Racial Disparities in the U.S. Judicial System
English Composition II
Instructor Brandon Bond
March 16th, 2014
Racial Disparities in the U.S. Judicial System The United States has the largest documented incarceration rate in the world. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics at yearend 2012, approximately 6,937,600 offenders were under the supervision of adult correctional systems (2013). Of this number, more than 60% of the inmates in prison are minorities however; they make up only 37% of the United States population. Considering the trends in which minorities commit crimes, such broad statistics conceal that racial disparities pervade each stage of the U.S. judicial system, from arrest to trial and
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So how can one assume that minorities are more violent than whites are, they are obviously committing acts that are more violent. There are more minority inmates in prison with drug offenses not because they commit more offenses that are violent. Hispanics in comparison to African Americans are also subjected to common misconceptions and stereotypes linked to them. Such as the false link between immigrants and crime. Considering that law enforcement officers must frequently make quick judgments about suspects and the nature of the crime committed, subconscious racial stereotypes can influence the way they perform their jobs. For many, the concern is that police officers are more likely to focus on minority group members, particularly Black and Latino people in their investigations, leading them to target minority group members when making decisions about behaviors such as traffic stops, searches, and questioning (Peruche & Plant, 2006, para. 1). From what statistics show, “Black drivers (12.3%) were three times as likely as white drivers (3.9%) and about two times as likely as Hispanic drivers (5.8%) to be searched during a traffic stop in 2008” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008). Furthermore, white drivers were both ticketed and searched at lower rates than black and Hispanic drivers.
A widely known publicized example of racial profiling is the