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Book Review: The Color of Justice; Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America

The Color of justice; race, ethnicity, and crime in America were written by Samuel Walker, Cassia Spohn, and Miriam Delone in 2012, being the fifth edition. The book’s publisher was Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. in the USA. The central theme passed by the authors to their audience is the theme of racial ethnicity, which created more harm to people from the black race, the Hispanic community, and other races present in the United States (Delone, Spohn, & Walker, 2012). These groups face more discrimination because they are different from the whites and are quite a minority group. Racial discrimination has continued to be a sensitive subject in society because of its evil actions, resulting in more injustices in America. The authors highlight that most of the issues facing the justice system in America experience problems because of racial discrimination. I love how the book has made it easy to understand the relationship between race, ethnicity, and crime. One can quickly know when they continue discrimination in the justice system and prevent them. However, the authors had the weakness of being more repetitive in their writing style.

In the criminal justice system in America, most victims convicted of a crime are generally from minority ethnic groups. The system offers an unfair balance of justice in all ethnic groups living in America because it mostly favors whites. The authors in the book look at racial discrimination as the significant aspect of the significant challenges facing the justice system in America. The media and community also promote racial discrimination, which changes how people view crime victims. Race tends to divide the ethnic groups by classifying them into different multiracial with class and economic status also playing a significant role in creating this ethnic division. It is challenging to promote equality and justice because the racial mind is already built-in in society, leading to more problems. “Immigrant groups are not monolithic, [but] are made up of ethnically, culturally, socio-economically, and often linguistically diverse subgroups….” The immigrant group also represents part of the different ethnic groups present in America that face injustices because they are a minority group (Delone, Spohn, & Walker, 2012). The authors have successfully provided insightful information about racial discrimination as a problem that affects the justice system in America.

Most immigrants have a problem with law enforcement because they do not know the rules and policies of the country. Despite the Americans having a different opinion about the issue of crime about the immigrant groups, politicians have already associated the immigrants with criminal activities, thus changing the public’s image about them. Some ethnic groups have also been politicized in association with illegal activities, such as the Mexicans and Latinos. The police task force increases discrimination in the system by failing to address the needs of immigrant groups, such as educating them in matters concerning the law and policies of the country to develop a positive relationship with them (Delone, Spohn, & Walker, 2012). The problem with the criminal justice system is that it has become challenging for them to hire new police recruits creating a recession. Most of the officers working in the justice system tend to have the older mentality of the past where minority ethnic groups such as the African American group were associated with high criminal rate activities. The media played a massive role in this, and most people from the black community ended.

The whites are also increasingly committing crimes but getting away with them; this shows an imbalance in the criminal justice system in America. “Institutionalized racism is often the legacy of overt racism….” Institutions such as the courts increase more discrimination by granting bails to employed criminal victims and denying the chance of those who are not employed. The author explains why there is a need to change how institutions run their activities to avoid being discriminative. Issue of the court process creates more controversies in the modern world. By identifying this issue, the author’s approach indicates that the information from the book is up to date and can provide a solid solution.

The writers have effectively achieved their purpose: to explain how race, ethnicity, justice, and crime are related, which most books tend not to present. The authors have successfully identified all the ethnic groups in America who face discrimination because they are a minority group. By using different theories to understand the social patterns of society about criminal activities, the authors have highlighted economic inequality as a factor that increases illegal activities because of high poverty levels among certain groups (Delone, Spohn, & Walker, 2012). Various issues currently being addressed in the modern world, such as court processing and sentencing of criminals through penalty, have been discussed in the book. The book is not biased because it represents the struggles each ethnic group in America encounters with the limited justice system in the country. In my opinion, if the authors were not more repetitive in their book, I believe more information would have been added to the reader to make it more educative.

In my opinion, the authors have provided crucial information essential in reshaping the justice system in America. The issue of race should be fought within the system to promote justice and ensure all ethnic groups living in America are treated fairly by the system. The book is interesting because the issues tackled affect modern society. However, the authors would have been more informative if they had avoided repeating some cases.


Delone M., Spohn C, & Walker S. (2012). The Color of Justice Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. 5th Edition.


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