Racial and Ethnic Disparities actually begin before one even enters the Criminal Justice System. It all starts with Discrimination, a term that has been poisoning the world’s most ethnically diverse country for decades. And from Discrimination stems the problem of Disparity. The topic of Disparity and Discrimination go hand in hand. Robert Simpson brings an insightful point to the table when he writes, “ Race and Ethnic disparities in violent offending and victimization are pronounced and long standing. Black’s, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, suffer much higher rates of robbery and homicide victimization than do whites. Homicide is the leading cause of death among young black males and females These differences result in part from social forces that ecologically concentrate race with poverty and other social dislocations” (311). This suggests that certain races and ethnicities are predisposed to certain crimes and the reason behind this is the results of long standing social forces and bias that have been embedded in American
Courts are a major evaluative stage of the criminal justice system and we rely on these courts to determine our outcomes based on the crime that was committed. Today, there is more diversity of leadership in the court system but, race still plays a role in the outcome of the offender. This could range from petty crimes being committed like traffic infractions or facing the death penalty based on the race of the offender or victim. This paper will examine the three types of disparities that cause biased sentencing in the courts. The three types of disparities are race, social class, and gender and these all play a huge factor when making a decision based off an offender.
The prison population is overwhelmingly male and disproportionately minority. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 25% of state prisoners are white, 38% are black and 21% are Hispanic, revealing a degree of disproportion when compared to the general population where 62% are white, 13% are black and 17% are Hispanic. Racial disparity with regards to imprisonment has been a feature of the prison system from decades yet this disparity has increased over time. African Americans today are incarcerated in state prisons at a rate that is 5.1 times the imprisonment of whites. African Americans comprise 31% of individuals arrested for drug violations. In eleven states, at least 1 in 20 black adults are in prison. Research shows that prosecutors are twice as likely to pursue a mandatory minimum sentence for black people as for white people charged with the same crime. One in nine black children and one in 38 Latino children have an incarcerated parent, compared to one in 57 white children. Higher rates of incarceration in minority communities have lead to the destruction of the family
People of all different races and ethnicities are locked behind bars because they have been convicted of committing a crime and they are paying for the consequences. When looking at the racial composition of a prison in the United States, it does not mimic the population. This is because some races and ethnicities are over represented in the correctional system in the U.S. (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018). According Walker et al. (2018), African-Americans/Blacks make up less than fifteen percent of the U.S. population, while this race has around thirty-seven percent of the population in the correctional system today. Along with African-American/Blacks, the Hispanic population is underrepresented at both the state and federal levels while the Caucasian/White population are underrepresented (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018).
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
“African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population.” The majority group of this statistic are people who come from african american backgrounds. The fact that black people are to make up nearly half of the prison population alone, really conveys the rate at which they are being arrested. Black men are often victims of racial profiling by police. They are targeted by police officers, and security guards, and are accused of crimes unrelated to them, simply on the basis of their skin color. Racial profiling plays a major role in the amount of black men and boys being sent to
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world with about 2.3 million people in prison. According to Vitanna.org’s statistics, an estimated one million of these prisoners are African American. 12.3 percent of the population is black, yet over 43 percent of America’s prisoners are black. This disparity is certainly unnatural, seeing as how African Americans are no more likely to be criminals than whites. Black men are overrepresented in prisons because of the unfortunately common stereotype that they are all remorseless criminals. This stereotype makes it easier for those in the justice system to see all black men as people who need to be locked up. Racism (whether conscious or subconscious) makes jurors especially willing to put minorities behind bars by overpowering their doubt and blinding them to the
In her book, The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander who was a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, reveals many of America’s harsh truths regarding race within the criminal justice system. Though the Jim Crow laws have long been abolished, a new form has surfaced, a contemporary system of racial control through mass incarceration. In this book, mass incarceration not only refers to the criminal justice system, but also a bigger picture, which controls criminals both in and out of prison through laws, rules, policies and customs. The New Jim Crow that Alexander speaks of has redesigned the racial caste system, by putting millions of mainly blacks, as well as Hispanics and some whites, behind bars
Coker gives great evidence that supports racial injustice in the criminal justice system. She discusses on the Supreme Court’s rulings and accusations of racial preference in the system. This article is helpful because it supports my thesis on race playing a role on the system of criminal justice.
There are more African Americans in prison now, than there were enslaved in 1850. These individuals are not in prison because they are committing more crimes than their white counterparts, but because of a discriminatory system that targets african americans. Blacks can commit the same crimes as whites, but are more likely to be imprisoned and or receive a steeper sentence. This disproportionate racial sentencing has been a growing issue the United States for four decades, and started with the Reagan Administration's War On Drugs. Private prison organizations lobby for harsher punishments, and profit from the influx of inmates. With more African Americans in jail, this has had a crippling effect on the black community. The children of these inmates grow up without one of their parents, they to do poorly in school and have negative view on police officers and the law.
The United States criminal justice system is diminishing millions of lives every day. Ironically, the amount of inequalities that the criminal justice system portrays goes against the term ‘justice’. There is a 33% chance that a black male will end up in jail in his lifetime, while white males have a 6% chance. There are 4,749 black males incarcerated while there are only 703 white males. Prisons receive revenue of 1.65 billion dollars per year which makes them willing to incarcerate anyone that they can (“Enduring Myth of Black Criminality”). Two stories that give an insight into the criminal justice system are the stories of Steve Harmon from the book Monster and Brent Butler from the documentary Murder On A Sunday Morning. Steve Harmon is
Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow is a truly thought provoking book attempting to show the enduring issues of racial inequalities in our Criminal Justice system. Racial inequality in America is a huge and controversial topic, especially in reference to America’s system of Criminal justice. In “The New Jim Crow” Alexander focuses on the racial undertones of America’s “War on drugs”. Alexander uses the chapters of her book to take us on a journey through America’s racial history and argues that the federal drug policy unjustly targets black communities.
Fast forward to the present day, we have the Ferguson, Mike Brown of Emmitt Till’s still occurring in our justice system. A person must view the criminal justice threw a godly telescope to see the inequalities that exit, and need to come to the forefront of our government, and the population worldwide. Sentencingproject.org statistically show that African American men, women, and juvenile are arrested more often than any other races across the nations. This report will prove, and argues that racial disparity in the justice system is at large in our system. This research paper will further explain, and presents evidence that display the presence of racial bias in the criminal justice system in America.
We live in a society where ethnic minorities are target for every minimal action and/or crimes, which is a cause to be sentenced up to 50 years in jail. African Americans and Latinos are the ethnic minorities with highest policing crimes. In chapter two of Michelle Alexander’s book, The Lockdown, we are exposed to the different “crimes” that affects African American and Latino minorities. The criminal justice system is a topic discussed in this chapter that argues the inequality that people of color as well as other Americans are exposed to not knowing their rights. Incarceration rates, unreasonable suspicions, and pre-texts used by officers are things that play a huge role in encountering the criminal justice system, which affects the way
What if the world was still the same as it was back during the great depression. What if this was the truth. In To Kill a Mockingbird readers can see how prejudice affected people of color back then, and how it’s not so different from today. In the novel readers will find unfairness in court, hate crimes, and segregation. Today readers can still find these same issues, but in different forms. Prejudice towards race has changed very little from back then to now.