The race problem in the American criminal justice system persists because we enable it. The tendency of liberals to point a finger at law enforcement, racial conservatives, the War on Drugs, is misguided. Black as well as white voters, Democrat as much as Republican lawmakers, President Obama as much as Reagan, both Congress and the Supreme Court alike; all are implicated. We all are 'The Man'. Whether the problem is defined in terms of blacks' overrepresentation in prisons or in terms of the disproportional use of deadly police force against blacks, not enough of us demand that something be done. The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice is the story of how the race problem in criminal justice is continually enabled in the national crime policy process, and why.
Nina M. Moore is a political science professor at Colgate University. She was recently named in The Princeton Review's The Best 300 Professors in the United States. Her research, teaching, and writing focus on racial inequality, public policy, and governance processes. Moore was appointed by Governor David Patterson to a four-year term on the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct (2009-13) and by the New York state senate to the Advisory Council on Underage Alcohol Consumption and Youth Substance Abuse (2010-present). She is the author of Governing Race: Policy, Process, and the Politics of Race.
1. Racial tracking: two law-enforcement modes; 2. Policy process theory of racial tracking: an overview; 3. A color-blind problem: the US Supreme Court and racial influences in law enforcement; 4. Opportunities for change: the racial justice agenda in Congress; 5. Congress as power player: racial justice versus 'law and order'; 6. The politics principle and the party playbook; 7. Public mind-set: what Americans believe about race, crime, and criminal justice disparities; 8. Reasons to believe: options concerning race, crime, and justice.