Among its primary activities, the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN) seeks to enhance understanding of the relationship between race/ethnicity and crime/criminal justice. Thus, the Network facilitates research and publications geared to advancing knowledge on this issue. Our general goal is to produce a body of original multidisciplinary research on race, ethnicity, crime, and criminal justice that emphasizes the variable significance of race/ethnicity–as an identity, ascribed status, a stigma or privilege, a social organizational effect, and otherwise–and how this racialization relates to our understanding of citizenship and democracy. In developing studies and publications, we try to address three primary concerns that we believe hinder progress in capturing the “race effect” (vis-à-vis crime and justice) in its social and political context: (1) reliance on narrow conceptions of race and ethnicity; (2) reliance on hypotheses drawn more or less exclusively from criminological and criminal justice studies, which do not take into account the broader racial/ethnic structure of society; and (3) inattention to the perspectives and interpretations that a broad range of underrepresented scholars bring to bear in addressing crime and justice issues.
Collectively, the Network has produced six volumes that attempt to broaden our conceptualization of race/ethnicity, embed analyses within a broader understanding of the racial structure of society, and rely on data and methodological strategies that bring new information to bear on the race/ethnicity-crime/justice issues investigated. Beyond these collective volumes, RDCJN members have published articles and books imbued with the qualities described in the previous paragraph. This page of the website showcases, the collective volumes and other recent books by Network scholars. From time to time, it will also feature articles, synopses of and/or comments on members’ publications of all varieties.