The report is organized as follows: Section II examines public opinion about punishment, showing that Americans have grown more punitive over time and that white Americans are more punitive than African Americans and Latinos, even though they are less frequently impacted by crime. Section III describes explicit and implicit measures of Americans’ racial perceptions of crime. Section IV presents studies showing that whites with stronger racial associations of crime are more punitive than whites with weaker racial associations of crime. Section V examines the role that crime rates, the media, policymakers, and criminal justice professionals have played in shaping the public’s mental image of, and response to, people who commit crime. Section VI discusses other racial differences in views and experiences that account for the racial gap in punitive sentiment, including experience with police stops, causal accounts of crime, and overt racial prejudice. Section VII describes the negative consequences of a biased and punitive criminal justice system. Section VIII suggests how policymakers, criminal justice professionals, and the media can remedy their own and the public’s perceived link between race and crime, and temper its influence on criminal justice.
Various gang members have created their own slang language. Even though some terms are used in gangs throughout the country, others are only used regionally and within certain gangs. Various terms originated with the infamous Bloods and Crips gangs of Los Angeles, who have been adversaries for many years. Examples include “ banging ” (involved in gang activities); “ colors ” (clothing of a particular color, such as jackets, shoes, or bandanas, worn by gang members to identify themselves as part of the gang); “ . ” ( “ original gangster, ” meaning a gang member who has killed someone, or a founding member or leader of a gang); “ tagging ” (marking a territory with graffiti); and “ turf ” (territory).