Disparity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System Assignment

Disparity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System Assignment Words: 853

Disparity and Discrimination Sean J Gustafson CJA 344 August 15, 2011 Major Williams Introduction Disparity and discrimination have been a part of mainstream society for as long as there has been a work force in America. Equality in the United States of America has been a serious issue since the countries inception in 1776. Will the problem of equality in America ever be resolved? That is a tough question to answer. Yet it is a question that provides drive and resolve for many people living in America.

The field of Criminal Justice has the unique problem of trying to coral the issues involved with disparity and discrimination on both sides of a fence. There is the workplace side of the justice system where it can still be said that due to race, gender, religion, etc… professionals are not earning the same money that other professionals are, doing the same job. Then there is the criminal element of the justice system to consider. Many citizens are not giving a fair shake due to some sort of bias on the side of the professionals.

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This paper will deal with the issues of disparity and discrimination on the side of the professionals within the criminal justice system and the citizens who depend on them. Disparity in the Justice System According to Dictionary. com (2011) disparity is defined as “lack of similarity or equality. While researching the subject of disparity it was determined that the area for professionals in the justice system hit the hardest by this type of inequality are roles within the justice system and the salaries that accompany them.

Even though it can be said that there are many different races within the justice system working as well as both genders it is still hard for certain races of people along with women to advance past a certain point. Gender and racial bias will continue to be an issue until the fear that is associated with each is replaced with fairness according to production. In any field of work but especially the criminal justice system when grading a workers performance; production and reliability along with various other positive attributes should be what is looked at for advancement.

Not gender, race, religion, etc… It has been this way for a long time and will continue unfortunately until the time for change happens. Disparity among citizens who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law is an even bigger problem. This type of disparity refers to the inequity of arrests and sentencing of certain groups of people. Throughout the United States according to the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CFR) “racial disparity begins with arrest policies and continues through sentencing and parole. Again according to the CRF, “over 25 percent of black males and 16 percent of Hispanic males spend time in prison, while only 4 percent of white males do so. Blacks make up only 12 percent of the United States population. ” It would also appear that education and age play a big role in deciding who goes to jail and who does not. Discrimination in the Justice System Discrimination according to Dictionary. com (2011) is defined as “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit. In the criminal justice system there are three different types of discrimination. They are called systematic discrimination, institutionalized discrimination, contextual discrimination. “Systematic discrimination occurs constantly in every criminal justice system stage, every part of the country, and without variation” (Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2004). This means that when an age group, gender group, race, or ethnicity group encounter discrimination in every stage of the justice system it is called systematic discrimination.

Institutionalized discrimination is not done intentionally to people but due to the policy that is in place this is what happens. “Contextual discrimination concerns discrimination in particular situations or contexts (Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2004). ” Conclusion “The main difference between disparity and discrimination is legal or extralegal factors; therefore, when a decision is made based on the seriousness of the offense and the offender’s prior criminal record the difference is a disparity (Walker, Spohn, ; Delone, 2004). ” However, when a decision is made based on race, gender, ethnicity, social class, or lifestyle the difference is a result of discrimination (Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2004). ” References: “Discrimination | Define Discrimination at Dictionary. com. ” Dictionary. com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary. com. Web. 15 Aug. 2011. ;http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/discrimination;. “Disparity | Define Disparity at Dictionary. com. ” Dictionary. com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary. com. Web. 15 Aug. 2011. ;http://dictionary. eference. com/browse/disparity;. Moore, Shelley. “Definition of Disparity in Criminal Justice | EHow. com. ” EHow | How to Videos, Articles ; More – Trusted Advice for the Curious Life | EHow. com. Web. 15 Aug. 2011. ;http://www. ehow. com/facts_4855867_definition-disparity-criminal-justice. html;. Williams, Chris. “Disparity Vs. Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System, Page 2 of 3. ” Associated Content from Yahoo! – Associatedcontent. com. Web. 15 Aug. 2011. ;http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/2279967/disparity_vs_discrimination_in_the_pg2. html? cat=17;.

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