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The Criminal Justice System

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Delegitimisation of the Criminal Justice System Through Racial Bias

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The Criminal Justice System

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The criminal justice system has a very important role in society. Based on various criminology theories which depict the path to crime and offending, society plays an important role. Most of the theories propose the role of social learning as a key contributor to offending. Other theories propose a connection between crime and social labeling. The key connection between such theories is the role that society has in crime development. Given that crime also occurs within society, the criminal justice system exists to ensure that crime is prevented, mitigated, or corrected. For the criminal justice system to effectively accomplish its main function, it needs to have various key characteristics. The duties of the system are embedded within the constitution and must therefore respect the key tenets of the constitution. For example, one of the key tenets of the constitution is equality before the law. Unfortunately, the criminal justice seems to be flawed with the discriminatory treatment of communities of color, such as African Americans, compared to their white counterparts. These discriminatory practices affect the various components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, the judicial component, and the correctional systems. Ultimately, these discriminatory practices will eventually lead to the delegitimization of the criminal justice system.

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There’s a rich conversation these days about the role that racial bias may play in decisions made by police officers, prosecutors, and judges. There have been reports that show a troubling pattern of discrimination in the way criminal cases are handled. Racial bias, also known as racial prejudice or racial discrimination, is prejudice or discrimination based on the race of the person experiencing it. The term has often been used to describe negative behavior toward African Americans or members of certain minority groupsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Johnson”,”given”:”Robert”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Crim. Just.”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2006″]]},”page”:”1″,”publisher”:”HeinOnline”,”title”:”Racial bias in the criminal justice system and why we should care”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”21″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=2ae49844-7799-480a-b6ea-71c53a738995″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Johnson, 2006)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Johnson, 2006)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Johnson, 2006)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Johnson, 2006). But the same phenomenon can also occur with attitudes toward other marginalized (and non-minority) groups, such as transgender people.

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The racialization of the criminal justice system is sometimes a result of implicit bias. Implicit biases refer to the fact that we don’t realize that our attitudes are biased and that they lead us to think, act, and react in ways that are harmful to others. These unconscious biases may cause us to treat people differently depending on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The unconscious characteristic of these biases occurs because they are intertwined with facts and statistics, which are interpreted in the wrong way. For example, African Americans have lower socioeconomic status, which gives them less access to education and safe neighborhoods, among other thingsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0011-1384″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Clair”,”given”:”Matthew”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Winter”,”given”:”Alix S”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Criminology”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2016″]]},”page”:”332-359″,”publisher”:”Wiley Online Library”,”title”:”How judges think about racial disparities: Situational decision‐making in the criminal justice system”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”54″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=bf126191-d5b7-481c-ad14-0fb83e531dfa”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Clair & Winter, 2016)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Clair & Winter, 2016)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Clair & Winter, 2016)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Clair & Winter, 2016). These factors lead to disproportionate rates of crime for black Americans. African Americans are also more likely to plead guilty and less likely to use an attorney. Because of these factors, African Americans in the criminal justice system face longer sentences and harsher penalties than whites convicted in similar cases. However, despite this evidence, an overwhelming majority of judges believe that race is not a factor in sentencing decisionsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0011-1384″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Clair”,”given”:”Matthew”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Winter”,”given”:”Alix S”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Criminology”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2016″]]},”page”:”332-359″,”publisher”:”Wiley Online Library”,”title”:”How judges think about racial disparities: Situational decision‐making in the criminal justice system”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”54″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=bf126191-d5b7-481c-ad14-0fb83e531dfa”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Clair & Winter, 2016)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Clair & Winter, 2016)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Clair & Winter, 2016)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Clair & Winter, 2016). From the implicit bias argument, judges do not treat white offenders more favorably than nonwhite offenders. However, judges are more likely to be influenced by the evidence of race-based disparities when they are given information about crime rates or sentences handed down by other courts.

