Disparity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System

Topics: Criminal justice, Crime, Police Pages: 3 (922 words) Published: February 1, 2011
Running head: DISPARITY AND DISCRIMINATION

Disparity and Discrimination
Carmen Redden
University of Phoenix
Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice
CJA 423
Brian Bugge
May 17, 2009

Disparity and Discrimination
Statistics continue to reflect issues of disparity and discrimination within the American criminal justice system. The issues that affect the enforcement of laws and government policy can result in justice for the safety of society and/or justice that will single out members of society. With the diverse population living in the United States, stereotypical judgments and attitudes can influence and possibly overwhelm the direction of the criminal justice system. The American system of criminal justice is thought to include equal rights, due process of law; in addition to fair and equitable treatment for all people – these ideas do not correlate to the information provided by law enforcement, court procedures and correctional facilities. Disparity is defined as, “The condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree” (American Heritage Dictionary, 2005). This idea whether on an individual level or communal, is something heavily affected by the difficulties of crime. The conflict issues within members of society and the existing disparities are becoming ever more complicated by the growing immigrant and minority populations in the United States. From these disparities, the seeds of discrimination are sown. Discrimination is the act of singling out a certain individual/group for unfair treatment and has been defined as, “Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit” (American Heritage Dictionary, 2005). Discrimination should not and cannot be tolerated in a just society, especially in its criminal justice system. There are varied causes of disparity including law enforcement emphasis on certain communities, criminal activity, policies by legislature and by criminal...

References: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2005, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated 2005.
Brown v. Board of Education. (2006). Retrieved on May 17, 2009 from the Landmark Cases website: http://www.landmarkcases.org/brown/home.html
The Sentencing Project. (October, 2000). Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System, A Manual for Practitioners and Policymakers. Retrieved on May 17, 2009 from The Sentencing Project website: http://www.sentencingproject.org/Admin/Documents/publications/rd_reducingrdmanual.pdf
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