• Chapter

Race and crime

The relationship between race and crime has been a primary concern among sociologists and criminologists since the beginning of the disciplines in America. Various racial and ethnic minorities in the United States have consistently been associated with higher rates of criminality, including peoples of Italian, Polish, Irish, German, Hispanic, and African descent, among others. Throughout history, most of the ‘‘high crime groups’’ have been newly immigrated populations. However, at the turn of the millenium, most of these groups seem to be distinguished predominantly by their skin color, residential location, and socioeconomic status. Hispanics and
African Americans living in impoverished ghetto neighborhoods are subject to disproportionate police attention, and are overly represented in court dockets, jail and prison populations, media accounts of crime, street crime victims, and public
fear of crime.


Yeisley, M., & Krebs, C. (2002). Race and crime. In J. Dressler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, 2nd Ed. (pp. 1295-1300). New York, NY: Macmillan Reference.