Race and Criminal Justice History: Rhetoric, Politics, and Policy

Revised First Edition

Through a socio-legal, socio-psychological, and socio-historical analysis of race and the history of American political rhetoric on crime, Race and Criminal Justice History: Rhetoric, Politics, and Policy provides a foundation for understanding how Blacks are perceived and how long-standing negative perceptions have influenced their interactions with the criminal justice system.

The text discusses how criminal justice policy and perceptions of criminality are related and how Blacks are stereotyped as criminals. Race and Criminal Justice History explores how racial bias, prejudice, and racism can influence police interactions.

Later chapters explore how the history of race and the use of criminal law in the postbellum and post reconstruction America, including convict leasing, criminal peonage, criminal surety, and other forms of involuntary servitude, provide a context for understanding Black disproportionate incarceration. The adoption of Jim Crow by the Supreme Court and the use of the criminal justice system as the replacement of slavery for the social control of Blacks provides a context for understanding contemporary criminal justice policy and political rhetoric.

The revised first edition features updated U.S. crime statistics and an expanded presentation of President Johnson’s 1966 messages to Congress on crime and law enforcement that formed the contemporary rhetorical linkage of race and poverty to explain crime.

Race and Criminal Justice History is an ideal text for criminal justice, sociology, psychology, social work, political science, public administration, public policy, and race and ethnic studies courses.