Blacks Behind Bars

African-Americans, Policing, and the Prison Boom (First Edition)
Edited by Ray Von Robertson
Paperback, 248 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62661-166-5 ©2015
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    Blacks Behind Bars presents an impassioned yet reasoned examination of how the burgeoning prison boom and problematic forms of policing marginalize African-Americans in American society. The anthology takes a critical look at our nation’s criminal justice system and related institutions.

    The readings in the anthology are presented in two sections. The first focuses on policing and addresses such topics as racial profiling, differing perceptions of the use of force by police, and the scope of complaints about police misconduct.

    In the second half of the text, the readings examine connections between the Prison Industrial Complex and white supremacy, African-American men and the Prison Industrial Complex, the intersection(s) of race, gender, and mass incarceration.

    The text features readings from notable scholars including Marc Mauer, Michael Tonry, Earl Smith, Angela Hattery, Loic Wacquant, Ronald Weitzer, Robert Staples, Shaun Gabbidon, Wesley G. Jennings, George E. Higgins, Kareem L. Jordan, Michael D. White, Robert J. Kane, Kimberly D. Hassell, and Carol A. Archbold.

    Blacks Behind Bars is an excellent reader for courses in criminal justice, criminology, Black studies, and race and ethnicity as well as sociology and psychology classes.

    Ray Von Robertson holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Robertson is an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His most recent book is The Plight of Students of Color at Predominantly White Institutions: A Critical Reader. Dr. Robertson has published scholarly works on critical race theory, police brutality, birthing options for African-American women, boxing, students of color at PWIs, and the Black Seminoles. He is a member of the Association of Black Sociologists, National Association of African-American Studies, and the National Council for Black Studies as well as an editorial board member for the Journal of Pan African Studies.
    Blacks Behind Bars: African-Americans, Police, and the Prison Boom offers contemporary and highly critical analyses of the Black penal reality. This book is an excellent pick for critical criminology, punishment and corrections, and race and crime courses. With the advent of Ferguson and the uprising within urban communities against vicious police brutality and mass incarceration in the age of Obama, this book provides a medium within which researchers, students, policy-makers, practitioners, and knowledge-seekers may matriculate to understand racialized punishment in America. —Jason M. Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Fairleigh Dickinson University