Honors Theses


Karen Bartley



Publication Date

Spring 4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Events in the past year have brought racial and ethnic discrimination in the criminal justice system to the forefront of American consciousness. In reality, race has been used to create stereotypes for centuries, often supported by “scientific” and “statistical” evidence to support the idea that certain races are more likely to commit crimes than others. In my research, I trace the development of these ideas as well as the evidence used to support these racial notions primarily by drawing upon conference transcripts from two professional organizations: The National Prison Association and the National Conference of Charities and Corrections covering the years 1885-1915. While the analysis of these stereotypes includes African Americans, I focus on the stereotyping of foreign-born and second-generation Americans as well as those who were not considered white a century ago, such as “Chinese, Japanese and civilized Indians.”

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research


Arts and Humanities | History | Legal | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies