Jeffrey Butts, the director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College, said Tuesday that the results of the study are “not surprising.” “When we talk about racial and ethnic bias in the justice system it’s always a little increment of bias at every stage . . . [it] ends up being a huge problem at the end,” he said.
"It’s where the story begins and where our attitudes begin in terms of how we perceive law enforcement," said Jeffrey Butts, a research professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "If you’re pulled over all the time, and you think other people are behaving the same way you are, but they’re pulling you over, you immediately start thinking that police are biased, which means government is biased, which causes you to doubt the whole enterprise of democracy and government. So, it’s really serious."
This study uses the audit method to examine the effects of race, gender, and criminal history on housing outcomes. Testers, exhibiting characteristics suggestive of race and gender and disclosing one of three offenses, placed phone calls to rental property owners across the Midwest to inquire about renting a property. We found powerful negative effects for those with a criminal record seeking apartments, regardless of whether the offense was sexual or drug-related.