Criminal Justice

In your first discussion post analyze whether or not there is systematic discrimination in our criminal justice system and conclude why or why not? Reference information from class readings, including the theoretical perspectives on inequality and crime. Refer to outside sources to find applicable legislation/policy as examples, that might support your claim. Please refer to your readings, lecture notes, the video for review. Here is the video

, and the websites provided to answer and discuss the following questions:

1- Explain systematic discrimination and provide examples.
2- What are some of the explanations for the over-representation of minorities as criminals and victims of crime, according to what you have read?

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Systematic Discrimination in Criminal Justice

Systematic discrimination can be considered as practices, patterns of behavior, and policies that are created or structured to perpetuate racialized persons. Systematic discrimination creates a disadvantage for people with similar characteristics such as gender, race, and disability over a long time (Walker, Spohn and DeLone, 2012). Considerably, the system that institutionalizes the discrimination system is both the criminal system and society. For instance, systematic racism has been prevalent in criminal systems. Over the years there has existed ethical disparity in American prisons.

The African Americans have been incarcerated in the state prisons at a higher rate as compared to their White American counterparts. In 2014, the rate of incarceration for African American males was 6 times the rate of While Americans. In companies, the head of a company can instruct the receptionist not to take any applications from job seekers from ethnic and racial backgrounds. Over the years, sentences for the possession of crack cocaine in the United States have found a high percentage of the victims or offenders being African American. The law has resulted in the imprisonment, arrest, and conviction of many African Americans every year. This clearly illustrates how the law has been utilized to suppress and control certain races.

Certain minorities groups are over presented as criminals or victims not because they are high offenders but since they are over targeted (Howarth, 2018). For instance, the focus on specific neighborhoods does not mean that crimes are committed to that area than others. Unequal reporting has represented African Americans as victims and offenders. The conflict theory explains the presentation of minority groups as victims and offenders by viewing the law as a tool utilized by the dominant groups to uphold their privileged position over the surd ordinates groups. For instance, the law of vagrancy has been used to suppress other ethnic groups rather than the dominant group, the Caucasian. Vagrancy has found many minority group members as victims and offenders since it has been assumed as a way of controlling the poor.




Howarth, E. P. C. (2018). Overrepresentation in criminal justice systems. LSE Undergraduate Political Review.

Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2012). The color of justice: Race, ethnicity, and crime in America. Cengage Learning.

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