American Prisons and Trends Displayed by the Minority Inmate Population Essay

American Prisons and Trends Displayed by the Minority Inmate Population Essay

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American prisons exhibit a trend of disparity of the minority inmate population. Disparity occurs most in the minority population due to high crime rates within their communities mainly because of social isolation and the way the judicial system operates. Why is it that minorities are most likely to be incarcerated? Is it because of the lack of education, poverty, social and economic isolation or is it because of racial profiling? Racial disparity in the criminal justice system is widespread and it threatens to challenge the fact that our judicial system is fair and effective.
According to the National Report Series Juvenile Justice Bulletin (1999):
African Americans make up 13 percent of the general US population, but they constitute 28 percent of all arrests, 40 percent that are incarcerated and 42 percent on death row. Caucasians make up 67 percent of the total US population and 70 percent of all arrests, but only 40 percent are incarcerated and 56 percent on death row. Native Americans and Hispanics are also overrepresented in the criminal justice system. The American prison and jail systems are defined by a fence racial disparity in the population of incarcerated people.
Mauer & King’s (2007) study found the following:
The national incarcerated rate for Caucasians is 412 per 100,000 residents compared to, 2,290 for African Americans and 742 for Hispanics. These figures mean that 2.3% of all African Americans are incarcerated, compared to 0.4% of Caucasians and 0.7% of Hispanics. (p. 5)

Based on the facts from the publication “National Council on Crime and Delinquency” presented by Hartney & Vuong (2009), the overall rates of which African Americans were arrested were twice as higher than the arrests rates for Caucasi...

... middle of paper ...

Kamalu, N. C., Coulson-Clark, M., & Kamalu, K. M. (2010). Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African American Community. Afr. J. Criminology & Just. Stud., 4, 1-15.
Mauer, M., & King, R. S. (2007). Uneven justice: State rates of incarceration by race and ethnicity (pp. 1-23). Washington, DC: Sentencing Project.
Snyder, H. N., & Sickmund, M. (1999). Minorities in the Juvenile Justice System: 1999 National Report Series—Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2011). The color of justice: Race, ethnicity, and crime in America. Cengage Learning.
Weich, R., & Angulo, C. (2002). Racial disparities in the American criminal justice system. Rights at risk: Equality in an age of terrorism, 185-218.

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