RDCJN Volumes


“Ethnography from the Margins”

Sociological Focus (Vol. 50, Issue 1, 2017)

This edited issue broadens the research focus on race, ethnicity, crime, and justice to encompass issues relevant to a variety of marginalized (or otherwise hard to find) populations.  Although there is a significant body of heavily quantitative research on race, ethnicity, crime, and justice, significant research gaps remain.  Emerging qualitative reesearch on marginalized and economically disadvantaged groups residing on the fringes of society has generated important scholarly and public dialogue, drawing attention to the role of ethographers in communities of color (Duck 2015; Goffman 2014; Rios 2011).  This important and evolving research is highlighted in this issue. 

Deadly Injustice: Race, Criminal Justice and the Death of Trayvon Martin

New York University Press 2015

The murder of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial and acquittal of his assailant, George Zimmerman, sparked a passionate national debate about race and criminal justice in America that involved everyone from bloggers to mayoral candidates to President Obama himself. With increased attention to these causes, from St. Louis to Los Angeles, intense outrage at New York City’s Stop and Frisk program and escalating anger over the effect of mass incarceration on the nation’s African American community, the Trayvon Martin case brought the racialized nature of the American justice system to the forefront of our national consciousness. Deadly Injustice uses the Martin/Zimmerman case as a springboard to examine race, crime, and justice in our current criminal justice system.

Contributors explore how race and racism informs how Americans think about criminality, how crimes are investigated and prosecuted, and how the media interprets and reports on crime. At the center of their analysis sit examples of the Zimmerman trial and Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, providing current and resonant examples for readers as they work through the bigger-picture problems plaguing the American justice system. This important volume demonstrates how highly publicized criminal cases go on to shape public views about offenders, the criminal process, and justice more generally, perpetuating the same unjust cycle for future generations. A timely, well-argued collection, Deadly Injustice is an illuminating, headline-driven text perfect for students and scholars of criminology and an important contribution to the discussion of race and crime in America.

“Examining Racial Disparities in a Post-Racial Era”

Race and Justice:  An International Journal (Vol. 4, Issue 3, 2014)

Our special issue emphasizes theoretically grounded research that examines the nature and extent of disparate criminal justice processes and outcomes experienced by minority racial and ethnic groups. We were especially interested in submissions covering a broad range of topics within the area of formal social control. The research articles appearing herein employ novel methodological approaches and collectively advance our understandings of racial disparities across various settings. Further, the articles contained in this issue challenge the notion that we are living in a postracial era, suggesting that race continues to play a critical role in the lived experiences of people of color and, in particular, in their encounters with institutions of formal social control.

Punishing Immigrants:  Policy, Politics, and Injustice

New York University Press 2012

Arizona’s controversial new immigration bill is just the latest of many steps in the new criminalization of immigrants. While many cite the presumed criminality of illegal aliens as an excuse for ever-harsher immigration policies, it has in fact been well-established that immigrants commit less crime, and in particular less violent crime, than the native-born and that their presence in communities is not associated with higher crime rates. Punishing Immigrants moves beyond debunking the presumed crime and immigration linkage, broadening the focus to encompass issues relevant to law and society, immigration and refugee policy, and victimization, as well as crime. The original essays in this volume uncover and identify the unanticipated and hidden consequences of immigration policies and practices here and abroad at a time when immigration to the U.S. is near an all-time high. Ultimately, Punishing Immigrants illuminates the nuanced and layered realities of immigrants’ lives, describing the varying complexities surrounding immigration, crime, law, and victimization.

“Between Black and White: Theorizing Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice" 

Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice (Vol.27, Issue 3, 2011)

This special issue features articles on the connections between race, crime, and justice that extend beyond the Black/White divide typical of research in criminology and criminal justice. We organize the articles herein around salient themes: the construction of immigrants as racialized minorities and threats; the hypercriminalization of Latino and African American youth; the importance of unpacking the “global” immigrant category from other statuses such as race/ethnicity or nationality; and the importance of studying dynamics and variations within and not just across groups.

Race, Crime & Justice: Contexts & Complexities

SAGE Publications 2009

To what extent does racial discrimination exist within the criminal justice system, and to what extent is that inequality in crime and justice an outgrowth of structured societal inequality? The empirical picture of racism and criminal justice is complex, and although a large body of valuable research on the intersection of race and crime exists, new and innovative research is needed. This special volume of The ANNALS lays a solid foundation for that research. Examining the causes, consequences, and potentially dynamic and interactive processes that sustain racial and ethnic differences in criminal offending, victimization, and justice processing, this volume takes an important step toward presenting cutting-edge empirical research in this area. It takes an expansive and critical view of the relationships among race, ethnicity, crime, and justice.

The Many Colors of Crime

NYU Press 2006

In this authoritative volume, race and ethnicity are themselves considered as central organizing principles in why, how, where and by whom crimes are committed and enforced. The contributors argue that dimensions of race and ethnicity condition the very laws that make certain behaviors criminal, the perception of crime and those who are criminalized, the determination of who becomes a victim of crime under which circumstances, the responses to laws and crime that make some more likely to be defined as criminal, and the ways that individuals and communities are positioned and empowered to respond to crime.