 374); Unnever & Cullen (2012), note 58 above; Welch, Payne, Chiricos, & Gertz, (2011), note 54 above (p. 830); Pickett & Chiricos (2012), note 82 above (p. 692). Prejudice is also related to attributing racial disproportionately in prisons to crime rates rather than bias: Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 101–3). 179 Unnever, J. D. & Cullen, F. T. (2010). The Social Sources of Americans’ Punitiveness: A Test of Three Competing Models. Criminology, 48(1), 99–129 (p. 119). 180 Barkan, S. E. & Cohn, S. F. (1994). Racial Prejudice and Support for the Death Penalty by Whites. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 31(2), 202–209; Cohn, S. F., Barkan, S. E., & Halteman, W. A. (1991). Punitive Attitudes Toward Criminals: Racial Consensus or Racial Conflict? Social Problems, 38(2), 287–296 (p. 293); Barkan & Cohn (2005), note 57 above; Soss, J., Langbein, L., & Metelko, A. R. (2003). Why Do White Americans Support the Death Penalty? The Journal of Politics, 65(2), 397–421. 181 Unnever & Cullen (2012), note 58 above. Racial or ethnic animus is a significant predictor of support for capital punishment not only in the United States but also in other countries including Great Britain, France, and Japan: Unnever, J. D., Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2008). Race, Racism, and Support for Capital Punishment. Crime and Justice, 37(1), 45–96 (pp. 73–81); Ousey, G. C. & Unnever, J. D. (2012). Racial-Ethnic Threat, OutGroup Intolerance, and Support for Punishing Criminals: a Cross-National Study. Criminology, 50(3), 565–603. 182 Unnever, J. D. & Cullen, F. T. (2007). The Racial Divide in Support for the Death Penalty: Does White Racism Matter? Social Forces, 85(3), 1281– 1301. Another study found that racial resentment explains a significant proportion of whites’ continued support for harsh punishments in the face of information about racial disparities: Bobo, L. D. & Johnson, D. (2004). A Taste for Punishment: Black and White Americans’ Views on the Death Penalty and the War on Drugs, Du Bois Review 1(1), 151–180. 183 Barkan, S. E. & Cohn, S. F. (2005). Reaction Essay on Reducing White Support for the Death Penalty: A Pessimistic Appraisal. Criminology, 4(1), 39–44 (p. 42). 184 Thompson & Bobo (2011), note 27 above (p. 22). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 31 also more popular among conservatives, Republicans, southerners, and older individuals.185 Researchers have shown that those who attribute crime to individual dispositions are more punitive and less supportive of rehabilitation than those who emphasize environment factors.186 Whites who attribute crime more to individual failings rather than to social contexts are also more likely to believe that crime rates, rather than bias, drive the overrepresentation of blacks in prisons.187 While accounts of crime “strongly affect how individuals wish to see public policy respond to the problem of crime,” they explain only “a small but significant fraction of the black-white difference in crime policy views.”188 This factor combines with others – association of crime with racial minorities, evaluations of the justice system, and overt prejudice – to create a more comprehensive explanation of whites’ limited empathy toward people who break the law. 185 186 187 188 Thompson & Bobo (2011), note 27 above (p. 26). Pickett & Baker (2014), note 36 above (pp. 209–210); Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 101–3, 170–2, 178–9). Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 92, 124, 132). Thompson & Bobo (2011), note 27 above (p. 16). 32 The Sentencing Project VII. CONSEQUENCES OF A BIASED AND PUNITIVE JUSTICE SYSTEM Widespread racial perceptions of crime have helped to make the American criminal justice system more punitive towards people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Changes in sentence lengths, arrest rates, and prison admission – rather than crime rates – drove the 260% increase in incarceration rates between 1980 and 2010.189 Racialized views of crime have also created criminal justice policies and practices that disproportionately affect people of color. The heavy presence of racial minorities in jail, prison, and under community supervision cannot be fully explained by racial differences in crime rates.190 This section examines the toxic effects of a harsh and selective criminal justice system. A. ERODED PERCEIVED LEGITIMACY Unfair, illegitimate, and excessive – these are descriptors that people of color often use to describe their own experiences with the justice system and to characterize the system as a whole.191 Racial perceptions of crime have been a driving force of this outcome. People of color who are not personally impacted by criminal justice policies are often close to someone who has been. In one national survey, half of African Americans reported having a close friend or relative who was currently incarcerated, in contrast to one out of ten white respondents.192 These encounters have created “an enormous racial chasm in responses toward the U.S. criminal justice system.”193 With its legitimacy tarnished, the justice system struggles to evoke the respect, trust, and cooperation needed for its effective operation. When asked to reflect on their personal experiences, those of their communities, or about high-profile cases, people of color routinely register disapproval with how the criminal justice system treats and protects the rights of racial minorities.194 When 68% of blacks but only 