Race and Criminal Justice in the West

Date(s) 0f Conference:

September 23-24, 2011


Gonzaga University School of Law
Spokane, WA


This conference seeks to examine the topic of race and the criminal justice system in the Western states. Racial minorities continue to be overrepresented in our criminal justice system; yet too often concerns about the high arrest and incarceration rates are dismissed as simply the result of a high rate of criminality. This conference will explore the role of bias, both conscious and unconscious, to ask whether race still matters in our criminal justice system.

Call  for Papers:

While the emphasis will be on the West, we welcome papers and presentations focusing on other areas of the country, particularly ones that engage in comparative analyses. Examples of the topics we expect to explore include:

  • historical treatment of racial minorities with crime in the West
    empirical research examining the role of racial bias in the criminal justice system
  • changing demographics and immigration reform
    unique experiences of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinas/os, and Native Americans with the criminal justice system
  • role and impact of police actions, prosecutorial discretion, and judicial decisions
  • comparative analyses of the criminal justice in the West with other areas of the country
  • solutions for addressing the problem of racial bias

Final drafts of papers will be due October 24, 2011.

Contact Information:



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