Race and Drug Trials : The Social Construction of Guilt and Innocence book cover
1st Edition

Race and Drug Trials
The Social Construction of Guilt and Innocence

ISBN 9781138331327
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
245 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1999, this book offers an innovative study of the impact that courts have upon the representation of black people in criminal statistics in the UK. In the past, research in this area has focused on sentencing and upon why black people are disproportionately represented in the prison population. Such studies have, however, overlooked the potential significance of discrimination in the pre-sentence social processes of the courts. Anita Kalunta-Crumpton adopts a new approach which examines the progress of cases prior to sentencing. Her book also locates the courts within a theoretical context of social construction. It thus, unlike earlier quantitative studies, represents the court system as non-mechanical. In this way 'Race and Drug Trials' exposes the vital role that the trial process plays in the apparent racialization of 'justice’.

The volume is part of a series which brings together research from a range of disciplines including criminology, cultural studies and applied social sciences, focusing on experiences of ethnic, gender and class relations. In particular, the series examines the treatment of marginalised groups within the social systems for criminal justice, education, health, employment and welfare.

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Background. 1. The Problem of Disproportion: the Debate. 2. Drugs, Response and Race. 3. Social Construction and Claims-Making: Theory and Methods. Part 2. The Substance. 4. Establishing Guilt. 5. Defending the Defendant. 6. In Response: the Judge. 7. The Verdict.

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Anita Kalunta-Crumpton is Professor of Administration of Justice at Texas Southern University, USA. She is the author of Race and Drug Trials: The Social Construction of Guilt and Innocence (Ashgate, 1999), Drugs, Victims and Race: The Politics of Drug Control (Waterside Press, 2006), and editor (with Biko Agozino) of Pan-African Issues in Crime and Justice (Ashgate, 2004); Race, Crime and Criminal Justice: International Perspectives (Palgrave, 2010), and Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Criminal Justice in the Americas (Palgrave, 2012).


’...a clear and stimulating read...this book provides a wholly new insight into how black people are discriminated against within the criminal justice system...innovative and important study.’ Howard Journal of Criminal Justice ’...the focus of and findings presented in the book should be extremely useful to scholarly work in the area of criminal justice decision making.’ British Journal of Criminology