Race, income, and perceptions of the U.S. Court system

Richard R W Brooks, Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This article reports on the effect of income within race on African Americans' perception of the courts. Our findings are somewhat consistent with the previous research on black middle-class relative dissatisfaction with various American institutions. That is, unlike whites and Latirios in our study, we find that higher-income African Americans are more skeptical of the notion that blacks receive equal treatment in the courts. This same group also reported less confidence in the court's handling of specific types of cases (e.g., civil, criminal and juvenile delinquency cases.) However, better off blacks were more likely than poor blacks to have confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court and community courts. These findings point a more complex account of African American perceptions of the courts, an account that draws a distinction between diffused and specific support of the courts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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