Policing Race, Gender, and Sex: A Review of Law Enforcement Policies

Andrea J. Ritchie*, Delores Jones-Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Growing attention to the unique ways in which women of color’s bodies are racially profiled and policed has prompted questions concerning gender-specific impacts of law enforcement practices. Arrest statistics, patterns of enforcement, and high-profile cases of police violence against Black women and other women of color suggest that gaps in policy and implementation will disproportionately affect women of color. In the current research, the policies of 36 police departments across the country were examined to ascertain the degree to which they address profiling, police sexual misconduct, and other gendered experiences of policing. The findings reveal considerable divergence in attention to regulating police behavior in the context of interactions with women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, exposing important gaps in police policies, and highlight a need for further research and action specifically focused on intersectional factors at play in the context of policing women’s bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-50
Number of pages30
JournalWomen and Criminal Justice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • gender
  • police misconduct
  • police violence
  • racial profiling
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Law

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