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Law Enforcement

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People do not always get arrested because they commit crimes. But research has demonstrated that people do get arrested because they appear to be criminals. From grounded theory research, this originates from social labeling theories that explain the social process of crime as resulting from the negative labels placed on individuals. Police make hundreds of thousands of arrests every year, many for non-criminal “quality-of-life” offenses like selling loose marijuana and selling alcohol without a license. For example, recent news reports have highlighted the role of implicit racial biases in “shaking down” black men by law enforcement officials—an illegal tactic known as “stop-and-frisk.” Unarmed black men are also much more likely to be shot by police than unarmed white men. Many people end up behind bars and in prison because others (i.e., police, prosecutors, juries) can identify them as criminals by their race, ethnicity, perceived status, neighborhood residence, prior criminal history—or a combination of all of these characteristicsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0192-3234″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Tonry”,”given”:”Michael”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Crime and justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”1″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2010″]]},”page”:”273-312″,”publisher”:”The University of Chicago Press”,”title”:”The social, psychological, and political causes of racial disparities in the American criminal justice system”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”39″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=75acdb36-36f0-475d-a54e-d87667d6cb49″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Tonry, 2010)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Tonry, 2010)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Tonry, 2010)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Tonry, 2010). Police are more likely to stop people of color for minor crimes like loitering or trespassing. They may also arrest people for drug offenses when there is no evidence that the person is actually selling drugs. Some research indicates this practice has led to conviction rates that are many times higher for black men than white men.

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Judicial System

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Minorities are underrepresented on juries. Defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death by all-white juries than they are by racially mixed juries. This is true even when the trial judge rules out racial bias. Criminal defendants and society as a whole are affected by racial and gender bias in jury selection. These problems are compounded by the fact that black people are much less likely to have access to legal representation than white people. The idea that everyone deserves quality legal counsel is a central part of our system of justiceADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1740-1453″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Burch”,”given”:”Traci”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of Empirical Legal Studies”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2015″]]},”page”:”395-420″,”publisher”:”Wiley Online Library”,”title”:”Skin color and the criminal justice system: Beyond black‐white disparities in sentencing”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”12″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=8884f831-92cd-4054-97a4-c63842b023e7″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Burch, 2015)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Burch, 2015)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Burch, 2015)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Burch, 2015). When African Americans can’t afford lawyers, however, they are often forced to accept deals that they wouldn’t otherwise take—or even agree to deals when no deals are offered at all.

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Another indicator of racial bias in the criminal justice system is the length and conditions of sentences and parole for different races. For instance, a black person convicted of murder is more likely to spend time on death row than a white person convicted of murder. As well, black people generally spend more time on probation than white people facing similar chargesADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”2153-3687″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Rocque”,”given”:”Michael”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Race and justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2011″]]},”page”:”292-315″,”publisher”:”SAGE Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial disparities in the criminal justice system and perceptions of legitimacy: A theoretical linkage”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”1″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=b2724f60-61a7-414a-b0a1-3d95548ea14b”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Rocque, 2011)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Rocque, 2011)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Rocque, 2011)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Rocque, 2011). This seems to indicate that there is some level of discrimination against black people in terms of how the law treats them.

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Criminal Correctional and Rehabilitating System

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Recent conversations about race and criminal justice have focused on equity and a deep concern with systemic racism. But more than 40 years of research has demonstrated the devastating effects of the prison system on men, women, and communities of color. The abolitionist framework is a way to frame racial justice activism in an effort for fair treatment of the communities of color. To abolish means “to get rid of” or “to do away with.” It is a strategic term that suggests a process of change and a radical goal to end all racial disparities in our criminal justice system. An important starting point is from the premise that the prison industrial complex is an inherently racist system, not simply because it is discriminatory, but because it is based on racist ideologies and practicesADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0897-6546″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Cleve”,”given”:”Nicole Gonzalez”,”non-dropping-particle”:”Van”,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Mayes”,”given”:”Lauren”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Law & Social Inquiry”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2015″]]},”page”:”406-432″,”publisher”:”Cambridge University Press”,”title”:”Criminal justice through “colorblind” lenses: A call to examine the mutual constitution of race and criminal justice”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”40″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=34589f29-c535-4d0a-bef7-e6a324250ca2″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015). Looking at who commits crimes and who is arrested for these crimes, the figures show that while black people make up roughly 13% of the overall population in the US, they represent about 40% of incarcerated inmates. This seems to indicate some degree of racial bias in the justice system.

