I plan to write a paper that acknowledges the high number of the Black minority in American correctional facilities and their frequent encounter with the criminal justice system. The paper will further explore the racial and cultural factors that might have motivated this overrepresentation. African Americans are more likely to interact with the criminal justice system and to receive longer sentences compared to the White majority (Feldmeyer and Ulmer 253). Police have been in the spotlight, both in mainstream and social media platforms, for discriminating against the black community through harassments, arrests, and even killing them. I intend to present my research in hardcopy format, highlighting the issues affecting the target population.
Racial and ethnic disparities exist in the United States’ criminal justice system, with discrimination being the cause of some of these differences. People have often expressed discrimination in sentencing based on race and ethnicity. This system’s historical evaluation shows that Blacks have been the primary victims of police brutality and discriminatory sentencing. In their routine interactions with the public, the police tend to treat the African-Americans more disrespectfully and are more likely to shoot them during confrontations compared to the white people (Haug 22). While some individuals may feel that the large racial disparities reflect disproportionate involvement of Blacks in crime, I feel that these differences result mostly from systematic racial, cultural, institutional, and policy discrimination. Therefore, these factors influence the thesis of the paper: while institutionalized racism is illegal in the United States, the criminal justice system is tainted by racial disparities inclined mostly against the black minority, in issues such as contact with law enforcement officers, police shootings, incarceration, profiling, punitive crime policy, and prejudice by both the public and the criminal justice system.
I plan to engage with several materials to complete this paper. I intend to find books and articles that discuss the history of crime policy in the United States. Besides, I intend to conduct an online search for peer-reviewed scholarly articles and other digital sources that indicate whether racial and cultural bias exists within the United States’ criminal justice system. I intend to interact with library materials such as books and articles related to the paper’s topic. My specific interaction will be with sources that link the criminal justice system’s disparities with race and ethnicity and explain these disparities sociologically and critically. I have already identified specific texts that I believe will be helpful since they articulate specific forms of discrimination in the criminal justice system that are ethnically or racially motivated. These materials show that minorities, especially Black-Americans, remain overrepresented in offending, delinquency, victimization, and at all stages of the justice process.
I have prepared for the project by conducting some background research on the topic following the recent black-lives-matter protest in cities across the United States and worldwide. I have heard the media report of historical injustices and mass incarceration of African Americans, which has influenced my interest to evaluate the impact of culture and race on various criminal justice system issues. As I already have the sources of information, I do not foresee any difficulties in conducting this project.
Feldmeyer, Ben, and Jeffery T. Ulmer. “Racial/ethnic threat and federal sentencing.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, vol. 48, no.2, 2011, 238-270. Doi: 10.1177/0022427810391538
Haug, Nicole C. “Race and The Criminal Justice System: A study of racial bias and racial injustice.” (2012). Digital Commons, digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1104&context=socssp