Race and criminal justice: A long, tortured history
In a new documentary, the Miller Center looks at race, policing, and the criminal justice system through the lens of the presidency
More to explore
'We had a shooting yesterday'
Listen to the entire 1964 call between President Lyndon Johnson and Frank Smith about a police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Philadelphia.
American Forum explores the justice system
American Forum, the Miller Center's weekly public affairs program, often explores the important issue of race. Here, host Doug Blackmon talks to civil-rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson.
Donald Trump, racial pioneer?
Read the first of four essays in the Miller Center's First Year Project volume on race relations.
Presidents on crime
1970: Richard Nixon declares a 'war on crime'
"If there is one area where the word 'war' is appropriate, it is in the fight against crime."
1976: Gerald Ford emphasizes prison
"To keep a convicted criminal from committing more crimes, we must put him in prison so he cannot harm more law-abiding citizens."
1986: Ronald Reagan targets drugs
"[B]y next year our spending for drug law enforcement will have more than tripled from its 1981 levels."
American Forum: Law and justice
The dysfunction of American justice
Brandon Garret, who teaches about criminal procedure and wrongful convictions at the UVA School of Law, discusses how our justice system is broken—and how to fix it.
Is there a war on cops
Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, argues that the primary causes of police violence are the high rates of criminal behavior by African Americans.
Risa Goluboff, the dean of the UVA School of Law, discusses how laws criminalizing hoboes and beggars became instruments for social control—and were dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1960s and 1970s.
More to read, listen to, and watch, by and about our experts