December 12, 2013
Criminal Justice System is it "Justice" or "Just Us"
Section I: Introduction
I have always been intrigued with the criminal justice system every since I started working as a Correctional Officer for Solano State Prison. I also worked in the Inmate Appeals Division where inmates had the right to appeal a write up written upon them by any staff. It is not my intention to raise any more controversy on the subject but to open the eyes of people to see their is still discrimination against those of color than whites still in the 20th century. While working in this division, I noticed a lot of discrimination within this ...view middle of the document...
Eleven percent of all black males between the ages of 20 and 34 are in prison or jail. The dramatic rise in the prison and jail population over the last three decades—to 2.3 million people at the end of 2007.
Section II: The Search
I began my research by combing through the internet as i felt there should be a wealth of information to gather from the internet. I found a great deal of research reports on the subject matter regarding, racism in the criminal justice. I read a lot of articles as I had to shift through the information that I found to be pertinent to my topic of discussion. I also found a couple books from the Sacramento Library which I check out, one being by Marc Mauer, "Race to Incarcerate" The Sentencing Project".
I also interviewed a friend who graduated as a Criminal Justice major. I felt that she could give some honest feedback to her thoughts about the criminal justice system and if it was fair to her as she is white.
It is no secret whites and blacks in America experience life differently
because of their race. Therefore, whites and blacks view the criminal justice
system differently. My research found 70% of those studied agree the courts do
not offer equal treatment. Although both agree that the system is biased,
whites seem to have a more positive view about the whole system, while Blacks
feel the system is corrupt and works' against them.
This is why I ask is it Justice or "Just us" in the criminal justice system.
The question is - are these facts the mistakes of an otherwise good system, or are they evidence that the racist criminal justice system is working exactly as intended? Is the US criminal justice system operated to marginalize and control millions of African Americans?
In 2010, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that in the United States an estimated 558,700 African American adults were incarcerated under state and federal jurisdiction. African American males had an imprisonment rate 3,059 per 100,000 while white males had a rate of 456 per 100,000 (Bureau of Justice Statistics). That is nearly seven times higher! If those rates reflected jail, probation and parole populations, the numbers would rise exponentially. An African American child born today has a 1 in 3 chance of ending up in prison (Shelden, 2008, p.182). However, African Americans only make up about 13% of the population in the United States. One must ask, why is there a disproportionate number of African American in the criminal justice system? The majority of Americans are unaware of mass incarceration and racism in the criminal justice system. When we think of racism, slavery and Jim Crow come to mind, but we do not think of the many African Americans locked up in prison today as a form of racism. Many assume that African Americans are more criminal. However, it is the criminal justice system that is responsible....