We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Race, Crime, and Justice

The Continuing American Dilemma

Steven E. Barkan

Publication Date - 14 September 2018

ISBN: 9780190272548

176 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Part of Oxford University Press' Keynotes in Criminology and Criminal Justice series, Race, Crime, and Justice provides an authoritative overview of this timely topic by one of the field's leading scholars


Brief, timely, and accessible, Race, Crime, and Justice: The Continuing American Dilemma examines many critical issues including why, over the past few decades, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans were swept into jails and prisons at rates far beyond their share of the national population. Steven E. Barkan explores racial/ethnic disparities in criminal justice involvement; discrimination in policing, prosecution, and sentencing; the rise and collateral consequences of mass incarceration; racial bias in news media coverage of crime; racial/ethnic differences in rates of criminal behavior and victimization; and social and criminal justice policies that, if successfully implemented, would help correct many of the injustices in the criminal justice system.

About the Series
Keynotes in Criminology and Criminal Justice provides essential knowledge on important contemporary matters of crime, law, and justice to a broad audience of readers. Volumes are written by leading scholars in that area. Concise, accessible, and affordable, these texts are designed to serve either as primers around which courses can be built or as supplemental books for a variety of courses.


  • Up-to-date, timely, and topical, this text covers the latest research in the field
  • Discusses the racial dimensions of news-media coverage and public opinion about crime and justice (Chapter 2)
  • Provides current coverage of police shootings (Chapter 5)
  • Proposes policies for future reforms (Chapter 7)

About the Author(s)

Steven E. Barken is Chair and Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine.

Henry N. Pontell is a Distinguished Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York.


"Race, Crime, and Justice is a must-have textbook for this topic. Easy to read for college-level students, it is up to date with studies and information that will keep them interested and wanting to know more."--Gail F. Beaudoin, University of Massachusetts Lowell

"Concise yet effectively comprehensive, this book presents some very important issues in a brief and clear style. It would resonate very well with my students."--Francis M. Williams, Plymouth State University

"The book's major strengths are its organization, data that supports key points, and clear and concise discussions. It is the only book that includes the majority of information that I am looking for in a text."--Thomas S. Alexander, University of Maryland, College Park

"This is a reasonably priced text that gives a clear and undergraduate-friendly overview of the racial dimensions of race, crime, and criminal justice."--Elyshia Aseltine, Towson University

Table of Contents

    Each chapter ends with a Summary and Key Terms.
    Chapter 1. Race, Crime, and Justice in American Society
    The Continuing American Dilemma
    Defining Some Concepts
    Race and Ethnicity
    Racial Prejudice and Racial Stereotypes
    Racial Discrimination
    Race and Criminal Justice Involvement
    Jail Inmates
    The Correctional Population
    A Critical Question
    Two Additional Facts to Keep in Mind
    How We Got Where We Are
    The Get-Tough Approach and Mass Incarceration
    The Legal War on Drugs
    Race and the Collateral Consequences of Mass Incarceration
    Consequences for Offenders
    Consequences for Families
    Consequences for Communities
    Chapter 2. Race and Public Opinion about Crime and Justice
    Racial Biases in News Media Coverage of Crime
    Research Findings on Racial Bias in Crime Coverage
    Impact of Racial Bias in Crime Coverage
    Racial Differences in Public Opinion about Crime and Justice
    Racial Differences in the Everyday Lives of Americans
    Race and Fear of Crime
    Race, Racial Prejudice, and Punitiveness
    Race and Views about Police
    Race and Perceptions of Criminal Justice System Injustice
    Race and Explanations for Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Involvement
    Summarizing Racial Differences in Public Opinion
    Chapter 3. Race and Criminal Behavior
    Evidence of Racial Differences in Criminal Behavior
    Race and Arrest
    Victimization Data
    Self-Report Data
    Summarizing Race and Differential Involvement
    Explaining Racial Differences in Criminal Behavior
    Rejecting Racist Explanations
    Crime and the Social Structure
    Parenting and Antisocial Behavior
    Racial Mistreatment, Perceptions of Injustice, and Criminal Behavior
    Urban Life and the Code of the Street
    Summarizing Explanations for Racial Differences in Criminal Behavior
    Postscript: Why Racial Differences in Criminal Behavior are Not Stronger
    White-Collar Crime: Race and Criminal Offending Revisited
    Chapter 4. Race and Criminal Victimization
    Racial Differences in Criminal Victimization
    Nonfatal Violent Crime and Property Crime
    The Intraracial Nature of Criminal Victimization
    Explaining Criminal Victimization
    Structural Factors and Criminal Victimization
    Individual Factors and Criminal Victimization
    Summarizing Reasons for Racial Differences in Criminal Victimization
    Why Racial Differences in Criminal Victimization are Significant
    Chapter 5. Race and Policing
    A Look Back to the Past
    Previewing the Discussion
    Understanding Racial/Ethnic Discrimination in Criminal Justice
    Focusing on Police and Policing
    Race and Stops and Searches
    Selected Studies of Racial Profiling
    Racial Profiling or Only Racial Disparity?
    Race and Arrest
    Evidence on Race and Arrest
    Race and Arrest for Drug Offenses
    Race and Police Use of Force
    A Continuing Concern
    Evidence on Race and Police Use of Force
    Chapter 6. Race, Prosecution, and Punishment
    Race and Prosecution
    Race and Conviction
    Jury Verdicts
    Race and Sentencing
    Skin Tone and Afrocentric Facial Features
    Race and Parole
    Race and Cumulative Disadvantage in Criminal Justice
    Special Topics: The War on Drugs, Capital Punishment, and Juvenile Justice
    The War on Drugs
    Capital Punishment
    Juvenile Justice
    A Final Word on Race and Differential Involvement in Criminal Justice
    Chapter 7. Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here? The Future of Race, Crime, and Justice in the United States
    What Have You Learned from This Book?
    What the Nation Can Do
    Addressing the Causes of Crime
    Reforming Criminal Justice
    What You Can Do

Related Titles