Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma by Michael TonryPunishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma by Michael Tonry

Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma

byMichael Tonry

Paperback | May 29, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 166 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


How can it be, in a nation that elected Barack Obama, that one third of African American males born in 2001 will spend time in a state or federal prison, and that black men are seven times likelier than white men to be in prison? Blacks are much more likely than whites to be stopped by thepolice, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned, and are much less likely to have confidence in justice system officials, especially the police. In Punishing Race, Michael Tonry demonstrates in lucid, accessible language that these patterns result not from racial differences in crime or drug use but primarily from drug and crime control policies that disproportionately affect black Americans. These policies in turn stem from a lack of whiteempathy for black people, and from racial stereotypes and resentments provoked partly by the Republican Southern Strategy of using coded "law and order" appeals to race to gain support from white voters. White Americans, Tonry observes, have a remarkable capacity to endure the suffering of disadvantaged black and, increasingly, Hispanic men. Crime policies are among a set of social policies enacted since the 1960s that have maintained white dominance over black people despite the end of legaldiscrimination. To redress these injustices, Tonry offers a number of proposals: stop racial profiling by the police, shift the emphasis of drug law enforcement to treatment and prevention, eliminate mandatory sentencing laws, and change sentencing guidelines to allow judges discretion to takeaccount of offenders' life circumstances. Those proposals are all attainable and would all reduce unjustifiable racial disparities and the collateral human and social harms they cause.A damning indictment of decades of misguided criminal justice policy, Punishing Race takes a crucial look at persisting racial injustice in America.
Michael Tonry is Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Senior Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement at Free University in Amsterdam.
Title:Punishing Race: A Continuing American DilemmaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:May 29, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199926468

ISBN - 13:9780199926466

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Foreword1. A Continuing American Dilemma2. Imprisonment3. Drugs4. Race, Bias, and Politics5. Ideology, Moralism, and Government6. Doing Less HarmNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Punishing Race dramatically shows how politicians, playing on a long history of deeply troubled race relations, set up a criminal justice system that actively over-incarcerates blacks and Latinos, and thus disadvantages and disenfranchises too many minority Americans. Michael Tonry offerswise, valuable, and practical ideas on how to reform criminal justice policies and truly ensure freedom and justice for all." --Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union