Is There A Relationship Between Race And Arrest Rates  Methodology Chapter

Length: 5 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Race Type: Methodology Chapter Paper: #16962076 Related Topics: Racial Bias, Racial Profiling, Robbery, Race And Ethnicity
Excerpt from Methodology Chapter :

Arrest Rates

The possibility of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system warrants attention from researchers, in order to encourage evidence-based policy change. Prior research has shown a clear connection between race and rates of arrest, but it is unclear whether the relationship is due to bias in the criminal justice system or bias in public perception of crime, leading to the belief that blacks are more dangerous than whites. This research shows whether there is indeed a relationship between race and arrest rates, and if so, under which circumstances the effect is most pronounced.. The five research hypotheses examine variables including race, type of crime, arrest rates, post-arrest procedures including prosecution and sentencing, mitigating variables like poverty, and political propaganda. It is expected that non-whites are more likely to be arrested for the groups of crimes known as "street crimes," including murder, rape, and drug trafficking, and it is further predicted that African-Americans are arrested disproportionately with their non-black brethren. African-Americans are expected to be more likely to be prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms vs. whites. Predicted risk factors for arrest, regardless of race, include poverty, gang membership, and exposure to violence. Finally, it is hypothesized that arrest rates for blacks are higher in areas in which political propaganda racializes street crime. Data is collected from six different municipalities, including urban, suburban, and rural regions. Official arrest records are used as a primary means of data collection. Results...

...

Non-whites are more likely to be arrested for "street crimes" including violent crimes, robberies, and drug offenses, versus whites.

2. For street crimes, arrest rates are higher for African-Americans than any other ethnic group.

3. Once arrested, non-whites are more likely to be prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to prison, as well as more likely to be arrested.

4. In addition to race, gender, gang membership, poverty, and exposure to violence in the community are mitigating risk factors related to likelihood of an arrest.

5. Arrest rates are higher for African-Americans because of public perception of African-Americans as being dangerous or predisposed to crime, leading to police engaging in racial profiling.

Variables

Independent Variable: Race

Dimension #1: Self-identification

Attributes:

Black

Black + Hispanic or Brazilian

Black Caribbean

Black African

Black "other"

Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial

Dimension #2: Identification of race by arresting officer

Attributes:

Black

Black + Hispanic or Brazilian

Black Caribbean

Black African

Black "other"

Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial

Dimension #3: Self-Perception of How Others Perceive

Attributes:

Black

Black + Hispanic or Brazilian

Black Caribbean

Black African

Black "other"

Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial

Dependent Variable: Arrest Rates

Dimension #1: Type of Crime

Attributes:

Domestic Offense

Drug Offense

Property Offense

Violent Offense (Assault)

Rape

Dimension #2: Level of Crime

Attributes:

Misdemeanor

Felony

Parole Revocation

Dimension #3: Geographic Location

Attributes:

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Statement of the Problem

Prior research has suggested that African-Americans are disproportionately arrested vs. whites (Kochel, Wilson & Mastrofski, 2011). The disproportionality in arrest rates may be attributed to several factors, including racial bias on the part of the police, as well as additional risk factors such as gang membership or poverty. For example, Tapia (2011) found that both race and gang membership created a cluster of risk factors that led to a disproportionate number of African-Americans being arrested for street crimes. In other words, it may be that African-Americans are more likely than other ethnic groups to…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Keen, B. & Jacobs, D. (2009). Racial threat, partisan politics, and racial disparities in prison admissions: A panel analysis. Criminology 47(1), 209-238.

Kochel, T.R., Wilson, D.B. & Mastrofski, S.D. (2011). Effect of suspect race on officers' arrest decisions. Criminlogy 49(2), 473-512.

Tapia, M. (2011). Gang membership and race as risk factors for juvenile arrest. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 48(3), p. 364-395.

Walker, S., Spohn, C. & DeLone, M. (2011). The Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America. Cengage.


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