Date of Award

Summer 7-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

William Boone, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Hashim Gibrill, Ph.D.


This study examines how the media has been used to perpetuate White privilege in the criminal justice system. The paper explores the shift in the media’s approach to drug epidemics depending on the demographic of drug users and how that shift in media influences the implementation of public policies. A policy analysis was used to examine the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 in order to understand the different approaches taken by politicians and how these approaches are reflective of biased media coverage. Based on this analysis, it is evident in the language and tone of each policy that White privilege remains a critical function of the criminal justice system.