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Racial Divide: Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System

Michael J. Lynch, E. Britt Patterson, and Kristina K. Childs, editors
Racial Divide: Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System
ISBN: 978-1-881798-86-6
ISBN: 978-1-62637-657-1
2008/301 pages
"Covers important themes of racial inequality involving theory, police, courts, corrections, and other unexplored areas. Together, the contributors examine an enormous number of studies pertaining to whether racism in the criminal justice system is a myth or reality."—Kevin M. Beaver, Criminal Justice Review

"These authors are balanced, thorough, and creative in their treatments of the subject matter.... A useful contribution to the literature exploring one of the most central questions to the criminal justice field: Is the system biased against non-whites?"—Suzanne Goodney Lea, Social Problems Forum

"[Presents] useful reviews of the literature, excellent current scholarship, and provocative ideas for bridging racial divides in the criminal justice system."—Mary W. Atwell, Law and Politics Book Review


How is the racial divide in US society reflected in the practices of the nation's criminal justice system? Documenting a persistent pattern of institutionalized racial and ethnic discrimination at every stage of the system, the authors focus on issues of policing, the adult and juvenile court systems, prisons, the application of the death penalty, the science of forensics, and the incidence of environmental crimes.


Michael J. Lynch is professor of criminology at the University of South Florida. E. Britt Patterson is associate professor of criminal justice at Shippensburg University. Kristina K. Childs is associate professor of criminal justice at the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida.


  • The Context of Racial and Ethnic Bias in Criminal Justice Processes—the Editors.
  • Theories of Racial and Ethnic Bias in Juvenile and Criminal Justice—M.J. Leiber.
  • The Law Enforcement Response to the Implicit Black-Crime Association—L.A. Fridell.
  • Perceptions of Bias-Based Policing: Implications for Police Policy and Practice—B.N. Williams and B.R. Close.
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Sentencing—A. Farrell and D.M. Bishop.
  • Race, Drugs, and Juvenile Court Processing—E.B. Patterson.
  • The Racial Divide in US Prisons—M.J. Lynch.
  • Racial Bias and the Death Penalty—J. Kavanaugh-Earl et al
  • Profiling White Americans: A Research Note on “Shopping While White”—S.L. Gabbidon and G.E. Higgins.
  • Racial Identity in Forensics—T. Mieczkowski.
  • The Neglect of Race and Class in Environmental Crime Research—P. Stretesky.