The Film Criminal Justice: Race, Gender, and University Experience in Students’ Perceptions of Racism and Guilt
Sociology & Criminal Justice
This research examines the use of the film Criminal Justice to consider the extent to which students’ race, gender, and university experience influence their determinations of guilt and perceptions of racism in the criminal justice system. The study samples 835 students in large criminal justice classes taught at an urban university in an eastern, predominately Black city and at an urban university in a southwestern, predominately Hispanic city. Analysis shows some statistically significant relationships, including those perceiving racism in the film as more likely to view the film’s defendant as not guilty, White students perceiving racism as more likely to see the defendant as not guilty, and males perceiving racism in the system as more likely to view the film’s defendant as not guilty. However, Black females perceiving racism as a factor in the film were significantly more likely to find the film’s defendant guilty than any other combination of race/ethnicity and gender, leaving an intriguing set of questions that are duly addressed.
Criminal Justice Review
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Cheatwood, D., & Petersen, R. D. (2007). The film "Criminal Justice": Race, gender, and university experience in students’ perceptions of racism and guilt. Criminal Justice Review 32(1), 26-46. doi:10.1177/0734016806297644