2012 May 1900
This thesis focuses on a relatively new manner of looking into the discretionary decisions implemented bypowerful social actors - judges, prosecutors, and police officers- resulting in detremential effects for African Americans in the criminal justice system. While it is common to look into inequality in the system, there has not been much research done on the frame of thinking of these actors when making these decisions. This study will develop the concept of the "white framing model" while simultaneously demanding change.The white framing model will be developed by linking four theoretical concepts the white racial frame, systemic racism, interest convergence, and Eurocentric law. This thesis found the thinking of these actors from this frame has resulted in surmountable amounts of discrimination and a disproportionate amount of African Americans in prison. Seventy percent of African Americans have reported an experience of a discriminatory nature compared to 36% reported by their white counterparts in their lifetimes. These discriminatory acts are often experienced through interaction with law enforcement agencies that are in place to provide social order. Further results show the overall consequences for black men were being imprisoned 11.8 times more than whites. This study provides evidence that uncovers the covert racist nature of the criminal justice system that can be ignored by the untrained eye. Future work will involve change in policies, people holding these positions, and implementation of these solutions. These policy implementations include demanding a critical mass of African Americans to occupy powerful social positions, and the implementation of programs to reflect assistance for people of color. These solutions will not only provide a representative sample in criminal justice positions, but also make a difference in a system that is often unjust to people of color.
abstract: This study hypothesizes that prosecutors would be more likely to prosecute juveniles who engage in sexual activity with an underage same-sex partner than those who engage in underage sexual activity with a member of the opposite sex. To test this hypothesis, surveys were mailed to 1,000 prosecutors around the United States with a between subject design, meaning that each participant was only exposed to one condition in the vignette they read. There were a total of four vignettes, creating four conditions of different “offender” sex and “victim” sex in sexually appropriate relationships. The vignettes contain conditions in which either a male or female junior in high school was videotaped having oral sex with either a male or a female freshman in high school. Prosecutors were asked questions about whether they would prosecute the older student for statutory rape. Results indicated that manipulations of “offender” sex and “victim” sex were not statistically significant on prosecutorial discretion or punishment severity/motives; however, these manipulations did alter the prosecutors’ perceptions of the offender. / Dissertation/Thesis / Masters Thesis Criminology and Criminal Justice 2017
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