1st Edition

Black Males and the Criminal Justice System

Edited By Jason M. Williams, Steven D. Kniffley, Jr. Copyright 2020
    138 Pages
    by Routledge

    138 Pages
    by Routledge

    Relying on a multidisciplinary framework of inquiry and critical perspective, this edited volume addresses the unique experiences of Black males within various stages of contact in the criminal justice system. It provides a comprehensive overview of the administration of justice, mental and physical health issues faced by Black males, and reintegration into society after system involvement.

    Recent events—including but by no means limited to the shootings of unarmed Black men by police in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore; Minneapolis; and Chicago—have highlighted the disproportionate likelihood of young Black males to encounter the criminal justice system. Black Males and the Criminal Justice System provides a theoretical and empirical review of the need for an intersectional understanding of Black male experiences and outcomes within the criminal justice system. The intersectional approach, which posits that outcomes of societal experiences are determined by the way the interconnected identities of individuals are perceived and responded to by others, is key to recognizing the various forms of oppression that Black males experience, and the impact these experiences have on them and their families.

    This book is intended for students and scholars in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, race/ethnic studies, legal studies, psychology, and African American Studies, and will serve as a reference for researchers who wish to utilize a progressive theoretical approach to study social control, policing, and the criminal justice system.


    Chapter 1. Laying the Foundation of Punishment Against Black Males
    Liza Chowdhury and Rashanna Butler

    Chapter 2. Black Males and their Experiences with Policing under the "Iconic Ghetto" in Ferguson, Missouri
    Jason M. Williams

    Chapter 3. From Savages to Super-Predators: Race, Lynching, and the Persistence of Colonial Violence
    Darryl Barthé

    Chapter 4. Perceptions of Black Male Disproportionality in the Criminal Justice System
    Ray V. Robertson and Cassandra Chaney

    Chapter 5. Black Males and Courts
    Crystal S. Collier

    Chapter 6. Prison Health and Black Males
    LaTrelle D. Jackson and Danielle Graddick

    Chapter 7. Black Male Mental Health and Prison
    Christopher St. Vil

    Chapter 8. Failures of Reintegration and the Return to Prison
    Sean Wilson

    Chapter 9. Racial Politics and Policies of Reentry
    CalvinJohn Smiley

    Chapter 10. Institutionalized Mental Trauma and Generational Transmission
    Steven Kniffley


    Jason M. Williams is an Assistant Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University. His areas of expertise are, race and justice, policing, social control, radical criminology, and the sociology of criminological knowledge. In addition to publishing on the above topics he is currently conducting qualitative research on black males and reentry, urban youth and policing, and pedagogical-based research around the construction and dissemination of criminological knowledge and its impact on racialized students.

    Steven Kniffley is the Associate Director for the Center for Behavioral Health and an Assistant Professor in Spalding University’s School of Professional Psychology. He currently teaches Multicultural Psychology and Intro to Psychotherapy. Dr. Kniffley is also a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Kniffley’s area of expertise is research and clinical work with Black males. Specifically, his work focuses on understanding and developing culturally appropriate interventions for Black male psychopathology as well as barriers to academic success for this population. Dr. Kniffley has written numerous books, book chapters, and articles on Black male mental health, Black males and the criminal justice system, and academic achievement.

    By examining the plight of black males as perennial victims of state violence, this excellent collection of essays serves as a corrective for the often racist and iconic image of the black male as incorrigible criminal.
    Darnell F. Hawkins, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago

    These outstanding editors and brilliant authors of Black Males in the Criminal Justice System provide a definitive and compelling examination of the historical and contemporary challenges for Black males in the most draconian carceral system in the world. Few texts on the intersection of Black males and the criminal justice system illuminate such a comprehensive interdisciplinary sociological, criminological, public health, social work, public policy, and social justice approach to analyze structural violence, disproportionate minority contact, collateral consequences, and life outcomes among Black men involved in the criminal justice system. I congratulate and applaud Drs. Williams and Kniffley for their incredibly sophisticated analysis of the most pressing civil and human rights issues for Black males in the 21st century.
    Joseph B. Richardson Jr., PhD, Professor, University of Maryland, College Park