Media portrayals about crime have a tendency to distort crime by disproportionately focusing on news stories to those involving serious crimes and those committed by people of color, especially black-on-white violent crime.39) Since three-quarters of the public say that they form their opinions about crime from the news,40) this misrepresentation feeds directly into the public’s crime policy preferences.
Truly meaningful reforms to the criminal justice system cannot be accomplished without acknowledgement of racial and ethnic disparities in the prison system, and focused attention on reduction of disparities. Since the majority of people in prison are sentenced at the state level rather than the federal level, it is critical to understand the variation in racial and ethnic composition across states, and the policies and the day-to-day practices that contribute to this variance.4) Incarceration creates a host of collateral consequences that include restricted employment prospects, housing instability, family disruption, stigma, and disenfranchisement. These consequences set individuals back by imposing new punishments after prison. Collateral consequences are felt disproportionately by people of color, and because of concentrations of poverty and imprisonment in certain jurisdictions, it is now the case that entire communities experience these negative effects.5) Evidence suggests that some individuals are incarcerated not solely because of their crime, but because of racially disparate policies, beliefs, and practices, rendering these collateral consequences all the more troubling. An unwarranted level of incarceration that worsens racial disparities is problematic not only for the impacted group, but for society as whole, weakening the justice system’s potential and undermining perceptions of justice.
Ethnic minority: an immigrant or racial group regarded by ..
Karl Carter, chief executive of the Atlanta marketing agency GTM Inc. (Guerrilla Tactics Media), calls this the "Benetton Approach" since it echoes a 1980s campaign by United Colors of Benetton that pictured interracial close-ups, such as a white woman and a black woman hugging an Asian baby.