Disparities in Discipline: Exploring Social Control, Race and the Experiences of Correctional Officers
by TaLisa J. Carter, Ph.D.
Criminal justice scholarship has long recognized the pervasiveness of racial/ethnic disparities in the system. However, few have explored how criminal justice actor behavior contributes to systemic bias. Even fewer have examined how institutional responses to correctional employee behavior can perpetuate racial/ethnic disparities. This talk proposes a single theoretical framework- the Institutional Response Model of Social Control- that considers race as central to the understanding of institutional outcomes. Results of quantitative and qualitative analyses show overall support for the Institutional Response Model's three key elements: visibility of behavior, institutional context and status of the actor. Noteworthy, employee race and education level influence disciplinary processes. Policy implications of disparities in correctional employee sanctions are considered.
About the Speaker
TaLisa J. Carter, Ph.D. is a native of Long Island, New York, and dedicated to understanding the interactions of deviance, social organizations, and race. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University in Washington, D.C. She holds a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a M.A. and Ph.D. both in Criminology from the University of Delaware. Dr. Carter specializes in the evaluation of formal and informal institutional policies and procedures. She also serves as a consultant to statewide departments of corrections as well as youth development organizations. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and presented to practitioners and academics at numerous conferences including the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the American Sociological Association.