Racial Inequalities in the Justice System

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Many inequalities exist within the justice system that need to be brought to light and addressed. Statistics show that African American men are arrested more often than females and people of other races. There are some measures that can and need to be taken to reduce the racial disparity in the justice system. Racial disparity in the criminal justice system exists when the proportion of a racial or ethnic group within the control system is higher than the proportion of the group in the general population. The cause of this disparity varies and can include differences in the levels of criminal activity, law enforcements emphasis on particular communities, legislative policies, and/or decision making by one or more persons at some level in the criminal justice system. According to statistics since the early 1970’s there has been a 500% increase in the number of people being incarcerated with an average total of 2.2 million people behind bars. The increase in rate of people being incarcerated has also brought about an increasingly disproportionate racial composition. The jails and prisons have a high rate of African Americans incarcerated with an average of 900,000 out of the 2.2 million incarcerateed being African American. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 1 in 6 African American males has been incarcerated at some point in time as of the year 2001. In theory if this trend continues it is estimated that about 1 in 3 black males being born can be expected to spend time in prison and some point in his life. One in nine African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 are currently incarcerated. Although the rate of imprisonment for women is considerably lower than males African American women are incarc... ... middle of paper ... ...King, R., and Mauer, M., (2007). The Sentencing Project. Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity. Retrieved from http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_stateratesofincbyraceandethnicity.pdf 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 New Century Foundation. (2005). The Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Justice in America. Retrieved from http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofcrime2005.pdf Pearson Education. (2008). Arrests by Race, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004896.html US Census Bureau. (2011). The 2012 Statistical Abstract. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/law_enforcement_courts_prisons.html
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