Disparity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System Today

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Disparity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System Today

Kimberly Acreman
Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice CJA/423
Brian Bugge
January 25, 2010
Today’s criminal justice system encounters several difficult and problematic circumstances. However, the following paper will refer to involvement in disparity and discrimination within court procedures and law enforcement. Each situation discussed will pertain to disparity and discrimination within today’s criminal justice system. In some situations disparity can result from discrimination. The following paper will provide examples, definitions, contrast of disparity and discrimination, and comparison. Disparity is based on two elements known as legal and extralegal and do not mean discrimination exactly. The legal element supplies lawful explanations for decisions based on one’s criminal behavior and record. For instance, in court when determining a sentence or amount of time one should receive for breaking the law by burglary, rape, murder, etc. Another instance, law enforcement officials arrest an individual for burglary based on the individual’s past criminal history, and the fact that the individual was not far from the scene of crime. The extralegal element contains gender, lifestyle, class status, and nationality. However, these particular elements are not lawful basis for determinations. For instance, in court the determination of sentencing for individual to serve will not be based on nationality, but rather on statics of the population and community; as well as the appearance of the individual. In result, discrimination constitutes a different approach or determination against individuals based on nationality, religion, class status, etc. Discrimination is composed of four types known as systematic, contextual, institutionalized, and individual discriminating acts. Systematic is the discrimination within the criminal justice system, contextual pertains to particular...
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