25% of whites said that they saw the criminal justice system as biased against blacks in 2013, this represented the largest gap on this question since the early 1990s.195 Controlling for class differences between blacks and whites does not eliminate these differences in views. In fact, more highly educated blacks and whites are more skeptical of the criminal justice system than their less-educated counterparts.196 Whites and blacks also hold divergent views about instances of police misconduct, outcomes of high-profile cases, and the overrepresentation of racial minorities in the justice system.197 For example, blacks are much more likely than whites to “attribute higher rates of black male imprisonment to both structural barriers (e.g. few job opportunities and bad schools) and a racist criminal justice system (e.g. police targeting AfricanAmerican men and courts more willing to convict black men).”198 189 National Research Council (2014), note 5 above. Incarceration rate change calculated using: Beck, A. J. & Gilliard, D. K. (1995). Prisoners in 1994. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/virtual_disk_library/index.cgi/5772776/FID1/pdf/pi94.pdf; Guerino, P., Harrison, P. M., & Sabol, W. J. (2011). Prisoners in 2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p10.pdf. 190 Blumstein (1993), note 101 above (p. 751). 191 Gillespie (1999), note 158 above; see also Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (p. 43); Langton & Durose (2013), note 147 above (p. 4); Eith & Durose (2011), note 147 above (pp. 6, 12). 192 Bobo, L. D. & Thompson, V. R. (2010). Racialized Mass Incarceration. In Markus. H. R. & Moya, P. (eds.) Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, pp. 322–356. New York, NY: Norton (p. 350). 193 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (p. 5) 194 See Section VII Part A above. 195 Newport (2013), note 144 above. 196 Weitzer, R. & Tuch, S. A. (1999). Race, Class, and Perceptions of Discrimination by the Police. Crime & Delinquency, 45(4), 494–507 (p. 500); Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 51–2, 92, 95); Unnever (2008), note 166 above. 197 Hurwitz, J. & Peffley, M. (2005). Explaining the Great Racial Divide: Perceptions of Fairness in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. The Journal of Politics, 67(03), 762–783; Unnever (2008), note 166 above. 198 Unnever (2008), note 166 above (p. 530); see also Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (pp. 87–88). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 33 This distrust has thrown a wrench into the criminal justice system’s operations. African Americans’ lack of trust in the police may be one factor contributing to the lower clearance rates of black versus white murder cases in New York City.199 Jury mistrust of police officers has also interfered with criminal trials.200 To summarize, familiarity with injustices resulting from racial perceptions of crime reduces confidence in the criminal justice system among people of color. Perceived illegitimacy breeds limited cooperation. As a result, police departments struggle to clear cases, prosecutors struggle to secure convictions, and the public fears unrest after episodes of police brutality. The racial gap in perceptions Outrage about the racial inequities and excesses of the of fairness and justice also has more direct implications justice system has encouraged some public intellectuals for public safety, as discussed next. to advocate for jury nullification and to encourage defendants to decline plea offers so as to motivate reforms. Legal scholar and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler B. UNDERMINING PUBLIC SAFETY encourages jurors to engage in nullification for many Racial perceptions of crime harm public safety. The most drug crimes – wherein jurors pronounce defendants acute and severe consequence of these perceptions is the not guilty despite evident guilt – and to engage in other killing of innocent people because of racially motivated forms of non-cooperation to help defendants avoid the fear. A broader consequence is a criminal justice system ramifications of a conviction.201 Criminal justice scholar that is on overdrive, with lifelong consequences for all and former civil rights attorney Michelle Alexander Americans who are convicted of crimes, and particularly encourages defendants to decline plea deals and request for low-income people of color. Mass incarceration trials so as to create a “tsunami of litigation” that would compounds economic disadvantage, increasing the jam a system that relies on cases being settled without likelihood of criminal offending across generations. The trials.202 These tactics seek to circumvent the barriers that perception of a biased criminal justice system may also get in the way of fair outcomes in the justice system. foster a sense of legal immunity among white Americans. High profile cases spotlight the racial divide in views of the criminal justice system. Soon after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter for Trayvon Martin’s death, Gallup surveyed Americans on their views. The poll showed that 85% of blacks said the verdict was wrong while a majority of whites, 54%, said the verdict was right.203 Cases like this have created a familiar pattern of acquittal followed by expectations of unrest of the type that Los Angeles experienced after the 1992 verdicts in favor of the police officers who beat Rodney King. The impact of a criminal conviction is felt long before and after a sentence and affects those around the person that is being punished. Overcriminalization has led young black men in Philadelphia who have warrants out for their arrest to turn away from “the activities, relations, and localities that others rely on to maintain a decent and respectable identity.” 