With a focus on gender, discuss whether the criminal justice system is biased. This essay will explore the differences in how the criminal justice system treats men and women; it will also investigate a variety of theoretical research from early traditional thinkers to feminists, and how they have analyse the criminal justice system with a focus on gender. It will examine the British official statistics relating to crimes recorded looking at gender and crimes going un-recorded. The essay will then examine how Society views gender, the differences in raising boys and girls and what society expects for males and females in the way they present themselves. The essay will briefly explore domestic violence between men and women and how it relates to crime rates; it will also explore how laws have demonstrated to be biased against gender and how it has recently shifted to make it a fairer procedure when sentencing men and women for homicide.
When exploring the philosophy of the chivalry theory (pollak 1950) and the way it is perceived within the criminal justice system, research states that there is a higher representation of male agents working within the system than females. The chivalry theory suggests that males are inclined to treat women with respect and courtesy this indicates that women have a higher chance to be favoured over men; implicating women are likely to receive a more lenient outcome than a man is after committing an offence. Thesis who believe in the chivalry theory assume that men have a natural instinct to ensure that women are protected from harm (Pollak 1950) therefore when sentencing females male agents will focuses on sympathy, this would propose harsher sentence for men who have committed the same crime as a women (Browne 2011). This approach articulates that crimes committed by women are less likely to be recorded demonstrating a false set of factual evidence when looking at the official statistics of crimes relating to gender within England and Wales (Home Office 2003). (Hood 1992) also found that women are more likely to receive lenient verdicts, due to a higher level of women receiving cautions rather than being prosecuted. (Hood 1992) also found a third of women were protected from receiving a custodial sentence against men. Chivalry theory is argued by the double deviance theory (Heidensohn 1985), it passes judgment on the chivalry theory and from a feminist perspective, it is put forward that the chivalry thesis focuses from a biological opinion therefore; it is an un-sociological and ideological way of thinking. The double deviance theory considers the criminal justice system to be biased against women when sentencing as it believes that not only have women committed the crime but they have also broken what is expected of the way they should present themselves as females within society (O’Neill and Seal 2012). Meaning that not only are women offenders trialled for the offences but the criminal justice system also punishes them because women in society that commit crime are frowned upon and regarded as dangerous both in the media and the court arena, consequently it is considered that women are punished twice over (O’Neill and seal 2012). By looking at the British criminal statistics, the evidence veers towards the criminal justice system being biased towards men backing up the chivalry theory; however, this is not concrete evidence due to the recording procedures in place. The official statistics in England and Wales implies that men are more likely to commit crimes than women are (Home Office 2003). According to the British criminal statistics in 2002 women offences equalled to 19% (Home Office 2003) however this low percentage should not just be dismissed as statistics, the year 2002 shows that 57% of the crimes committed by women were theft and handling. Nevertheless, the British criminal statistics in 2002 advises that the percentage of men is higher than when looking at the more...
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