The practice of racial profiling by police, government agents, and business personnel has generated enormous controversy over the past decade and shows no sign of abating. Racial profiling involves law enforcement actions based on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the criminal behavior of an individual. In practice, it leads police to stop and inspect selected people passing through public places— passengers on airplanes, drivers on highways, pedestrians in urban areas, visitors crossing national borders—because they fit a statistical profile based on group membership.
Is membership in a group ever a sufficient reason for special investigation, or do such actions always violate civil liberties? How common is racial profiling according to available evidence? What actions have opponents taken to end the practice? Is racial profiling effective in crime prevention? Racial Profiling addresses these and other related questions and explores the highly charged controversies that they reflect. It provides an overview, reference resource, and research guide that will interest not only students, teachers, and librarians but also activists, policymakers, participants in the criminal justice system, and members of the public interested in issues of race and crime.
Index. Appendixes. Bibliography. Glossary. Chronology. Biographical listing.
About the Author(s)
Fred C. Pampel holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Currently a professor of sociology and a research associate at the University of Colorado, he has taught at the University of North Carolina, the University of Iowa, and Florida State University. Pampel specializes in research on fertility, mortality, smoking, and social inequality and has received 15 grants to date for in-depth studies of these topics. He is the author or coauthor of eight books and over 45 articles. He is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Population Association of America, and the Southern Sociological Society.