204 The “mark” of a criminal record tarnishes employment prospects,205 contributes to aggregate levels of racial economic inequality,206 and can bar individuals from welfare benefits, food stamps,207 public housing, and 199 Uneven distribution of police resources and fear of cooperating with the police are other reasons: Paddock, B., Riley, S., Parascandola, R., & Schapiro, R. (2014). Tale of Two Cities. New York Daily News. Available at: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/forgotten-recordmurder-rate-cases-unsolved-article-1.1566572. On the other hand, “snitching” – defined as criminal suspects providing information for reduced criminal liability – may occur at high levels: Natapoff, A. (2011). Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice. New York, NY: New York University Press (pp. 15, 107). 200 Eckholm, E. (2014) As Justice Department Scrutinizes Local Police, Cleveland Is Latest Focus. The New York Times. Available at: http://www. nytimes.com/2014/06/18/us/justice-department-examining-local-police-turns-focus-to-cleveland.html?_r=4. 201 Butler, P. (2009). Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. New York, NY: The New Press 2009 (Chapter 4). On the Stop Snitching movement, see Natapoff (2011), note 199 above (pp. 72–3 & Chapter 5). 202 Alexander, M. (2012). Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System. The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/ sunday/go-to-trial-crash-the-justice-system.html?_r=0. 203 Newport (2013), note 144 above. 204 Goffman, A. (2014) On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press (p. 53); Rios, V. M. (2011) Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York: New York University Press. 205 Pager, D. (2007). Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 206 Western, B. (2002). The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality. American Sociological Review, 67, 526–546; Pettit, B. (2012). Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation. 207 Mauer, M. (2013). A Lifetime of Punishment: The Impact of the Felony Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits. The Sentencing Project. Available at: http:// sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/cc_A%20Lifetime%20of%20Punishment.pdf. 34 The Sentencing Project voting.208 Incarceration has long-term material, physical, and mental health consequences for prisoners’ children and other family members.209 Christopher Wildeman writes that “by promoting incarceration among the children of the prison boom, parental imprisonment may have the potential to lay the foundation for an enduring form of inequality in which the imprisonment of the disadvantaged is transmitted from one generation to the next.”210 The criminal justice policies and practices of the past four decades have not only broadened these impacts, but concentrated them on racial minorities. informal interventions to address problematic youth behavior. “Lack of faith in the police,” resulting from perceived procedural injustice and inefficacy, “inhibits informal social control activities, and in fact explains lower capacities for informal social control in minority communities.”213 Finally, a criminal justice system that targets people of color may increase crime among whites. An experiment about classroom cheating found that white participants were more likely to cheat on a test in a setting where black participants were singled out for scrutiny, compared to whites in a setting where no racial profiling occurred.214 “Racial profiling could increase crime among Crime policies that excessively target people of color have nonprofiled groups, having a counterproductive effect,” been directly associated with increased offending among the researchers concluded.215 both racial minorities and whites. When people do not see the Mass incarceration has created “Racial profiling could increase police and justice system as fair, barriers to employment, crime among nonprofiled groups, they see it as less legitimate and welfare benefits, and housing, are less likely to follow its rules.211 having a counterproductive effect.” exacerbating conditions that Research has shown that youth promote crime across generations. who have had contact with the The labeling effects of contact police – even just being stopped and questioned – report with the criminal justice system, and dissatisfaction with higher rates of future delinquent behavior compared the police, degrade barriers to crime. Moreover, racial to otherwise similar youth, and those who have been profiling of people of color may lead some whites to previously arrested are more likely to be rearrested.212 take greater criminal risks. These outcomes suggest that This is in part because labeling young people as criminals excessive incarceration has not only been unjust and excludes some from activities and peers that deter crime expensive, but also counterproductive. Yet we stand at and leads to “secondary deviance,” and because police are the threshold of a potential criminal justice awakening. more likely to identify and intervene in the transgressions A number of field-tested tools can help to eliminate the of previously arrested youth. unwanted consequences of racial perceptions of crime, and undo their damage. Perceived illegitimacy of the police also erodes communities’ capacity for, and expectations of, 208 Manza, J. & Uggen, C. (2002). Democratic Contraction? Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States. American Sociological Review, 67, 777–803. 209 Braman, D. 2004. Doing Time on the Outside: Incarceration and Family Life in Urban America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; Wakefield, S. & Wildeman, C. 2011. Mass Imprisonment and Racial Disparities in Childhood Behavioral Problems. Criminology & Public Policy, 10, 791–817. 210 Wildemann, C. (2009) Parental Imprisonment, the Prison Boom, and the Concentration of Childhood Disadvantage. Demography, 46(2), 265–280 (p. 277). 211 Tyler, T.R. (1990). Why People Obey the Law. New Haven: Yale University Press; Tyler, T. R. & Huo, Y. J. (2001). Trust in the Law: Encouraging Public Cooperation with the Police and Courts. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation. 212 Wiley, S. A., Slocum, L. A., & Esbensen, F.-A. (2013). The Unintended Consequences of Being Stopped or Arrested: an Exploration of the Labeling Mechanisms Through Which Police Contact Leads To Subsequent Delinquency. Criminology, 51(4), 927–966; Liberman, A. M., Kirk, D. S., & Kim, K. (Forthcoming). Labeling Effects of First Juvenile Arrests: Secondary Deviance and Secondary Sanctioning. Criminology. 213 Drakulich, K. M. & Crutchfield, R. D. (2013). The Role of Perceptions of the Police in Informal Social Control: Implications for the Racial Stratification of Crime and Control. Social Problems, 60(3), 383–407 (p. 403). 214 Hackney, A. A. & Glaser, J. (2013). Reverse Deterrence in Racial Profiling: Increased Transgressions by Nonprofiled Whites. Law and Human Behavior, 37(5), 348–53. 215 Hackney & Glaser (2013), note 214 above (p. 351). Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 35 VIII. REMEDIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS The media, researchers, policymakers, and criminal justice practitioners can draw on proven interventions to reduce racial perceptions of crime and mitigate their effects on the justice system. News producers can monitor and correct disparities in crime reporting, using the recommendations from the Center for Children’s Law and Policy as a starting point.216 Researchers and pollsters can improve measures and representation of public opinion, incorporating lessons from past research. Policymakers can craft legislation to scale back overly punitive sanctions, and to reduce racial disparities in sentencing and crime rates. The Sentencing Project has developed a manual for assessing and tackling disparities in the justice system,217 the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy has profiled several reforms in its recent symposium issue,218 and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and MacArthur Foundation are among several organizations that have produced overviews and guides about successful efforts that have downscaled the juvenile justice system.219 Finally, all stakeholders – particularly criminal justice professionals – can tackle implicit bias by drawing on field-tested methods such as those compiled by the National Center for State Courts.220 A. THE MEDIA AND RESEARCHERS assessment of media crime coverage, Lori Dorfman and Vincent Schiraldi have made several recommendations to reporters and editors.221 These include expanding sources beyond criminal justice professionals, contextualizing crime within broader underlying social problems, providing in-depth coverage of more typical crimes rather than highlighting anomalous ones, and auditing content to compare coverage with regional crime trends. They describe practices that were adopted by organizations including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, and KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas. REDUCE RACIAL DISPARITIES IN CRIME COVERAGE The media play a crucial role in determining how and how By measuring and tracking the racial composition of much people think about crime. Following their critical offenders and victims in crime news and comparing these 216 Dorfman & Schiraldi (2001), note 110 above (pp. 27–36). 217 The Sentencing Project (2008). Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: A Manual for Practitioners and Policymakers. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_reducingracialdisparity.pdf (pp. 11–57). 218 New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy (2013). 16(4). Available at: http://www.nyujlpp.org/issues/volume-16-number-4/. 219 Hoytt, E. H., Schiraldi, V., Smith, B. V., & Ziedenberg, J. (2001). Reducing Racial Disparities in Juvenile Detention (2001). Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Available at: http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-Pathways8reducingracialdisparities-2001.pdf; Shoenberg, D. (2012). Innovation Brief: Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pennsylvania. Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation. Available at: http://www. modelsforchange.net/publications/351; National Association of Counties (2011). Juvenile Detention Reform: A Guide for County Officials, Second Edition. Available at: http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-JuvDetentionReformForCountyOfficials-2011.pdf. 220 National Center for State Courts. Helping Courts Address Implicit Bias: Resources for Education Williamsburg VA. Available at: http://www.ncsc. org/ibeducation. 