The from a different race, without any other

                                    The Treatment of
Blacks in the CJ System

Much of what is seen in the United States today,
advertised in the media is the issue of race, or more particularly racism.
Before diving into everything it is important to fully understand what race and
racism mean. Race is a group of individuals that share a series of traits and
are thought to share a mutual bloodline (Conley 2017: 326). So, it’s people
that share a common ancestry and not just the color of one’s skin. Racism is
the notion that individuals of different races contain diverse and inadequate
characteristics (Conley 2017: 327). Racism is what we see when people dislike
someone who is from a different race, without any other reason aside from the
fact that they are not a part of the same race. It goes hand and hand with
ethnocentrism which is a conviction that one’s individual ethnicity or group is
more advanced that others. After everything from the Civil Rights Movement to
Jim Crow laws being abolished along with segregation being abolished, one would
assume that racism would disappear, and everybody would start being treated the
same. It asks the question of is there a difference in treatment of blacks
compared to whites in the criminal justice system in the twenty-first century,
and that question is what will be guiding this paper.

Although blacks make up for thirteen percent of the
American population, in 1996 they made up forty-six percent of all felony
sentences and forty-eight percent of the prison population, and forty-one
percent of those that were condemned to death (Hurwitz and Peffley 2005).
Discrepancies such as those revealed proof to many blacks that racial prejudice
occurs in practically all aspects of the criminal justice system. It conveys to
them that they are lesser than their white counterpart and breeds distrust in
all of law enforcement. An example of prejudice that penetrated the law would
be the 100:1 stipulation of the Federal Crack Cocaine Law of 1986, which had
dictated the identical five-year prison verdict for one hundred grams of powder
cocaine as for one gram of crack cocaine, in spite of the pharmacological
similarity (Hurwitz and Peffley 2005). They recently changed it disparity from
100:1 to 18:1 which is slightly better but still a gap of inequality,
especially since more minorities use crack and more whites use cocaine.

When people assess the justice system, their opinions
of the procedure, instead of the result, is important. Researchers discovered
that when residents are stopped for traffic infringements, their assessment of
the contact with the officer were affected more by the presumed fairness with
which they were dealt instead of by the result of the interaction (Hurwitz and
Peffley 2005). That basically means that as long as individuals are being
treated fairly and with respect it doesn’t matter whether or not they get a
ticket or whatnot, they still believe the process was fair. When cops respond
to calls for help from the public there has been studies that crimes with
victims that are white, produce considerably quicker police reaction times,
there is a superior likelihood of arrest along with prosecution. Officers are
more prone to utilize additional force, seizure, and traffic profiling with
black than white suspects (Hurwitz and Peffley 2005).

Black and whites maintain separate opinions of the
police, and present problems that influence these opinions include police
brutality, racial profiling, and additional hostile policing of blacks and
their neighborhoods (Howell, Perry, and Vile 2003). Minorities are more prone
to deal with a threat of violence or the actual usage of force by the police,
and black drivers that were pulled over by the cops are more prone than white
drivers to be given tickets, detained, and get their cars searched (Howard et
al. 2003). Blacks are more prone than whites to recount about enduring
obligatory, bad-mannered, or confrontational interactions with the police
whether that entails getting stopped and interrogated without a reason from the
police as to why they are doing it, and they are most probably to suffer oral
or physical mistreatment directly.

There’s a lot of incidents where adult black
individuals had run-ins with the police because of how they looked—or the
police deemed them to look—and the location of where they resided. It’s
important to know that the negative attitudes directed at the police and
justice system doesn’t just occur when the minorities become adults, many of
these viewpoints were passed down from their families and from their own
experiences as juveniles. Girls are most probably than boys to encounter juvenile
justice interferences for moderately minor crimes, and black women and girls
obtain more disciplinary actions than their white equivalents. Research has
shown that victims of crime that are black are unlikely than white women to
obtain police help (Brunson and Miller 2006). Not only do they already doubt
the effectiveness of the police responsibilities, when they do need help they
often don’t achieve it and are left to deal with it on their own. Research o
the arbitration of delinquent girls suggests that blacks are unreasonably and
excessively entered into detention facilities while their white counterparts
are most likely to be entered into treatment focused programs.

Another issue is the matter that some police officers
already have a disposition of bias when interacting or responding to calls.
Underpolicing is a supplementary matter that involves the inadequacy to react
quickly to requests for service, investigate offenses, and be approachable to
crime victims. Some researchers contend that the police are not approachable in
poor urban neighborhoods because they deem particular offenses as standard in
these neighborhoods and they regard victims in such settings as deserving
(Brunson and Miller 2006). An example of that is that domestic violence occurrences
with black victims were unlikely to end in an arrest than occurrences with
white victims.

With everything that is going on in the world today,
it makes sense why there would be a difference in trust in others. For example,
fifty-one percent of whites convey that the majority of individuals are
unreliable while eighty-one percent of blacks find that the majority of
individuals are unreliable. They are also more prone than whites to testify
that individuals are biased a sixty-one percentage as opposed to a thirty-two,
and uncooperative sixty-three percent as opposed to a forty-one (Smith 2010).
Being white has it’s advantaged. White people don’t have to deal with a kind of
double consciousness where one has two different scripts, one for going through
life and the other assimilating the external attitudes of discriminatory
bystanders. Nor do whites have to code switch which is where one alternates
amid two or more languages and cultural norms in order to belong in diverse
cultural contexts. Whiteness can be seen as an “obscured bag of opportunities”
that places white individuals at an upper hand, just as racism positions
nonwhites at a drawback. Whiteness is in relation to not experiencing the
credence of embodying an entire population with one’s achievements or
disappointments, it’s in relation not needing to reflect about race whatsoever.
(Conley 2017:349).

The conflict theory probably is the best theoretical
theories that can be used to explain this topic. There is conflict between the
whites and the nonwhites—the minorities—that causes struggle and
marginalization of the minorities. An example of this would be in the
nineteenth century, the increasing influence of black Americans after the Civil
War ensued in great severity Jim Crow laws that harshly restricted black
constitutional and social influence. Nowadays there’s conflict by suppressing
voting abilities of those that have been to prison, since there was a clear
disproportionate percentage of blacks in prison compared to the population as
mentioned earlier.

The symbolic interactionism theory can be used to
explain the differences in treatment of blacks in the criminal justice system
because according to this theory racial bias is established via contact amongst
individuals of the dominant party. It can also be used to explain this because
of individual’s viewpoints about a specific race founded on media images, so if
the media is or has portrayed blacks as criminals those that watch the news, or
any media site—Facebook for example—can develop negative beliefs.

The last theoretical perspective that can be related
back to racism and discrimination is the functionalist theory. It can be
contended that racism and bias can impact constructively but merely to the
dominant party—whites. It benefits those who aspire to refuse rights and
freedoms to individuals they perceive as lesser to them. Consequences of
race-based marginalization such as poverty levels, crime ratios, and
inconsistencies in employment and education prospects demonstrate the lasting and
negative consequences of racism.