Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Richard C. McCorkle

Number of Pages



Historically, Blacks have been subjected to both capricious and extreme methods of social control. Despite a generation of criminal justice reform, many argue that the social inequities of our past are too deeply interwoven in the social fabric to be extricated, resulting in discrimination which has become institutionalized. Of sociological interest is the manner in which differential outcomes in the criminal justice system may be a manifestation of differential treatment on the basis of race. Equally important are the possible determinants, such as race, of differing reactions to certain inmate populations; In recent years, many studies have addressed the question of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Specifically, research has focused on discretionary aspects of criminal case processing. The question of differential treatment in correctional settings, however, has received less attention. The current study questions whether empirical evidence of differential treatment exists in the prison setting. In this study, data from a national survey of correctional facilities is used to examine the relationship between the racial composition of a prison and the availability and nature of rehabilitative programming offered in the facility the prison as the unit of analysis, the study incorporates national census data from correctional facilities in the determination of whether decreased program opportunities are evident in prisons with larger populations of Blacks. Findings from the present study indicate that the overall level of programming does not appear to be impacted by larger populations of Blacks; however, facilities with larger populations of Blacks are less likely to offer certain types of work and educational programs. The implications of these findings are discussed, as are suggestions for future research.


Composition; Conditions; Confinement; Prison; Racial

Controlled Subject

Criminology; Ethnology--Study and teaching

File Format


File Size

2529.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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