Racial Discrimination And The American Criminal Justice System

1315 Words Dec 24th, 2016 6 Pages
Researchers agree that the most prevalent form of racial discrimination in the American criminal justice system transpires within the treatment of juvenile offenders. Additionally, researchers have proposed that the informality, as well as the flexibility allowed in the juvenile criminal justice system, perpetuates the potential for abuse. Along with racial inequality, which is clearly evident during the arrest, the initial point of contact between the youth, law enforcement officials and the justice system. Furthermore, it has been shown that during pretrial detention procedures disadvantaged Hispanics are more likely to be detained than white defendants. Similarly, youth from economically disadvantaged areas were found to be more likely to be incarcerated than youth from more affluent areas. A recent study found that the perceptions of court officials’ in regards to a disadvantaged individual and/or community clouded their choices on whether a youth should be detained or could be released into the community. They viewed underprivileged areas to be dangerous as well as a high risk for youth. Consequently, they viewed detainment as a way to actually help these youthful offenders. Inequalities between Latinos and whites are magnified during the pretrial stage as well, especially when their immigration status is factored in. Latino attitudes on criminal justice matters are uniquely influenced by their immigration status. Perceptions at times differ between the native born and…

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