Diversity In Criminal Justice

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Theoretical assumptions about diversity and contact theory inform the view that a more ethnically diverse criminal justice system will reveal a broader range of voices that can shape and influence policy and attitudinal changes for the better. The focal point of this essay is on the law enforcement branch of the criminal justice system. It makes the argument that diversity in the police force can help reduce levels of racial and ethnic bias as well as disproportionality to the extent that diversity is able to change or influence the occupational and institutional structures that create these disproportionalities. To make this claim, this essay will first show that there are indeed disproportionate outcomes in policing and attempt
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Phillips (2011) suggests a multilevel framework to analyse racialization in order to engage in a more holistic discussion of the topic and gain a better understanding of the issues. It is argued that for diversity to be effective, it has to be operational at the different levels in which racialization exists and according to Phillips (2011), racialization exists at three levels: the meso, micro and macro levels and inequalities are produced at all levels. She explains…show more content…
Pre-existing beliefs of ethnic minorities from the media, police sub-culture or other micro-level influences mean that ethnic minorities are more likely to be stopped by the police than white people in an occupational culture where targeting is encouraged (see Cashmore, 2001; Bowling et al, 2008). Such targeting mandates are guided by discretion and are likely to become entrenched in the structural policies of the police. It is in such a situation that institutional racism finds its expression. Oakley (1999, p.290) defines the term as ‘the way institutions or organizations may systematically treat, or tend to treat, people differently in respect of "race"’. When such patterns of ill-treatment are repeated continuously, they take on a ‘rule-like status’ and cannot be easily disrupted (see Haney-Lopez 2000, p. 1723). For instance, in its examination of the London Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the high profile racially motivated murder case of Stephen Lawrence, the Macpherson Report found that institutional racism impacted how the investigation of the murder was handled. The stereotyping of ethnic minorities was endemic to the occupational culture of the London Metropolitan Police and affected the way they treated ethnic minority victims (see Macpherson,
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