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Public Opinion on the Use of Consumer Racial Profiling to Identify Shoplifters: An Exploratory Study

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Review Volume: 36 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 201-212
Shaun L. Gabbidon; George E. Higgins
Date Published
June 2011
12 pages
This article examines racial profiling in Pennsylvania.
Based on a recent State-level poll of Pennsylvania residents (N = 852), this paper extended previous public opinion research on consumer racial profiling (CRP) by exploring whether the views of Pennsylvanians on CRP were influenced by ethical concerns, the belief that the practice was discriminatory, and the perceived effectiveness of the practice. Support was found that views regarding the perception that CRP was discriminatory increased the likelihood that respondents felt CRP occurs. Similarly, those respondents who perceived that CRP was effective were also more likely to believe that it occurs. Ethical considerations reduced the likelihood of support for CRP while perceived effectiveness increased the support for CRP. The authors argue that scholars should work through the media and civil rights organizations to publicize the empirical research that clearly shows that CRP does exist and that it is not effective. (Published Abstract)