221 Dorfman & Schiraldi (2001), note 110 above (pp. 27–36). 36 The Sentencing Project with regional crime rates, news producers can improve the representativeness of their coverage. More nuanced attention is also needed to improve how – not just how much – crime reporting differs by race. Content analysis can help to identify racial disparities in the extent to which suspects are presented in non-individualized and threatening ways. In addition to these recommendations, media producers should address implicit racial bias using the tools described later in this report. IMPROVE PUBLIC OPINION POLLING AND REPORTING Researchers and pollsters play a crucial role in measuring and representing public opinion. Given the repercussions of presenting distorted measures, the wording and formats of some survey questions should be revised to not exaggerate the public’s support for punitive policies. As described in Section II, Americans are far less supportive of the death penalty when provided with life imprisonment as a sentencing option. And although the CONTEXTUALIZE SENTENCING AND CRIME public expresses a great deal of pragmatism in its views of STORIES crime policy – supporting not just punishment, but also By reporting on criminal sentences that are representative, rehabilitation and prevention – this range of preferences and documenting their lifelong consequences, news is lost in many reports. producers can help to educate the public about the reality of existing penalties. By contextualizing specific crime B. POLICYMAKERS stories or policy debates within crime trends, they can avoid creating the impression of a false crisis. Correctly Policymakers have never simply followed public opinion; reporting on crime trends in part requires recognizing the they have also shaped it through their words and work. difference between the Department of Justice’s two crime Elected officials can therefore lead by educating the measures: the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program public about the harms of excessive punishment, as and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).222 they are beginning to do in the United States and have been doing in other countries. Canadians are as punitive The UCR measures crimes reported to the police – which as Americans, but their government has less severe are affected by changes in victim reporting and police sentences.224 England and France abolished the death categorization practices – as well as arrests – which are penalty at a time when their populations supported the heavily influenced by law enforcement practices. The sanction, but now the majority of British and French NCVS measures crime victimization regardless of whether residents oppose executions.225 With years of declining incidents were reported to or cleared by the police. The crime rates and reduced public punitiveness, American two data sources sometimes depict conflicting trends.223 policymakers have the opportunity to develop criminal Noting these nuances and accurately reporting levels of justice policies that are morally sound, fiscally responsible, crime and sentencing would help both policymakers and and effective. the public develop more informed views about crime policies. 222 Federal Bureau of Investigation (2004). Crime in the United States 2004. Washington, D.C. Available at: https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/ appendices/appendix_04.html. 223 Blumstein, A. (2004). Disaggregating the Violence Trends. In Blumstein, A. & Wallman, J. (eds.) The Crime Drop in America, pp. 13–44. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; Beckett & Sasson (2004), note 111 above (pp. 13–23). 224 Kugler, M. B., Funk, F., Braun, J., Gollwitzer, M., Kay, A.C., Darley, J.M. (2013). Differences in Punitiveness Across Three Cultures: A Test of American Exceptionalism in Justice Attitudes. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 103(4), 1071–1114. 225 Death Penalty Information Center (2014). International Polls and Studies. Washington, D.C. Available at: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/ international-polls-and-studies-0. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 37 CURB EXCESSIVE INCARCERATION At the federal level, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced from 100:1 to 18:1 the weight disparity in the Several states and the juvenile justice system serve as amount of powder cocaine versus crack cocaine that models for ending excessive incarceration. New York and triggered mandatory minimum sentences. Greater effort New Jersey have reduced their prison populations by 26% is needed not only to reduce the remaining disparity, but since 1999 without harming public safety.226 California’s also to make the change retroactive. experience with decarceration also offers useful lessons.227 The juvenile justice system, which has reduced youth TACKLE RACIAL DISPARITIES IN CRIME RATES confinement and detention by over 40% since 2001,228 Eliminating racial disparities in incarceration also can also serve as a model for the adult system.229 requires addressing the socioeconomic inequality and Policymakers should support the growing commitment to racial discrimination that underlie differential crime rates. overhaul excessively harsh sentencing at the federal level. Because the criminal justice system is an institution that Congress has the opportunity to pass two bi-partisan primarily reacts to – rather than prevents – crime, it is bills