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Race, Culture, Psychology, and Law by Dr. Kimberly Holt Barrett


Race, Culture, Psychology, and Law by Dr. Kimberly Holt Barrett

American ethnic and racial minority groups, immigrants, and refugees to this country are disparately impacted by the justice system of the United States. Issues such as racial profiling, disproportionate incarceration, deportation, and capital punishment all exemplify situations in which the legal system must attend to matters of race and culture in a competent and humane fashion. Race, Culture, Psychology, and Law is the only book to provide summaries and analyses of culturally competent psychological and social services encountered within the U.S. legal arena. The book is broad in scope and covers the knowledge and practice crucial in providing comprehensive services to ethnic, racial, and cultural minorities. Topics include the importance of race relations, psychological testing and evaluation, racial profiling, disparities in death penalty conviction, immigration and domestic violence, asylum seekers, deportations and civil rights, juvenile justice, cross-cultural lawyering, and cultural competency in the administration of justice. Race, Culture, Psychology, and Law offers a compendium of knowledge, historical background, case examples, guidelines, and practice standards pertinent to professionals in the fields of psychology and law to help them recognize the importance of racial and cultural contexts of their clients. Editors Kimberly Barrett and William H. George have drawn together contributing authors from a variety of academic disciplines including law, psychology, sociology, social work, and family studies to illustrate the delivery of psychological, legal, and social services to individuals and families-from racial minority, ethnic minority, immigrant, and refugee groups-who are involved in legal proceedings.


The editors have compiled outstanding chapters that document racism in legal decisions making, provide guidelines for cross-cultural assessment procedures, elucidate the history of and laws pertaining to immigrants and refugees, and analyze the role of culture in working with children, families, and juveniles and in understanding violence. The current book provides a great service to the field; perhaps Barrett and George will follow this impressive work with a second volume, dedicated to understanding and eliminating personal biases. -- Amy Hackney-Hansen * Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books * The articles accumulated by editors Kimberly Barrett and William George cover a broad range of issues and topics and yet all address an even more fundamental concern, that is equal access to justice. Race, Culture, Psychology, and Law is a substantial step toward opening our eyes and leveling the playing field. Irrespective of ethnicity, national original, physical or mental impairment, everyone is entitled to the opportunity to effectively participate in legal proceedings. This book gives the reader a greater understanding of what that truly is. -- Ron A. Mamiya Editors Kimberly Barrett and William George have brought together an impressive array of contributions that demonstrate how critical it is to understand race, ethnicity, and culture in forensic psychology. . . . The presentations will be particularly appealing and useful to practitioners, researchers, and forensic specialists in psychology and the judicial system. -- Stanley Sue This book provides an invaluable reference for legal professionals who work with diverse and traumatized communities. It not only exposes the many barriers existing between our clients and our immigration system, but it also challenges us, as advocates, to recognize some less obvious obstacles between our clients and ourselves. The insights contained in RCPL empower advocates to proactively deconstruct such barriers in order to more zealously and effectively ensure that our client's voices resound powerfully in the legal arena. -- Bina Hanchinamani Ellefsen This book offers valuable and much-needed perspectives on the intersection of race, psychology, and the law. In the legal environment, we as attorneys all too often ignore or minimize these issues when working with clients. Understanding these issues, and incorporating them into our representation, would not only provide our clients with more dignity, but also increase the quality of our representation. -- Vicky Dobrin This is an extraordinary and daring compilation of cutting edge commentaries that should prove invaluable to students, scholars, and practitioners working in social work, clinical and forensic psychology, juvenile justice, immigration adjustment, Native American advocacy, and child and adult abuse. It is a quality text that tackles key topics bridged by psychology and the law with clarity, succinctness, complexity, and evenhandedness. -- William E. Cross, Jr., Ph.D. Kim Barrett and William George have taken on an enormous task, which is matched only by its timeliness. Cultural competence and cultural diversity pass off our lips as eternally valued ideals, but Barrett and George have brought a critical and edifying eye to thee ideas. Racism is similarly easy to acknowledge but difficult to account for in the everyday lives of ordinary people of color. What we discover in this impressive volume is not only that race and culture matter, but how they matter in the minds of people who are clients and the minds of people who attempt to serve them and in the courts of law that attempt to mete out justice. Race, Culture Psychology and the Law is essential reading for anyone with a professional or personal interest in social justice and psychological well-being. -- James M. Jones, Ph.D. In a diverse democracy, law must be open to all. All too often, however, our system of justice has failed to live up to our shared ideals, because it excludes individuals and communities even as they seek to use it or find themselves caught up in it. The research presented here offers hope. The abstract doctrines of the law are presented through real cases. Judges, lawyers, scholars, and concerned citizens will find much in these pages documenting the need for reform, along with the means for achieving our aspirations. The issues presented by race, ethnicity, and cultural differences are obviously central to the resolution of disputes in a nation made up of people who have in common only their faith in the great experiment of the United States Constitution. Here the challenges are met in an original, accessible, and thoughtful manner. -- Frank H. Wu

About the Author

Kimberly Holt Barrett has a Ph.D. for the U. of San Francisco and is a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology Department. She teaches courses on racism and race, culture, gender and law, while actively consulting with attorneys, doing court ordered evaluations, and supervises graduate students who are learning to conduct cross-cultural assessments. Bill George is an associate professor in the psychology department and his area is adult clinical with specialty in alcohol abuse, addiction and sexual assault. He also has a background in corrections, following his bachelor's degree with c0-majors in psychology and criminal justice.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th September 2004


Dr. Kimberly Holt Barrett

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SAGE Publications Inc


496 pages


Physical anthropology
Cultural studies
Jurisprudence & general issues



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