The US Justice Department statistics 2003 and onwards demonstrates significant disproportion in the incarceration rate of minority African American and Hispanic men between the ages of 25 and 29 years as compared to the rate associated with White men of the same age. Bell (2007), proposes that as minority groups grow in numbers within the dominant group they will experience greater equality. However, rate of incarceration among minority males remains alarmingly high and as compared to their White counterparts. As with health care there are racial disparities that will influence outcomes when an individual is brought before the criminal courts. Additionally, there is significant correlation between a person’s level of education and the likelihood of his involvement in criminal activities. Studies and statistics have shown that among male high school dropouts there is high incidence of unemployment, low income and rate of illicit drug use as compared to men with degrees from four year colleges. Further to this, although the rate of school dropout and even arrest is not significantly different across the race lines, literature alludes that African American men have a higher rate of conviction for the same crime committed.
This paper proposes that three major factors play a role in the high rate of convictions of black men versus whites and Hispanics. These factors are the lack of diversity among legal professionals in positions of power for decision-making, specifically those in the criminal justice system; secondly, the racial disparities that exist in arrest conviction and sentencing and thirdly, the incidence of discriminatory actions within the justice system. The paper seeks to examine litera...
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Prison Activist Resource Center, (No date). Racism Fact Sheets: African-Americans and the criminal injustice system, Retrieved fromhttp://www.prisonactivist.org/factsheets/racism.pdf
Scott, R. (n.d). Rep. Robert C. Scott holds a hearing on unfairness in federal cocaine sentencing: Is it time to crack the 100 to 1 disparity? FDCH Political Transcripts, Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Schanzenbach, Max; Yaeger, Michael L., (2006). Prison time, fines, and federal white-collar criminals: The anatomy of a racial disparity. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 96(2), p757-793. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Ward, G., Farrell, A., & Rousseau, D. (2009). Does racial balance in workforce representation yield equal justice? Race relations of sentencing in federal court organizations. Law & Society Review, 43(4), 757-806. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5893.2009.00388.x
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