Racial Disparity in the Correctional Population Racial disparity in the correctional population refers to the difference in the number of minorities versus whites represented inside institutions. “The American Correctional Association acknowledges that racial disparity exists within adult and juvenile detention and correctional systems. This contributes to the perception of unfairness and injustice in the justice system ("ACA Policies and," 2004).” “Blacks comprise 13% of the national population, but 30% of people arrested, 41% of people in jail, and 49% of those in prison. Nationwide, blacks are incarcerated at 8.2 times the rate of whites (Human Rights Watch, 2000).” This difference in proportionality does not necessarily involve direct discrimination; it can be explained by a number of combined factors. Correctional agencies do not control the number of minorities who enter their facilities. Therefore, the disparity must come from decisions made earlier in the criminal justice process. Law enforcement, court pre-sentencing policies and procedures, and sentencing all have a direct affect on the overrepresentation of minorities in the correctional population. The prospect of a racially discriminatory process violates the ideals of equal treatment under law under which the system is premised (Kansal, 2005). Law enforcement, as the frontline of the criminal justice system has a great deal to do with who ends up being incarcerated. Law enforcement personnel are the initiating beings who start the path to incarceration for individuals they come in contact with. Their decision in terms of making a stop, making a report, making an arrest and so on determines if and how that individual will enter the criminal justice system. One discriminating practice used by police officers is racial profiling. This is the police practice of stopping, questioning, and searching potential criminal suspects in vehicles or on the street based solely on their racial appearance (Human Rights Watch, 2000). This type of profiling has contributed to racially disproportionate drug arrests, as well as, arrests for other crimes. It makes sense that the more individuals police stop, question and search, the more people they will find with reason for arrest. So, if the majority of these types of stop and frisk searches are done on a certain race then it makes sense that tha... ... middle of paper ... ...ecommendations to reach this goal are to establish accreditations for law enforcement, increase the data collection, and continue to diversify the workplace, and reform court procedures and sentencing guidelines. References Civilrights.org. (2002, April 13). Justice on trial. Washington, DC: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Leadership Conference on Civil RightsEducation Fund. Retrieved April 12, 2005, from Civilrights.org Web site: http://www.civilrights.org/publications/reports/cj/ Kansal, T. (2005). In M. Mauer (Ed.), Racial disparity in sentencing: A review of the literature. Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project. Retrieved April 12, 2005, from The Sentenceing Project Web site: http://www.sentencingproject.org/pdfs/disparity.pdf Human Rights Watch. (2000, May). United States Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs (Vol.12, No.2 (G)). New York: Human Rights Watch. Retrieved April 12, 2005, from Human Rights Watch Web site: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/usa/Rcedrg00-01.htm ACA Policies and Resolutions. (2004, October). Corrections Today, 66(6). Retrieved April 12, 2005, from EBSCOhost Web site: http://web9.epnet.com/citation.asp?tb
There have been different outcomes for different racial and gender groups in sentencing and convicting criminals in the United States criminal justice system. Experts have debated the relative importance of different factors that have led to many of these inequalities. Minority defendants are charged with ...
For a majority of the 20th century, sentencing policies had a minimal effect on social inequality (Western and Pettit 2002). In the early 1970s, this began to change when stricter sentencing policies were enacted (Western and Pettit 2002). Sentencing laws such as determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing, mandatory minimum sentencing, and three-strikes laws were enacted with the purpose of achieving greater consistency, certainty, and severity in sentencing (National Research Council 2014). Numerous inequalities involving race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status have generated an unprecedented rate of incarceration in America, especially among minority populations (Western and Pettit 2010). With numerous social inequalities currently
Many Americans pretend that the days of racism are far behind; however it is clear that institutional racism still exists in this country. One way of viewing this institutional racism is looking at our nation’s prison system and how the incarceration rates are skewed towards African American men. The reasons for the incarceration rate disparity are argued and different between races, but history points out and starts to show the reason of why the disparity began. Families and children of the incarcerated are adversely affected due to the discrimination as well as the discrimination against African American students and their likelihood of going to prison compared to the white student. African American women are also affected by the discrimination in the incarceration rate. Many white Americans don’t see how racism affects incarceration rates, and that African Americans are more likely to face discrimination from the police as well as being falsely arrested.
2010, “Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African American Community”, African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies 4(1): 1-31, in this Albonetti’s study is discussed in which it was found that minority status alone accounted for an additional sentence length of “one to seven months.” African American defendants were “likely to receive pretrial release but were more likely to be convicted, and be given harsher sentences after conviction than white defendants charged with the same crimes.” One of the reasons behind this are the sentencing laws, it is seen that these laws are designed in a way that they tend to be harsher towards a certain group of people, generally towards the people of color than others thus leading to inequality with the sentencing
Race and Ethnicity on Sentence Outcomes Under Different Sentencing Systems. Crime & Delinquency, 59(1), 87-114.
