Essay on Impact Of Race, Class, And Gender

1434 Words Dec 9th, 2015 6 Pages
Impact of Race, class, and gender in Policing and Sentencing
Race, class, and gender have an effect on the outcomes of the American criminal justice system. However, whether that outcome is favorable or not depends on where each individual lies on the race, class, and gender hierarchy of the United States. Cassia Spohn writes in great detail about the effects of these three characteristics in her article “30 Years of Sentencing Reform.” Before Spohn lays out the findings of her research, she differentiates disparity and discrimination. Disparity, she says, refers to difference in treatment or outcome. When like cases, with respect to case attributes, regardless of their legitimacy, are sentenced differently is when a disparity occurs. Discrimination however, is a difference that results from illegitimate criteria, such as race, class, and gender. Discrimination occurs when some case attribute that is legally objectionable can be shown to be associated with the sentencing outcomes when after all relevant variable are adequately controlled. Spohn finds that indeed disparities exists. The first time that race, gender and class show up in the criminal justice system is the decision to incarcerate. If you are Black or Hispanic you are much more likely to be incarcerated than Whites due to what Frohmann calls discordant locals. Blacks and Hispanics fit the bill for who should be getting arrested. After the decision to incarcerate has been made, race and ethnicity start to…

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