Race, Ethnicity, and Crime

Cassia Spohn

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395082
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Race, Ethnicity, and Crime


This article surveys research findings on racial and ethnic differences in offending, victimization, and justice system processing. Section I focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in victimization and off ending, as well as the causal explanations that have been proffered to explain these disparities. Section II reviews historical and contemporary research exploring the effects of race and ethnicity on justice system processing, with a focus on police decision making and noncapital and capital sentencing decisions. Section III discusses the policy implications of the research conducted thus far and suggests directions for future research.

Keywords: racial differences; ethnic differences; offending; victimization; justice system processing

Article.  12147 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice

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