Sixth-year Ph.D candidate in criminology, law and society Justin Sola and Professor Charis Kubrin worked to analyze how bias might affect peoples’ decisions to call police. The resulting study, “Making the call: how does perceived race affect desire to call the police,” earned Sola the 2023 American Society of Criminology Division of Experimental Criminology’s Student Paper Award. In a national survey of 2,038 people, the researchers tested how descriptions of crime severity and the race of those involved affected survey participants’ desire to call police. Sola and Kubrin found race didn’t directly affect the desire to call the police or the perceived threat level, but political views moderated the effects of race: Those identifying as very liberal expressed less desire — and very conservative folks expressed more desire — to call 911 in low-severity events involving young Black men.
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