Racial Discrimination In The American Criminal Justice System

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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 …show more content…
Although there is a prevalent opinion amongst the general public that one’s race, nationality, or ethnicity is the only criteria used as the basis to stop or search an individual. Nevertheless, there is much debate regarding racial profiling and stereotyping, particularly in the wake of the many terror attacks and threats. It has been recommended that accurate and reliable data be obtained before decisions are made whether these are effective methods of counteracting …show more content…
Racism fans the unconcealed bias which shows up in the language, attitudes, conduct, assumptions, strategies and policies of many criminal justice agencies. Occurrences of bias usually lead to improper discretionary decisions. “Bias in the criminal justice system may take many forms. For example, in policing, it can manifest itself in poor interactions with the community which denote a lack of respect. In the courtroom, the ways in which minority defendants or attorneys are addressed can communicate attitudes suggesting second-class status. In the prison, officials who have negative interactions with inmates’ family members can increase levels of hostility for inmates, families, and staff” (Schrantz, et al. p.9). In conclusion, Americans often have a split position regarding criminal justice issues. Surveys show that many may support harsh punishment, however, they can also have significant distrust that the criminal justice system will treat all individuals to equal treatment under the law. Latinos especially have mixed opinions, including paradoxes which are explicit to their experiences

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