One could argue that race and ethnicity shows up a great deal in sentencing more than any other stage in our justice system. If we look at cases from the past, we can see a lot of examples of disparity amongst different ethnic groups. African Americans for example were sentenced to harsh imprisonment or death for crimes they may or may not even committed, as opposed to non-African Americans who either got off free or were sentenced to only a few months. For example, in the past African American male who committed rape against a white female would be sentenced harshly, however, a white person who committed rape against a African American female would serve little to no jail time, and this is still occurring today, maybe not as overtly as the past. Disparities of different ethnic groups occurred then as much as does now. Minorities are still being harshly punished in our justice system. Minorities serve a higher chance of being sentenced in comparison to non- minorities by a long shot. According to an article posted on the Huffington post, minorities are directly targeted and are sentenced to harsher sentences than whites. In the article written by Bill Quigley, called “Fourteen Examples of Racism in Criminal Justice System”, he states that, “U.S. Sentencing Commission reported in March 2010 that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders for
The criminal justice system is full of inequality and disparities among race, gender, and class. From policing neighborhoods, and the ongoing war on drugs, to sentencing, there are underlying biases and discriminatory practices in the criminal justice system that impacts minority communities and groups. Fueled by stereotypes and generalizations, it is important to identify and discuss what crimes take place and who actually makes it up.
The past quarter century of American history has been profoundly impacted by the “war on drugs.” Ever since the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 was passed by President Richard Nixon, the number of yearly incarcerations for drug violations has grown exponentially. America’s drug policies have cost billions of dollars and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Americans, yet rates of drug, property, and violent crime have failed to decrease. Yassaman Saadatmand summates the consequences of Nixon’s policies: “Not only has the drug war failed to reduce violent and property crime, but it has also shifted criminal justice resources (the police, courts, prisons, probation officers, etc.) away from directly fighting violent and property crime.” The issue is further complicated by racial inequalities in the rates of drug use and crime. Whereas Whites consist the majority of the population of any state, they are outnumbered by African-Americans in both state and federal prisons (E. Ann Carson 2013). This incongruity is paralleled with many other races, such as an overrepresentation of Native Americans and an underrepresentation of Asians in rates of drug use. What causes this imbalance? What purpose do the higher rates of incarceration for certain minorities serve? As this topic is explored, it becomes evident that the racial disparity in drug crime is perpetuated by America’s legacy of bigotry and racism, capitalism, and a cycle of poverty.
Many have argued that there is obvious disparate treatment among particular demographic groups of criminal defendants by the courts. While the federal sentencing guidelines were created in order to maintain uniform treatment of defendants based on legally relevant factors, we still see extralegal factors causing disparity. A significant amount of attention, however, has been focused on racial disparities in sentencing. While racial disparity is an important concern, there is another disparity with which attention is needed: sex-based disparity. Sex-based disparity, or, gender disparity, while it does receive significantly less media attention, is just as great if not greater than racial disparity. Similar to race, gender is considered an extralegal
Racial disparity in drug related convictions has been a wide spread problem in the United States since the War on Drugs in the early 1980s. It was prevalent before that time, but minorities became the target of drug related crimes in startling numbers at this time. There are several hypotheses for this alarming situation, but the bottom line remains that racism is the leading cause of racial disparity in drug related convictions. Minorities from inner cities, with low-incomes and socioeconomic statuses who get caught in a downward spiral, are the easiest targets for the government to point the finger at for drug problems in the United States. The statistics will show that while more White people use illicit drugs in the United States, more African Americans and other minorities will be convicted, and more harshly than their White counterparts, for the same crimes.
The Sentencing Project. (2008). Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: A Manual for Practitioners and Policymakers. Retrieved from http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_reducingracialdisparity.pdf
The colony of Liberia was at governed for many years by white agents of the ACS, and it wasn’t until they gained independence in 1847 that they switched to a black leader. The Liberia experiment to repatriate slaves from America was not a success, because although African-Americans successfully created a free, independent state of their own, they did not fully know how to govern themselves, and pending the withdrawal of the ACS, newly established Liberia spun out of control economically, politically, and socially. Without the aid of the ACS, the government of Liberia became corrupted. Their third president William V.S. Tubman “changed the constitution,” to allow himself to continue to be reelected. This style of authoritarian rule killed the country from the inside out before any of its other issues even came
Discrimination against the minority population is a major problem in the United States society’s justice system. There are many examples where African American and low-income minorities are treated differently and not given the chance to prove their innocence. The law enforcement promises to treat all men or women equal opportunity, but the same system has put 120,000 innocent African Americans in prison. While most of them still remain in prisons, injustice by law enforcements is still a burden to the minorities in America. Moreover, wrongful conviction is a horrible injustice when a person spends years in jail. This is getting recognized by the U.S. system but often late. In many cases by the time a person is proven innocent, he or she might
The majority of our prison population is made up of African Americans of low social and economic classes, who come from low income houses and have low levels of education. The chapter also discusses the amount of money the United States loses yearly due to white collar crime as compared to the cost of violent crime. Another main point was the factors that make it more likely for a poor person to be incarcerated, such as the difficulty they would have in accessing adequate legal counsel and their inability to pay bail. This chapter addresses the inequality of sentencing in regards to race, it supplies us with NCVS data that shows less than one-fourth of assailants are perceived as black even though they are arrested at a much higher rate. In addition to African Americans being more likely to be charged with a crime, they are also more likely to receive harsher punishments for the same crimes- which can be seen in the crack/cocaine disparities. These harsher punishments are also shown in the higher rates of African Americans sentenced to
The Disproportionate Minority Confinement is disproportionate representation of the minority youth in the Juvenile Justice system. DMC became core requirement under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act 1974. Minorities were over presented as perpetrators and underrepresented as victims. The DMC has four components: identify to the cause, asset the problem, to identify the causes, and to develop and help to create a plan to decrease the problem. The Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) of Youth: An Analysis of State and Federal Efforts to Address the Issue by Michael Leiber gave the readers a background and summary of the DMC report and focused on the effort put forward by the state and federal to decrease the overrepresentation