Rajiv Sethi (Columbia University)
Abstract. I will provide an overview of trends in crime and punishment in the United States over the past few decades, with particular attention to racial disparities in offending, victimization, arrest, and incarceration. A key theme will be the role of stereotypes in conditioning interactions between victims and offenders, parties to disputes, officers and suspects, and witnesses and prosecutors. Stereotypes can also facilitate the interpretation of incentive-based phenomena in essentialist terms, and thus affect attitudes towards mass incarceration within the general public. I will discuss recent controversies concerning racial bias in police killings, as well as recent bipartisan efforts at decarceration.