that seek to curb federal prison populations – the ill-equipped to address many of the underlying causes Smarter Sentencing Act and the Recidivism Reduction of crime. But mass incarceration’s hold on vast public and Public Safety Act, both of which passed the Senate resources and its collateral consequences have eroded Judiciary Committee in 2014. These reforms would build the economic and social buffers that prevent crime. on recent executive action, including Attorney General Consequently, scaling back punishment and reinvesting the Eric Holder’s guidance to federal prosecutors to curb resulting savings into disadvantaged communities would mandatory minimum sentences230 and President Barack promote public safety. Obama’s recent Clemency Initiative.231 Policymakers are increasingly aware that branding people with criminal records harms public safety and wastes ELIMINATE RACIAL DISPARITIES IN CRIME public funds. Accordingly, some states have opted out of POLICIES the federal welfare and food stamp ban for people with Policymakers should identify and reform ostensibly race- felony convictions.234 States and local jurisdictions are also neutral polices that have been shown to have a disparate lowering barriers to employment for people with criminal racial impact. Iowa, Connecticut, Oregon, and Minnesota records. Twelve states and sixty cities and counties now now have a policy in place to conduct racial impact analysis “Ban the Box” in public sector hiring – removing the before codifying a new crime or modifying the criminal question about conviction history from the initial job penalty for an existing crime.232 Some jurisdictions have application and delaying background checks until later in begun to assess the racial bias inherent in risk assessment the hiring process.235 instruments used for criminal justice decision making.233 To fully realize the benefits of these approaches, savings Addressing class-based inequalities in justice outcomes – from decarceration should be redirected to crime by better funding indigent defense, for example – would prevention and drug treatment efforts. Susan Tucker also help to reduce racial disparities. 226 Mauer & Ghandnoosh (2014), note 8 above; Greene & Mauer (2010), note 8 above. 227 Mauer & Ghandnoosh (2014), note 8 above; Raphael, S. & Stoll, M. A. (2014). A New Approach to Reducing Incarceration While Maintaining Low Rates of Crime. Washington, D.C.: The Hamilton Project. Available at: http://www.hamiltonproject.org/files/downloads_and_links/v5_THP_ RaphaelStoll_DiscPaper.pdf. 228 See Sickmund, M., Sladky, T. J., Kang, W., & Puzzanchera, C. (2013). Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice. Available at: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/. 229 In addition to note 219 above, see MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change. Available at: http://www.modelsforchange.net/reform-areas/ index.html; The W. Haywood Burns Institute. Available at: http://www.burnsinstitute.org/. 230 Holder, E. (2013). Memorandum: Department Policy on Charging Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Recidivist Enhancements in Certain Drug Cases. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Attorney General. Available at: http://www.justice.gov/oip/docs/ag-memo-department-policyponcharging-mandatory-minimum-sentences-recidivist-enhancements-in-certain-drugcases.pdf. 231 Department of Justice (2014). Announcing New Clemency Initiative, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole Details Broad New Criteria for Applicants. Available at: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/April/14-dag-419.html. 232 Clark, M. (2013). Should More States Require Racial Impact Statements for New Laws? The Pew Charitable Trusts. Available at: http://www. pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/should-more-states-require-racial-impact-statements-for-new-laws-85899493903. 233 Hoytt, Schiraldi, Smith, & Ziedenberg (2001), note 219 above (pp. 56–60); The Sentencing Project (2008), note 217 above (p. 31). 234 Mauer (2013), note 207 above. 235 National Employment Law Project (2014). Statewide Ban the Box: Reducing Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records. New York, NY: Available at: http://www.nelp.org/page/-/SCLP/ModelStateHiringInitiatives.pdf?nocdn=1; see also National Employment Law Project (2014). Ban the Box: A Fair Chance for a Stronger Economy. Available at: http://www.nelp.org/page/content/banthebox/. 38 The Sentencing Project and Eric Cadora’s vision for the concept of “justice Dispelling the illusion that we are reinvestment” urges policymakers to redirect some of the colorblind in our decision making is funds that had been spent on corrections to “rebuilding a crucial first step to mitigating the the human resources and physical infrastructure — the schools, healthcare facilities, parks, and public spaces impact of implicit racial bias. — of neighborhoods devastated by high levels of incarceration.”236 Downscaling prisons should therefore and Ethnicity concludes that “education efforts aimed be accompanied by reinvestment into communities at raising awareness about implicit bias can help debias harmed by mass incarceration. individuals.”239 Dispelling the illusion that we are colorblind in our decision making is a crucial first step to mitigating the impact of implicit racial bias. Mock jury studies have C. PRACTITIONERS AND OTHER shown that increasing the salience of race in cases reduces STAKEHOLDERS bias in outcomes