Racial Prejudice And Crime Policy Essay

1286 Words 5 Pages
Since the 1970s the American Prison population has increased at an exponential rate, making it the highest prison population in the world. This is peculiar in the sense that crime is at an all time low in this country but there has been increase in punitive laws. One of the factors of the prison population growth is the “War on Drugs”. Throughout his presidency until his resignation President Nixon set the foundation for the War on Drugs by creating institutions like the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP) and the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement. President Reagan’s administration expanded on the precedent set by President Nixon and put the war on drugs as one of the leading issues of his campaign. Fear
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In my research I will explore how race influences opinions on the federal budget expenditure to deal with crime. This study will analyze the link of racial prejudice to crime policy. It will also explore the influence that public opinion has on the shaping of punitive sentencing and harsh laws in response to crime. It will also link mass media to the shaping of stereotypes and the type of crime associated with certain races.
The Role of Racial Prejudice in Crime Policies
The research on the influence of racial prejudice is the basis of my study. The sources were chosen show readers that racial prejudice and crime policy are strongly linked. Barkan and Cohen investigate the link of racial prejudice and the view that the criminal justice system needs more money to fight crime. The study focused on white respondents views on what race was more prone to committing crimes. The authors discovered that whites that were more racially prejudiced perceived African Americans as more likely to commit crimes, tended to be in favor of spending more money to reduce crime (Barkan 2005). Barkan and Cohen’s study
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In Hurwitz article tone of the other findings of the report is the media framing news stories about violent crime that happen in urban areas. It also said that of the crime did not involve black people the story would be framed in a way that would reinforce the connection of race and crime (Hurwitz 2005). In Hurwitz and Peffley’s 1997 article, the authors mention that media would cover crimes committed by black criminals differently than white criminals. Because they would use pictures that made them (black people) look more threatening. Mass Media enforces the fear of black people by shaping the frame so they will be deemed dangerous and capable of violent crimes (Hurwitz 1997). These negative depictions just reinforce stereotypes about black people which influences public opinion on

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