Essay Sample on Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System

Published: 2022-12-30
Essay Sample on Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Racism Criminal justice
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1852 words
16 min read


Many disparities exist within the criminal justice that need to be surfaced and addressed. For instance, studies show that African American males usually are arrested more frequently than females and persons from other races (Hetey & Eberhardt, 2018). The African America communities have raised concerns about the conduct of the police and the entire judicial system. There are many other indicators of the pronounced inconsistent levels of confinement in the community of color. This could adequately be supported by the data provided by the US Department of Justice that asserts that if the current trend proceeds then one of every three black males born today would be a prison in their lifetime (Bush-Baskette, 1998). Again, according to the data, one of six Latino males will go to jail in the lifetime. According to the statistic, the rates of males incarceration is very high than for females. However, this proportion does not play a more significant role in the disparity that exists in the criminal justice system- the difference that exposes certain race or minority group to high rate of confinement than others is worrying more.

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Many strategies can be implemented to reduce the level of disparity in the judicial system. Many studies suggest that the gap in the legal system is a result of the fact that the proportion of a racial or ethnic group within the control model is relatively higher than the general population. The factors that result in the disparity in the judicial system diverges, and they could include law enforcement that emphasis on specific communities, legislative policies, level of criminal activity and decision making by an individual or a group of individuals among other continuums. However, the racial or ethnic disparities have dominated the whole paradigm of the criminal justice system in the US. Now, despite the factors that could be viewed as the cause of the gap in the judicial system, Americans should be deeply concerned about the figures with regards to a reflection on the future generation. Even, as per now, more than 75 per cent of Africans- American interviewed believed that that law system is occasioned against them (Bush-Baskette, 1998). In a critical view, an individual is not able to discern the aspects of race or ethnicity with the judicial model without evaluating how history have impacted the disparity in the legal system and the regression of the course. The US has a criminal history of slavery, war on drugs, Jim Crow laws and mass confinement. The past is very critical to define the numerous factors that impact racial disparity today. Major significant aspects are essential in this context- variation in the criminal justice processing, overlap of race and class effects, inconsistent crime levels and influences of race-neutral guidelines. Focusing on these critical components, this study is going to discuss how the criminal justice system is not about the crime itself but the commanding of the black bodies.

Literature Review

Inconsistent Crime Rates

About three decades ago, studies were conducted to determine the levels to which inconsistency rates of confinement for African American regarding high engagement in criminal acts. Evaluation of the state data given in 1979, a famous criminologist Alfred Blumstein concluded that the 80 per cent of racial disparity could be defined by extensive involvement in the crime. However, subsequent research reduced the figure to 76 per cent of the population in prison in 1991 (Blumstein, 1993). Later in 2004, a similar analysis was done on the imprisonment data by the sentence made to Michael Tonry and discovered that only 61 per cent of the black confinement rate is explained by inconsistent engagement in the criminal acts (Tonry & Melewski, 2008). Acritical overview of the pattern thus would mean that a greater proper of racial disparity cannot be defined by inconsistent participation the offending patterns. On the other side, the national data could shroud the dissimilarity among the various states. A state-based evaluation was done in 1994 on the disparities for a wide range of variation in the levels to which high criminal acts among African ratio Americans demonstrated disproportionate confinement (Hetey & Eberhardt, 2018). Now, even though the level at which people get involved in crime rates is directly linked to the standard of confinement for the black bodies in America, the profoundness of the evidence that has regressed to date asserts that substantial of the proportion of the inequalities is not a purpose of the inconsistent criminal behaviour.

Disparities in the Criminal Justice Processing

For many years, there has been advocacy for the change in the leadership, and the attention to growing inequality in the criminal justice system in the US has been in the light of many revolutionists. Despite these efforts, it is unfortunate that discrepancies in the criminal justice system in term of decision making. A comprehensive view of this scenario would suggest that the disparity in the decision making by the judicial system is not necessarily occasioned to discriminate of prejudice. However, the impact in the in higher levels for the confinement of particular groups. When it comes to criminal justice processing, the most critical spectrum that been exposed to the controversy is the law enforcement impacted with the documentation of broad racial profiling in recent years. For instance, the contemporary account of disparity in the criminal justice system came to a heated debate in 2005. The ethnic conflict was connected to the US government response and strategies, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana (Schneider, 2005). The victims of the disaster were outraged due to the hesitant of the US government to provide adequate support. The accident was described as the victims were furious about the label "refugee". To many, the use of this label meant that the government was reluctant to afford the victims support because they were perceived as outsiders.