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The abolitionist framework offers a way to problematize the many different components of this system. It begins with understanding how race affects who goes to prison in the first place. It then assesses potential solutions and advocates for their implementation at state and local levelsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1043-9862″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Cochran”,”given”:”Joshua C”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Warren”,”given”:”Patricia Y”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of contemporary criminal justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2012″]]},”page”:”206-227″,”publisher”:”Sage Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial, ethnic, and gender differences in perceptions of the police: The salience of officer race within the context of racial profiling”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”28″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=ebb97614-ed41-49c8-8669-8c750cd7210a”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Cochran & Warren, 2012). And finally, it advocates for race- and gender-blind evaluations of practices to ensure that communities of color and women receive the same types of services.

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The Legitimacy of the Criminal Justice System

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The higher rates of contact with the criminal justice system by the nonwhite minorities contribute to the perception of the criminal justice system as biased against certain racial groups. During contact with the criminal justice system, a higher rate turns into successful convictions leading to the imprisonment of nonwhite minorities such as African Americans as compared to their white counterparts. This leads people of color who have been convicted to have higher levels of cynicism about the criminal justice system than whites whose convictions have not resulted in imprisonmentADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0734-0168″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Buckler”,”given”:”Kevin”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Wilson”,”given”:”Steve”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Hartley”,”given”:”Deborah”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Davila”,”given”:”Mario”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Criminal Justice Review”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2011″]]},”page”:”269-290″,”publisher”:”SAGE Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial and ethnic perceptions of injustice: Does prior personal and vicarious incarceration experience alter the racial/ethnic gap in perceptions of injustice?”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”36″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=722d0b17-e14b-4699-84a3-e7d75ab9f99d”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Buckler et al., 2011)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Buckler et al., 2011)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Buckler et al., 2011)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Buckler et al., 2011). Though blacks and Hispanics are incarcerated at higher rates than whites, they are not more likely to be arrested than whites. Thus, because white offenders are less likely to be convicted of crimes, they may have lower levels of cynicism about the criminal justice system than their minority counterpartsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1043-9862″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Cochran”,”given”:”Joshua C”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Warren”,”given”:”Patricia Y”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of contemporary criminal justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2012″]]},”page”:”206-227″,”publisher”:”Sage Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial, ethnic, and gender differences in perceptions of the police: The salience of officer race within the context of racial profiling”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”28″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=ebb97614-ed41-49c8-8669-8c750cd7210a”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Cochran & Warren, 2012). The legitimacy of the criminal justice system is therefore affected because of the negative views of the criminal justice system among nonwhite individuals whose backgrounds have led them to rely on public assistance more frequently.

