Criminal Justice and American Culture Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2075 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
However, not all the statistics point to a disparity in every area of criminal justice toward minorities. As indicated, blacks tend to spend less time on parole than whites do, and whites do outdistance blacks in some areas of crime, like sexual and other kinds of violent assaults and batteries. In addition, there may be a problem with the way the United States collects and categorizes its criminal statistics. Author Lauritsen continues, "In the U.S., data on an arrestee's race do not allow for distinctions based on country of origin or recency of arrival" (Lauritsen, 2004). Thus, many "white" immigrants from nations such as Russia or the Middle East, or "black" immigrants from the Caribbean or India are included in the data with long time residents with established criminal activity. The terms and definitions of race and nationality also changed in the Justice Department within the last 25 years, when most of the statistics were accumulated, and so, the numbers may be skewed as the definitions were refined and additional definitions were added (for Asians and Pacific Islanders, for example). Author Lauritsen also notes that the United States is one of the only countries that tracks criminal data on the basis of race, which leads to more "white" and "black" comparisons than in any other country in the world (Lauritsen, 2004).

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It is interesting to note that blacks are concerned about crime more than whites are both in their own neighborhoods and in general. Two authors note, "Again, the numbers showed just how critical of an issue crime is to blacks, with some 57% of African-Americans rating crime as an 'extremely serious problem' in the United States as compared to 40% of whites" (Bobo & Thompson, 2006). They also worry more about crimes in their own communities than whites do, according to the same authors' statistics.

Term Paper on Criminal Justice and American Culture. Assignment

In conclusion, the statistics indicate that in most cases, blacks are treated differently in the American criminal justice system, from how much time they spend in jail, to how they are arrested and prosecuted. There are many reasons for this, from social conditions where many minorities live and work, to their opportunities for education, advancement, and income. There also seems to be a bias in law enforcement, which may target minorities more than white criminals. In addition, there are far fewer black lawyers and judges in the system, which may also affect legal outcomes. These things need to change to bring equality to criminal justice.

References

Editors. (2009). Demographic characteristics of persons convicted of felonies in State courts, by offense, 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/html/scscf04/tables/scs04201tab.htm.

Editors. (2009). Homicide trends in the United States. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm.

Editors. (2009). Mean length of felony sentences imposed in State courts, by offense and race of felons, 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/html/scscf04/tables/scs04207tab.htm.

Goldman, D.S. (2004). The modern-day literacy test?: Felon disenfranchisement and race discrimination. Stanford Law Review, 57(2), 611+.

Hughes, T. (2005). First releases from State prison, 2002: Sentence length and time served in prison, by offense and race. Bureau of Justice Statistics spreadsheet.

Lauritsen, J.L. (2004). Searching for a better understanding of race and ethnic differences in violent crime. Criminal Justice Ethics, 23(1), 68+.

Moyer, I.L. (2001). Criminological theories: Traditional… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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