There is much disparity that exists in the US; many are seemingly occasioned to the disadvantage of the black bodies. The analysis did by the US Department of Justice revealed that as much as African Americans and the White could be subjected to police traffic stops, the black bodies are three times likely to be searched after the stop. Another spectrum that further reveals the disparity in the criminal justice system is the "war on drugs". The label has been well documented in several jurisdictions had have revealed the true scope of inconsistency represented in the sentencing policy. The war on drugs has significantly raised the rates of arrest and equally the number of people in prisons and jails waiting for trial. Another significant disparity that can be noted in the course of the war against drugs is that Africans Americans in 2005 represented 14 per cent of the drugs users, but they constituted 33.9 per cent of the people arrested for involving in the drugs offences. Again, they formed 53 per cent of the people sentenced to prison for engaging in drug offences (Mitchell & Caudy, 2015).

The evidence that is tabled by various analysis on racial profiling does not necessarily propose that all the administrative agencies or the officer involved do always engage in such profiling. In recent years, there have been several advocacies by police agencies against racial profiling. This has been practiced through offering training and education of the officers and also putting in place measures to reshape and prevent the course of further racial profiling. Unfortunately such profiling still persist to date and thus the efforts to halt the racial disparities in the judicial system is still in limbo. There are several stages of inequality in the processes of law. This range from the scene of the arrest to the final stages of law processing. At the sentencing stage, it has been reported that drug abusers with low income are disadvantaged as compared to the counterparts with resources.

The Overlap of Race and Class Effects

The disparity in criminal justice that many studies have revealed that African American is or the relationship between race and class also impacts the receiving than other communities. This again has a lot of spectra to do with how defendants ability varying; low-income defendants are more challenged than their counterparts with resources. These challenges are experienced during and before the trial. For instance, the release of low-income suspects could be thwarted by several factors. In the first instance, resourceful suspects, i.e. those with private health treatment cover would be in a position to argue for their release to seek medical assistance in the private health facilities. This is contrary to many situations that are experienced by low-income suspects who entirely depend on public health care facilities. Another aspect of disparity before trial is the financial capability. Some amount could be required for the release before trial; for instance, many would pay some money to be resealed on bond. Now, the divide between race and class is fundamental for this context to understand whether both black and whites are exposed to judicial system equality. Given the inconsistent arrest and imprisonment of the blacks in the United States, African is hit by the damage in their social model. Studies have shown that they are being discriminated even other filed apart from the judicial system. For instance, it would be immensely more accessible for a white to start a business and grow than the blacks. This aspect would affect the social class of Africans. As a result, the lower level in the US is composed of a large percentage of the African American population. This will impact the disparity in the criminal justice system as well. Many white who are resourceful can afford to seek the services of expensive but experienced lawyers. However, many of the low-income Africans usually depend on public lawyers. Studies have disclosed that in many occasions, lawyers who provide defence service are incompetent and many times, they do not maintain contact with the client. Therefore, in general terms, the limited availability of private resources disadvantages the low-income population which constitutes a higher percentage of the blacks.

Influence of Neutral Race Policies

The level of disparity in the criminal justice system can also be reflected in the impacts of the "race-neutral laws". The scope of sentencing and the related justice schemes have been considered to have a vivid racial influence that could be expected by the lawmakers before the enactment stages. Studies that have done on the disciplinary sentencing policies have illuminated the link between harsh (punitive) sanctions and the discernment of the public. Currently, the American criminal justice system is more repressive than any other industrialized country in the world. The state has come with several politics to make the environment even harsher for those that engage in criminal acts. While the policies are being implemented and executed, the public has proven to be supportive of the laws. However, the public often perceived that crime is a problem that is mainly attributable to black bodies. The fact the many people have conjectured a relationship between the public punitiveness and the racial profiling of crime is alarming. Back in the 1980s, the state crack cocaine sentence raised significant concerns and was linked to racial profiling. It is reported that there other policies within the criminal justice model that have contributed to the same problem.

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