Philadelphia area residents' views on the disproportionate representation of blacks and Hispanics in the criminal justice system

Matthew S. Nelson, Shaun L. Gabbidon, Danielle Boisvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using open-ended survey questions, this study looks to expand on prior race and crime public opinion research by examining Philadelphia area residents' views as to why they believed Blacks and Hispanics are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. The results reveal that Philadelphia citizens do have distinct opinions, in that a majority of participants discussed several contributing factors. Respondents believed that family influences, economic reasons, and lack of education were top contributing factors to both Black and Hispanic disproportionality. Generally speaking, similarities were found in individual participants' responses to both Black and Hispanic disproportionality questions, with a few notable exceptions. White respondents were significantly more likely to believe that economic factors contribute to the overrepresentation of Blacks in the criminal justice system. Finally, participants' answers to the Black and Hispanic questions did not differ based on the race of the respondent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-290
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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