FREE Racial Disparity in Criminal Law and Justice Essay
This brief review, along with evidence cited in other chapters of this volume, strongly suggests that there is racial disparity at various points in the juvenile justice system and in various jurisdictions across the nation. The focus of the rest of this chapter is not to further document disparity, since the evidence appears fairly clear, despite the limitations of existing data. Some of the nation's minority juveniles, most notably blacks, experience higher rates of arrest and further justice system involvement than do whites. The remainder of this chapter examines the research findings that may prove helpful for efforts to better interpret and understand these disparities and identify areas in which research or action is most urgently needed. Earlier in the chapter, contrasting explanations of disproportionality were raised. The first—attributing the disparity to the behavior of the youth—suggests that the disparity is an accurate or reasonable reflection of the extent of involvement in delinquent and criminal behavior by these youth. The second perspective—attributing the disparity to
Essays Related to Racial Disparity in Criminal Law and Justice
The panel has noted major disparities in the extent of involvement of minority youth, particularly black youth, compared with white youth in the juvenile justice system. The existence of disproportionate racial representation in the juvenile justice system raises questions about fundamental fairness and equality of treatment of these youth by the police, courts, and other personnel connected with the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, what happens to youth in their dealings (or lack of dealings) with the juvenile justice system may have substantial consequences for subsequent development and prospects for the future.
Research and social policy on race, crime, and the administration of justice in the United States are currently marked by a seeming conceptual and methodological impasse. This situation stems from efforts by researchers to explain the persistent overrepresentation of groups of racial and ethnic minorities in the juvenile and adult justice systems. Some researchers and commentators have tended to focus on racially disproportionate offending behavior patterns as the primary cause of such a disparity, whereas others have highlighted the persistence of biases among decision makers in the justice system. The most problematic feature of this “behavior versus justice system ” debate has been the suggestion that these can be viewed as alternatives, rather than as processes that feed into one another. Furthermore, much of the debate has been carried out with an exceedingly narrow focus that fails to take account of the role that social injustice has played in the production of crime (Clarke, 1998; Lane, 1986; McCord and Ensminger, in press).
Racism in US Criminal Justice System - UK Essays
To explore the possibility that the racial disparity observed in rates of justice system involvement arises as a result of racial differences in criminal conduct, the possibility of error in crime data must first be entertained. Errors could lead to the appearance of racial disparity that, on closer examination, can be shown not to exist. Then, to the extent that racial disparity can be shown to exist, its causes must be explored. In the field of juvenile and criminal justice research, there are several measures that have been used to determine the extent of criminal behavior. In , the issues of measuring delinquency and crime were discussed and it was pointed out that none of the measures is without problems. There is fairly good agreement that the best approach to measuring crime is to use multiple sources of information (Farrington, 1998; Loeber et al., 1998b; National Research Council, 1993). The use of multiple sources of information may be especially rewarding for efforts to understand the sources and causes of racial and ethnic disparity.
Free Essays; Criminal Justice: Racial Disparity and ..
disparity or bias. We consider three major points in the juvenile justice system process—the police, the courts, and probation officers —and the evidence of bias at each.
Discrimination Disparity in the criminal justice system ..
FIGURE 6-1 Involvement of juveniles at various stages of the juvenile justice system, by race, 1996/1997. Note: Delinquency = acts committed by a juvenile that if committed by an adult could result in criminal prosecution. Delinquency referrals = includes not only arrests, but also all other sources of referral to juvenile court, such as social service agencies, schools, and parents. Petitioned = cases sent for formal processing in juvenile court; formal processing includes adjudicatory hearings and waiver hearings. Source: Snyder and Sickmund (1999); Stahl et al. (1999).