by making jurors more conscious of 240 Although implicit racial bias is nearly ubiquitous – and thoughtful about their biases. For criminal justice affecting both individual discretion and agency policies – professionals, taking the Implicit Association Test can increase support for it is not intractable. Several interventions have been shown help raise awareness of biases and 241 to reduce implicit bias among jurors, police officers, interventions to reduce their effects. prosecutors, and judges, helping to bring their decisions closer in line with their ideals.237 Defense attorneys can also benefit from greater awareness of their implicit biases, raise awareness of these issues during cases, and implement interventions in the courts.238 Incorporating these lessons into police work, along with developing more equitable enforcement policies particularly for drug crimes, would help to reduce perceptions of overpolicing and mend police-community relations in lowincome communities of color. ADDRESS IMPLICIT RACIAL BIAS AND REVISE POLICIES WITH DISPARATE RACIAL IMPACT The Kirwan Institute describes a number of debiasing strategies shown to reduce implicit racial bias in both experimental and non-experimental settings. These include providing exposure to counter-stereotypic imagery, increasing inter-racial contact, and monitoring outcomes to increase accountability.242 Increasing racial diversity in criminal justice settings also reduces biased outcomes and tempers punitive sentiment. Research on mock juries has RECOGNIZE IMPLICIT RACIAL BIAS shown that a diverse group of jurors deliberate longer In their comprehensive review of implicit racial bias and more thoroughly than all-white juries, and studies of research, the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race capital trials have found that all-white juries are far more 236 Tucker, S. B. & Cadora, E. (2003). Justice Reinvestment. Ideas for An Open Society 3(3). New York, NY: Open Society Institute. Washington, D.C.: Available at: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/ideas_reinvestment.pdf. 237 Staats, C. (2014). State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2014. Columbus, OH: Kirwan Institute. Available at: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/ wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014-implicit-bias.pdf (pp. 20–1, 25–6, 33–6); Staats, C. (2013). State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2013. Columbus, OH: Kirwan Institute. Available at: http://www.kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/reports/2013/03_2013_SOTS-Implicit_Bias.pdf (pp. 53–63); Kang, J., et al. (2012). Implicit Bias in the Courtroom. UCLA Law Review, 59(5), 1124–1186 (pp. 1169–86); Fridell, L.A. (2008). Racially Biased Policing: The Law Enforcement Response to the Implicit Black-Crime Association. In Lynch, M.J., Patterson, E.B., and Childs, K.K. (eds.) Racial Divide: Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System, pp. 39–59. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press (pp. 50–58). 238 Rapping, J. A. (2013). Implicitly Unjust: How Defenders Can Affect Systemic Racist Assumptions. New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, 16(4), 999–1048 (pp. 1022–42). 239 Staats (2014), note 237 above (pp. 20–1, 25–6, 33–6); Staats (2013), note 237 above (pp. 53–63). 240 Sommers, S. R. & Ellsworth, P. C. (2001). White Juror Bias: An Investigation of Prejudice Against Black Defendants in the American Courtroom. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7(1), 201–229. 241 One version of the test is available on this website by Project Implicit: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/user/ncsc/ca/. 242 Staats (2014), note 237 above (pp. 20–1, 25–6); Staats (2013), note 237 above (pp. 53–63) Note that one study has shown that interracial friendships among urban whites increases concern about crime: Mears, D., Mancini, C., & Stewart, E. (2009). Whites’ Concern about Crime: The Effects of Interracial Contact. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 46(4), 524–552. Another has shown that exposure to counterstereotypic imagery can increase denial of racism: Critcher, C. R. & Risen, J. L. (2014). If He Can Do It, So Can They: Incidental Exposure to Counterstereotypically-Successful Exemplars Prompts Automatic Inferences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 359–379. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies 39 likely to sentence offenders to death.243 North Carolina’s not report lower rates of support for the death penalty in Racial Justice Act, now repealed, sought to correct for the murder cases compared with those who were not given this “stubborn legacy” of racially biased jury selection.244 prompt.249 Another study found a “backlash effect,” with white Americans who were first told, “Some people say The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has that the death penalty is unfair because most of the people documented pilot programs developed in California, who are executed are African Americans” being more Minnesota, and North Dakota to educate judges and likely to support the death penalty for murder convictions court staff about implicit racial bias and has made a than those who did not receive this message.250 Similarly, number of related resources available on its website.245 white Californians who were encouraged to overestimate The Vera Institute of Justice’s Prosecution and Racial the proportion of blacks in the state’s