Bell, C. (2015). The hidden side of zero tolerance policies: The african american perspective. Sociology Compass, 9(1), 14-22.
Several papers have documented the disproportionate representation of African Americans in school discipline and incarceration settings as a result of zero tolerance policies. In 2009, a federal study of the Chicago Public School system found African American boys represented 23 percent of the school age population, 44 percent of students who were suspended, and 61 percent of students who were expelled within the 2007 school year. Twenty years after the implementation of the Anti‐Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, studies show African Americans comprised a startling 74 percent of those incarcerated for drug offenses despite being only 15 percent of America’s drug users. Despite overwhelming evidence that suggests African Americans are adversely affected by zero tolerance policies, African American perceptions of zero tolerance policies remain relatively hidden in the literature. The current review seeks to explore a seemingly bidirectional process that involves how zero tolerance impacts African Americans and how African Americans perceive zero tolerance policies.
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