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In the United States, one of the most serious and pervasive manifestations of systemic racism is the differential treatment of racial/ethnic minorities by law enforcement. Ethical discussions about inequality in policing typically focus on fairness and fairness procedures. Yet, a major obstacle to achieving procedural justice has been a lack of data on police behavior. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork with nearly 400 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers, Rosenbaum et al. present evidence that not only does there exist a pronounced culture of disrespect among many LAPD officers for members of racial/ethnic minority groups but that these attitudes lead to systematic variations in conduct during police-citizen interactions that result in discriminatory policing practices across Los Angeles’s diverse communitiesADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1572-8315″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Rosenbaum”,”given”:”Dennis P”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Lawrence”,”given”:”Daniel S”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Hartnett”,”given”:”Susan M”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”McDevitt”,”given”:”Jack”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Posick”,”given”:”Chad”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of Experimental Criminology”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2015″]]},”page”:”335-366″,”publisher”:”Springer”,”title”:”Measuring procedural justice and legitimacy at the local level: the police–community interaction survey”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”11″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=3ed10a08-d43d-49e5-b025-543b6a2c71a7″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Rosenbaum et al., 2015)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Rosenbaum et al., 2015)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Rosenbaum et al., 2015)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Rosenbaum et al., 2015). The researchers focus on the development of the Police–Community Interaction Survey (PCIS), a new tool for measuring patterns of police conduct at the local level, and its implications for understanding discrimination in policing.

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Ethnographers observed police-citizen interactions at every level, from traffic, stops to car chases to serving warrants to responding to domestic violence calls, and recorded five types of police behavior: issuing commands, making suggestions, giving explanations, inviting participation in decision making, and giving reasons for actions taken. The PCIS is a new tool for measuring police behavior at the local levelADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”2153-3687″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Rocque”,”given”:”Michael”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Race and justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2011″]]},”page”:”292-315″,”publisher”:”SAGE Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial disparities in the criminal justice system and perceptions of legitimacy: A theoretical linkage”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”1″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=b2724f60-61a7-414a-b0a1-3d95548ea14b”]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Rocque, 2011)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Rocque, 2011)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Rocque, 2011)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Rocque, 2011). The PCIS was designed from the ground up to collect ethnographic data, and it includes three scales that measure three types of police behavior: authoritative, coercive, and confrontational. In addition, the survey asks participants about their perceptions of discriminatory policing practices in their communities. Drawing on these data sources, Rosenbaum et al. document a surprisingly high level of procedural injustice among LAPD officers in Los Angeles. This finding can be interpreted as evidence that both personalistic and structural forces contribute to the differential treatment of racial/ethnic minorities by law enforcement.

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Rebuttal of Opposing View

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For example, there are many statistics suggesting the black community itself may not be totally blameless for the level of crime it experiences. For instance, according to an analysis released by Pew Charitable Trusts in 2013, black children are almost four times more likely to live in poverty than white children. Secondly, only 52% of black men over the age of 25 were working full-time jobs as compared with 77% for white people over 25 years old. Poverty and unemployment rates have a well-established correlation in scholarly literatureADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1043-9862″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Cochran”,”given”:”Joshua C”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Warren”,”given”:”Patricia Y”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of contemporary criminal justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2012″]]},”page”:”206-227″,”publisher”:”Sage Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial, ethnic, and gender differences in perceptions of the police: The salience of officer race within the context of racial profiling”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”28″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=ebb97614-ed41-49c8-8669-8c750cd7210a”]},{“id”:”ITEM-2″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0897-6546″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Cleve”,”given”:”Nicole Gonzalez”,”non-dropping-particle”:”Van”,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Mayes”,”given”:”Lauren”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Law & Social Inquiry”,”id”:”ITEM-2″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2015″]]},”page”:”406-432″,”publisher”:”Cambridge University Press”,”title”:”Criminal justice through “colorblind” lenses: A call to examine the mutual constitution of race and criminal justice”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”40″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=34589f29-c535-4d0a-bef7-e6a324250ca2”]},{“id”:”ITEM-3″,”itemData”:{“author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Johnson”,”given”:”Robert”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Crim. Just.”,”id”:”ITEM-3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2006″]]},”page”:”1″,”publisher”:”HeinOnline”,”title”:”Racial bias in the criminal justice system and why we should care”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”21″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=2ae49844-7799-480a-b6ea-71c53a738995″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Johnson, 2006; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Johnson, 2006; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Johnson, 2006; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Johnson, 2006; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015). Therefore, it is expected that as a result of these conditions, a proportional difference is expected for some of the minority communities, such as African Americans, who have higher rates of unemployment and lower standards of living compared to their white counterparts. Unfortunately, the statistics in the criminal justice system reveal incarceration rates for the minority communities such as African Americans, which significantly exceeds the expected variationsADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1043-9862″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Cochran”,”given”:”Joshua C”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Warren”,”given”:”Patricia Y”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of contemporary criminal justice”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2012″]]},”page”:”206-227″,”publisher”:”Sage Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA”,”title”:”Racial, ethnic, and gender differences in perceptions of the police: The salience of officer race within the context of racial profiling”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”28″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=ebb97614-ed41-49c8-8669-8c750cd7210a”]},{“id”:”ITEM-2″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0192-3234″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Tonry”,”given”:”Michael”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Crime and justice”,”id”:”ITEM-2″,”issue”:”1″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2010″]]},”page”:”273-312″,”publisher”:”The University of Chicago Press”,”title”:”The social, psychological, and political causes of racial disparities in the American criminal justice system”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”39″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=75acdb36-36f0-475d-a54e-d87667d6cb49″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Tonry, 2010)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Tonry, 2010)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Tonry, 2010)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Cochran & Warren, 2012; Tonry, 2010). By looking at the error rate for the whites and African Americans, it is also possible to see the racial bias of the judicial system. The error rate in the judicial system is 4 percent for whites and 11 percent for African-Americans and Hispanics, respectively.