prisons were less Justice program has also worked in several jurisdictions likely to support restricting the state’s “three strikes” law to reduce unwarranted racial and ethnic disparities caused than those who were not, just as white residents of New by prosecutorial decision making.246 Prosecutors in New York City who were led to overestimate the proportion York City are demonstrating how this stage of the justice of incarcerated blacks were less supportive of ending the system can reduce upstream disparities. The Brooklyn stop-and-frisk policy.251 Resources provided by the NCSC District Attorney’s office has announced that it will stop and the other organizations mentioned above can help to prosecuting many minor marijuana arrests to reduce the calibrate interventions to avoid flaring automatic biases. overcriminalization of young people of color, and the Manhattan District Attorney has been urged to decrease This is a critical period of declining crime rates, the role that arrest history plays in shaping plea offers.247 increasing concern about public budgets, and growing moral ambivalence about blunt criminal justice sanctions. Information about racial disparities must be presented A clear understanding of the factors that misguided the carefully to help people reconsider, rather than cement, American criminal justice system will help to steer it to their views. Being informed about racial disparities reduces a better path. There are many reasons to be optimistic. punitiveness about some crimes: in one study, whites Substantial portions of the American public support became less supportive of the disparity in crack-cocaine rehabilitation and less punitive criminal sanctions when federal sentencing when presented with information provided with alternatives and informed about offenders. about this policy’s uneven racial impact.248 But support Political leaders on both sides of the aisle have been for the death penalty has been less responsive to some increasingly rising to this occasion. Advocates, the media, messages about racial disparities. For example, one study policymakers, and criminal justice professionals should found that white respondents who were first told that use this opportunity to help align our policies with our “blacks are about 12% of the U.S. population, but they are principles. almost half (43%) of those currently on death row” did 243 Sommers, S. R. (2006). On Racial Diversity and Group Decision Making: Identifying Multiple Effects of Racial Composition on Jury Deliberations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(4), 597–612; Bowers, W. J., Sandys, M., & Brewer, T. W. (2004). Crossing Racial Boundaries: A Closer Look at the Roots of Racial Bias in Capital Sentencing When the Defendant is Black and the Victim is White. DePaul Law Review, 53(4), 1497–1538. 244 Grosso, C. M. & O’Brien, B. (2012). A Stubborn Legacy: The Overwhelming Importance of Race in Jury Selection in 173 Post- Batson North Carolina Capital Trials. Iowa Law Review, 97, 1531–1559. Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.msu.edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=1455&context=facpubs. 245 National Center for State Courts, note 220 above. 246 Davis, A. J. (2013). In Search of Racial Justice: The Role of the Prosecutor. New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, 16(4), 821–52. Available at: http://www.nyujlpp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Davis-In-Search-of-Racial-Justice-16nyujlpp821.pdf. 247 Clifford, S. & Goldstein, J. (2014). Brooklyn Prosecutor Limits When He’ll Target Marijuana. The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes. com/2014/07/09/nyregion/brooklyn-district-attorney-to-stop-prosecuting-low-level-marijuana-cases.html?_r=0; The New York Times Editorial Board (2014). How Race Skews Prosecutions. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/opinion/how-race-skews-prosecutions.html?_ r=0. 248 When respondents were told “Most of those convicted for crack cocaine use are Blacks and most of those convicted for powder cocaine use are Whites,” they were less likely to support harsher sentencing for crack versus cocaine offenders: Bobo & Johnson (2004), note 182 above (pp. 166–7). 249 White respondents who were first told “Blacks are about 12% of the U.S. population, but they are almost half (43%) of those currently on death row” were not less supportive of the death penalty in murder cases than those who were not given this prompt; Bobo & Johnson (2004), note 182 above (pp. 162–4). 250 Peffley & Hurwitz (2010), note 11 above (p. 165; see also 157–166); Peffley, M. & Hurwitz, J. (2007). Persuasion and Resistance: Race and the Death Penalty in America. American Journal of Political Science, 51(4), 996–1012 (p. 1002). 251 Hetey, R. C. & Eberhardt, J. L. (Forthcoming). Racial Disparities in Incarceration Increase Acceptance of Punitive Policies. Psychological Science. 40 The Sentencing Project Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D. September 2014 Related publications by The Sentencing Project: • • • 1705 DeSales Street NW, 8th Floor Washington, D.C. 20036 Tel: 202.628.0871 Fax: 202.628.1091 sentencingproject.org • Shadow Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System (2014) Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System (2014) Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System (2013) The Changing Racial Dynamics of Women’s Incarceration (2013) The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.