Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Jeffrey Parker

Second Advisor

Dr. D'Lane Compton

Third Advisor

Dr. David Beriss


Laws and institutions in the United States have consistently marginalized people of color throughout the country's history. This research examines the United States' criminal justice system while considering how the country’s past of oppression has resulted in a racially biased system. Through analysis of policies, literature, and quantitative data, the primary goal of this research is not only to exhibit that racial discrepancies exist within the criminal justice system, but also to question how they persist in order to determine a solution. By utilizing both qualitative data collected through existing social theory as well as quantitative data showing varying perceptions of the American criminal justice system, the mixed method approach to this research strives to demonstrate that when it comes to justice for all, both the source of racial bias and thesolution can be found in observing a history of colonialism and the pervasiveness of white privilege.


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