Cultural Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice
During the years we have seen many changes in the world, some good and some bad. We have seen changes in technology, styles, and changes in society. Another thing that we have seen changes in is the way people and different races or groups are treated. We have seen the way that some groups and races are treated different in society and in the criminal justice system. Prior to the Civil War, Blacks were not imprisoned for crimes because they were owned by Whites and therefore, any crimes that may have been construed as crimes were dealt with by their owners. After the Civil War the freed slaves, if they committed a crime, were leased to previous owners to work off their convictions or were sent to the mining fields or railroad buildings, Crutchfield, R, Fernandez, A, and Martinez, J, (2010). Traffic Stops. We have also seen this racial disparity in the Muslim society. Since September 11th every Muslim is looked at as a terrorist and this is not the case. I have witnessed firsthand on how this is not the case. There are many Muslims that do not like the way they are treated in their own land and want to get away from all the politics and depression. They are trying to raise their family the right way and not the way of their government. Because of the attacks on September 11th all Muslims are looked at differently in our society. We have seen a change on the views of women in the work force. In the past women stayed at home and raised the children, cooked the meals, and cleaned the house. We have seen this change to where women are in the work force side by side with their men counterparts. Let’s look at the twenty first century. There are is still some places where people feel there is racial disparity within the criminal justice system. In some areas African-Americans are more likely to be stopped by law enforcement for traffic violations. In some areas they are seen by individual police officers as targets because they are thought to have a higher criminal behavior, if the traffic stop is skin color motivated. These groups are also more likely to be searched. Our society still has a problem with different races and on the way they are looked at in the justice system. The justice system is based on treating everyone the same and to provide justice to the people that they represent. Sometimes this is not the case and a lot of crimes and punishments are sometimes based on the race of the person and they are guilty instead of being innocent. The criminal justice system is responsible for protecting and serving the public, yet justice professionals are sometimes not aware that this public holds many different views on crime and the criminal justice system itself, based on history and their own life experiences (McNamara, Burns, 2009).
Despite the critical role that difference plays within the criminal justice system, it is rare for either practitioners or scholars to spend time investigating difference. It is often taken for granted that the differences between people are natural and obvious and, therefore, uncontroversial. Yet, little about difference is actually either natural or obvious. (Investing Differences, 2009). We have seen through