Criminal Justice System Essay

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Research has highlighted that in colonial societies like New Zealand and Australia, indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to over-policing (Rowe, 2012). This is suggestive by their over-representation of all stages in the justice system. Furthermore, indigenous or ethnic minorities are often receiving disproportionate attention from the police because of their position in wider society (Rowe, 2012). These groups are not only disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system, they are disproportionately exposed to a range of risk factors relating social, economic and family circumstances (Rowe, 2012). In New Zealand, there is a clear indication of racial police bias in the continuation of over-policing of ethnic-minorities, …show more content…

The disproportionate targeting of Māori in stop and search may be contributed by the homogenous ideas of Māori criminality and violence – the fear of the dark-skinned attacker (Quince, 2007). This cultural imperialism is rooted in nineteenth century social Darwinism, which informed racial discussions and particular the ideas of the inferior species inevitability becoming extinct (Jeynes, 2011). These ideas justified the impact of European colonisation, arguing that all coloured people were inferior to Europeans as a matter of “scientific fact” (Jeynes, 2011). More importantly, Darwinist ideas contributed to understanding race and crime with biological genetic determinism and the ‘criminal type’ (Jeynes, 2011). This is echoed in the contemporary era where Māori are almost four times more likely to be apprehended for violent crime than non-Māori (Department of Corrections, 2007). While individual racial perceptions of police can be institutionally perpetuated by police culture, it may also be embedded on a cultural level from social Darwinism which encouraged and justified racist perceptions of difference, and the protection of the superior races from those who are deemed as biologically inferior

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