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According to Tonry (2010), it is not simply a matter of more black people being arrested than whites because more blacks commit crimes. If that were true, then the statistics would not only show more blacks arrested but also more blacks convicted of drug crimes. However, this is not the case. Blacks are less likely to be arrested for these crimes but more likely to be convicted of the offenseADDIN CSL_CITATION {“citationItems”:[{“id”:”ITEM-1″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”0011-1384″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Clair”,”given”:”Matthew”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””},{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Winter”,”given”:”Alix S”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Criminology”,”id”:”ITEM-1″,”issue”:”2″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2016″]]},”page”:”332-359″,”publisher”:”Wiley Online Library”,”title”:”How judges think about racial disparities: Situational decision‐making in the criminal justice system”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”54″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=bf126191-d5b7-481c-ad14-0fb83e531dfa”]},{“id”:”ITEM-2″,”itemData”:{“ISSN”:”1740-1453″,”author”:[{“dropping-particle”:””,”family”:”Burch”,”given”:”Traci”,”non-dropping-particle”:””,”parse-names”:false,”suffix”:””}],”container-title”:”Journal of Empirical Legal Studies”,”id”:”ITEM-2″,”issue”:”3″,”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2015″]]},”page”:”395-420″,”publisher”:”Wiley Online Library”,”title”:”Skin color and the criminal justice system: Beyond black‐white disparities in sentencing”,”type”:”article-journal”,”volume”:”12″},”uris”:[“http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=8884f831-92cd-4054-97a4-c63842b023e7″]}],”mendeley”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Burch, 2015; Clair & Winter, 2016)”,”plainTextFormattedCitation”:”(Burch, 2015; Clair & Winter, 2016)”,”previouslyFormattedCitation”:”(Burch, 2015; Clair & Winter, 2016)”},”properties”:{“noteIndex”:0},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”}(Burch, 2015; Clair & Winter, 2016). This suggests that race plays a role in prosecutorial charging and sentencing decisions, rather than simply racial differences in offending rates.

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There are racial differences in patterns of criminal activity, with black offenders being more likely than whites to commit certain types of violent crime, which carry long sentences if they are caught for them. This is why the use of race in law enforcement decisions cannot be solely explained by the harsher treatment of black offenders. One explanation for racial disparities is that blacks are disadvantaged—economically, socially, and politically—and this disadvantages them in terms of being able to obtain legal representation, being able to afford bail, being able to accommodate their jobs or fami

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