Racial Disparities

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Racial Disparities


Race is not an easy topic of discussion. It often sparks strong feelings and emotions. When examining race in the context of disparities in the criminal justice system, there are grouping themes. Some maintain that the disparities are the result of the system operating as a giant sieve to differentiate offenders and, as such, more men of color are placed under correctional authority because they commit more crime. Others maintain that the sieve is racist, with the system treating men of color more harshly in comparison to the way white men are treated. A third group maintains the criminal justice system operates within the broader context of societal racism and represents a mechanism for its expression.

Regardless of the reason, racial disparities are an area of importance in criminal justice. Let us look more closely at the issue.

In your initial discussion post:

  • Determine the impact of high minority incarceration rates on minority communities.
  • Analyze the implications of high minority incarceration rates on the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
  • Correlate the close relationship between politics and criminal justice policy, and issues of race and punishment.
  • Lay out two important steps for reducing racial disparities in punishment.

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