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Race and Criminal Justice System

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During the quarter, you should keep a typed or handwritten journal reflecting on the readings assigned below that touch on, in some aspect, the relationship between race and the criminal justice system. Excellent journal entries will include critical reflections about the topic with a specific emphasis on the statistics and data presented in the piece. 

Examples of questions you might reflect on about the statistics and data could include (but are not limited to):

Where did the data come from and is it a reliable source?

Are the statistics presented in a way that support the author’s story?

What questions do you have about the data and the statistics? 

Does the author appear to present information that adequately tells the entire story, not just a piece of it?

Is the author manipulating the data to tell a specific story? Why do you think that?

What other statistics do you think the author should have presented?

Please remember that the data and statistics component is only one part of your reflection on each piece, it is also necessary to reflect on the topic presented and the disparate impact that the criminal justice system may have on individuals because of their race and ethnicity. 

This will be due at the end of the quarter and should be submitted electronically through Canvas (scans of handwritten journals are acceptable). There is no limit on the length of your reflections on the readings, however, on average, I would estimate that reflecting on each module’s material would need a minimum of 250-words per article (for a total of 2,500 words or 10 double-spaced typed pages). There is no need to create citations for the assigned readings.

I will happily review your initial journal entries if you would like feedback.

Reflections on each module will be worth 5 points for a total of 50 points.

1. What Black People Really Think About the Police (

2. In 2019, the Portland police Gun Violence team made 1,600 stops. More than half were Black people.

3. Which Police Departments Are as Diverse as Their Communities? -

4. A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons

5. A Mass Incarceration Mystery

6. Killings of Black Men by Whites are Far More Likely to be Ruled “Justifiable”

7. The NYPD Is Kicking People Out of Their Homes, Even If They Haven’t Committed a Crime

8. Walking While Black

9. Black and Unarmed: Behind the Numbers

10. There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal justice system is racist. Here’s the proof.

For (10.) You do not need to reflect on every study this piece cites. Instead, it might make sense to reflect on the topics by which the article summaries are organized, discussing the overall theme and choosing a few pieces of data and statistics to talk about.)

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