CJA - 344
November 5, 2012
Police Influence on Society
There always has been conflict between law enforcement and ethnic and social class groups. Some argue police will arrest an African American, Hispanic, or Asian before they will arrest a Caucasian; there is also a belief police will arrest a person coming from a lesser socioeconomic class before he or she will arrest a person from a more affluent place in society. Unfortunately, though the criminal justice system denies these allegations, history tells a quite different story. History of Policing
Prior to the 1970s, law enforcement officers were mostly Caucasian males, five foot 10 inches or above. Although this …show more content…
Typically, lower income areas are known for higher criminal activity and lower police presence; the “broken window” theory, which suggest disorganization and decomposing neighborhoods are breeding grounds for criminal behavior, are thought to be a lesser concern for police. However, in “higher class,” more affluent neighborhoods, police officers are thought to show greater presence, have faster response time, and are less likely to arrest or ticket a person from a higher level of socioeconomics.
From a political standpoint, though most police officers do not differentiate between social classes; however, police agencies and public officials who oversee policing agencies, do. It is common knowledge that public officials attempt to gain and retain the support of affluent members of the community, some of this is accomplished by protecting the personal property and family of the …show more content…
Police in early America were hand – picked by the affluent, and some are of the opinion this has not changed.
Relationships between lower income neighborhoods and police are often strained because citizens in these areas are less likely to speak with a police officer out of fear of becoming identified as a “snitch,” and most are not willing to risk their safety, or that of their families’ to attempt to report or witness a crime.
Just as individual relationships are, at best, difficult to manage, the relationship between the criminal justice system and a diverse society is no less difficult. Racial, cultural, gender, religious, and sexual orientation have always been, and most likely always will be a significant area of controversy and intolerance in American society today.
Though steps have been taken to reduce prejudice and discrimination against those of difference ethnicities and socioeconomic groups, the fact that the system has been forced into making laws to do this, is disturbing at the very