Disparity and Discrimination

Topics: Police, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (692 words) Published: April 16, 2007
Disparity and Discrimination
Penny Turberville
CJA 420/Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice
John France
March 26, 2007

Disparity and Discrimination
Disparity can be defined as an inequality while discrimination can be defined as a prejudice. I will set forward to define these terms as they relate to the criminal justice system and how the terms relate to one another. I will also provide examples of each.

In criminal justice disparity means that there is a difference, but that that difference does not automatically mean discrimination (Walker 16). On the other hand in criminal justice the term discrimination means to treat people differently because of them being a certain race or religion without regarding the individual's behavior or other qualifications (Walker 16).

An example of disparity could be the facts that in eastern Tennessee blacks receive sentences that are 24% longer than whites for committing the same crime. Nationwide white people receive an average sentence of thirty three month while blacks received an average of thirty six months (Smith 41). Another example of disparity could be requiring a photo identification card to vote. Poor people who live in the inner city and do not drive probably do not have a drivers license and they may not have a bank account and therefore would have no other reason for a photo identification card. Homeless people would also have no address and probably no photo identification card. This would not be intentional discrimination, but it would be an example of disparity because it would discriminate against the poor or homeless even though this was not the intentional motive.

Racial profiling could be an example of discrimination. Whenever airport security stops someone because they appear to be from the Middle East, this would be discrimination. When black people are stopped by traffic police officers more than white people, and especially if they percentage of black people stopped is a lot higher...

References: Walker, Samuel, Spohn Cassia, Delone Miriam. The Color of Justice. 2004. Wadsworth/Thomson.
Smith, Ralph E., Community Youth and You: Prison Sentences 10% Higher For Blacks. New York Beacon, New York, NY., October 11, 1995, Volume 2, Issue 87, page 41.
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