SOCS350 Cultural Diversity in the Professions
December 13, 2013
US Criminal Justice System: Is there Disparity Among the Races Is there is a disparity in the United States criminal justice system among the races that seems to be unchanged over the years? In fact, the disparity appears to be increasing and becoming more pronounced even in today’s society. The difference in the numbers between blacks, Hispanics, and whites incarcerated seems to suggest that there is unfavorable bias in the criminal justice system toward minorities.. The disparity among the races is most notable in conviction rates, lengths of sentences, and re-incarceration rates. The United States population is approximately twenty percent black and ten percent Hispanic. The prison population is approximately forty-five percent black and twenty percent Hispanic. This statistic alone suggests that there is a large disparity. The data and research appears to suggest otherwise. Data from research shows that the number of blacks and Hispanics incarcerated reflects a proportional and accurate percentage compared to the number of crimes committed in the communities where they live.(Taylor, 2005) In 2005 research conducted by Taylor showed that there are, in fact, fewer incarcerated blacks than there were criminals that were reported as black offenders for offenses such as robbery and drugs.
It must become the responsibility of all citizens in our society to find ways to change the ideals of those making the decisions in the court systems. The people of our society, including those that make the decisions in our court systems, must attempt to develop and make available more constructive consequences in our criminal justice system. There is a real need for opportunities and alternative lifestyles for those people in disadvantaged communities that are seemingly “trapped” in a lifestyle that can ultimately lead to criminal prosecution, sentencing, and incarceration. If we can get education to the children in these communities at an early age, then it will create a path of success for these individuals. Instead of learning at an early age about crime and criminal activity, children need quality education at an early age to become successful and reduce the amount of crime and criminal activity in their communities. Although all of these ideas seem to suggest if minorities are better educated, have a better income, and better social status that there would be no race differences in crime rates. These differences seem to exist even when controlling for all of the above social variables.(Taylor,2005). Some people would suggest that it is the justice systems failures and bias that are the root cause of the disparity of races in the criminal justice system. There are others that would argue that the numbers reflect an accurate and proportional number of incarcerated minorities to the number of minorities that do commit crimes. This is a debate that has been ongoing for generations, with no real compromises or solutions proposed. There are some that would suggest that the solution is to target the low income minority communities with educational and employment opportunities. These people seem to believe that if society aids in educating minorities, they will be more likely to be employable and less likely to engage in criminal activity in their communities thereby lowering the crime rate and ultimately lower the number of minorities that are incarcerated. This would shift the entire balance of the criminal justice system and it would create a positive perception of the justice system and claims of unfair bias toward minorities would be diminished. Cooperation between community members and law enforcement would be enhanced as well because the community members would no longer feel as though they are being unfairly targeted and then the criminals that deserve to be