Criminal Justice

Most Americans See Criminal-Justice System as Racially Biased

Shift seen across all demographic groups


Following a summer of race-related turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, Americans of all backgrounds are more likely to see the criminal justice system as racially biased, according to a just-released annual survey by the Public Religion Research Institute on the economy, politics, race, and religion.

Americans remain divided on questions of race and discrimination, despite a notable shift in their perceptions of the criminal justice system. In 2013, Americans were evenly split on the question of whether the criminal justice system was racially biased; in 2014 a majority say it is. The change is driven by shifts across all the demographic groups surveyed.