Why are some ethnic minorities associated with higher levels of offending? How can racist violence be explained? Are the police and criminal justice system racist? Are the reasons for offending and victimization among ethnic minorities different from those among ethnic majorities?Understanding Race and Crime provides a comprehensive and critical introduction to the debates and controversies about race, crime and criminal justice. While focusing on Britain and America, it also takes a broader international perspective, with case studies including the historical legacy of lynching in the United States and racist state crime in the Nazi and Rwandan genocides. The book provides a conceptual framework in which racism, race and crime might be better understood. It traces the historical origins of how thinking about crime came to be associated with racism and how fears and anxieties about race and crime become rooted in places destabilized by rapid social change. The book questions whether race and ethnicity alone are significant enough factors to explain differing offending and victimization patterns between ethnic groups. Issues examined include: Contact/conflict with the police Public disorder Involvement with the criminal justice systemUnderstanding Race and Crime is essential reading for students from a range of social science disciplines and for a variety of crime-related courses. It is also useful to practitioners in the criminal justice field and those interested in understanding the issues behind debates on 'race' and crime.