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Criminology (1st edn)

Steve Case, Phil Johnson, David Manlow, Roger Smith, and Kate Williams
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date: 28 June 2022

p. 26210. Race, ethnicities, and the criminal justice systemlocked

p. 26210. Race, ethnicities, and the criminal justice systemlocked

  • Neena Samota


This chapter examines the salience of race and ethnicity in the criminal justice system from the perspective of critical race theory (CRT). It first provides an overview of the key ideas of CRT before discussing the interrelationships among race, crime, and the criminal justice system. It then explores the state response to rising social inequality and racial discrimination, as well as the key decision-making points in the criminal justice process that potentially increase or decrease ethnic disproportionality. It also considers the use of CRT to understand crime and criminal justice in England and Wales and how the principle of fairness that underpins the concept of policing by consent is undermined by any unfair practices or unlawful discrimination. concludes by citing evidence showing that people from ethnic minorities are at greater risk of criminalisation and harsher sanctions through the policing, prosecution, and sentencing stages.

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