Racial Inequalities in the Justice System Essay

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Many inequalities exist within the justice system that need to be brought to light and addressed. Statistics show that African American men are arrested more often than females and people of other races. There are some measures that can and need to be taken to reduce the racial disparity in the justice system. Racial disparity in the criminal justice system exists when the proportion of a racial or ethnic group within the control system is higher than the proportion of the group in the general population. The cause of this disparity varies and can include differences in the levels of criminal activity, law enforcements emphasis on particular communities, legislative policies, and/or decision making by one or more persons at some …show more content…
The American prison and jail system has a very noticeable racial disparity in the population of incarcerated people. The national incarceration rate for whites is 412 per 100,000 residents, compared to 2,290 for African Americans, and 742 for Hispanics. These numbers mean that 2.3% of all African Americans are incarcerated, compared to 0.4% of whites and 0.7% of Hispanics. The National Judicial Reporting Program (NJRP) collects felony conviction data from a 300-county sample that represents the nation as a whole. The NJRP database includes ethnicity, but due to data inconsistencies due to many facilities including Hispanics in the white population only conviction information for Whites and African Americans are reported here. In 2004 almost 1.1 million adults were convicted of a felony in state courts. Out of the 1.1 million about the same percentage of Whites and African Americans were convicted of violent crimes. Out of these a higher percentage of Whites than African Americans were convicted of property crimes, while a higher percentage of African Americans were convicted of drug offenses. Among those actually convicted of a felony, African Americans were more often sentenced to prison and had longer sentence lengths than Whites. Overall, 66% of Whites versus 71% of African Americans were sentenced to jail or prison time. Out of those convicted of violent offenses, 80% of African Americans versus 75% of Whites were sentenced to jail or

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