Race, Ethnicity, and Punishment

Michael Tonry

in The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730148
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Race, Ethnicity, and Punishment

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This article reflects on the realities of race, crime, and punishment in the United States. It focuses on the damage caused on African Americans by the “War on Drugs” that started during the mid-1980s. It observes that the massive imprisonment of black men in the United States started in 1973 and examines the imprisonment and crime rates from the late 1960s to the early twenty-first century. The next section takes a look at the racial patterns in drug use, drug sales, drug arrests, and in conviction and imprisonment for drug offenses. The article also includes some suggestions to handle the unequal treatment of African Americans, such as making certain changes in drug policy.

Keywords: race; crime; punishment; War on Drugs; African Americans; racial patterns; drugs; imprisonment rates; crime rates; unequal treatment

Article.  11807 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Prisons and Jails ; Courts and Procedure

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