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The New Criminal Justice Thinking$
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Sharon Dolovich and Alexandra Natapoff

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479831548

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479831548.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2019

Beyond Ferguson

Beyond Ferguson

Integrating Critical Race Theory and the “Social Psychology of Criminal Procedure”

(p.226) 10 Beyond Ferguson
The New Criminal Justice Thinking

Priscilla Ocen

NYU Press

In this chapter, Priscilla Ocen responds to Mona Lynch’s essay by applying Lynch’s social psychology model to recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and to the problem of discretionary racism more generally. The chapter asks how a social psychology of criminal procedure might illuminate the situated and influential role of race on all the actors that make up the criminal justice drama, including not only police and prosecutors, but also local residents. Ocen argues that the “situated actor” model should take a page from Critical Race Theory (CRT) and include the historical and “macro-institutional dynamics” of race, because “individuals and institutions [in the criminal system] operate in particular political and historical contexts that are deeply racialized.” Ocen also points out that the subjects of the criminal system are themselves situated actors, whose interpretations and operationalization of criminal rules and norms should also be accounted for in empirically rich ways. Ultimately, the chapter makes the case that Lynch’s model and CRT would each gain much from thoughtful engagement with the insights of the other.

Keywords:   Critical Race Theory, Ferguson, social psychology, race

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