Racial Disparities In The Criminal Justice System

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Essay Prompt #1 It is no secret that racial disparities exist within the criminal justice system. It is shocking that the number of racial disparities continues to grow even after the advancement of technology within the system. According to the Sentencing Project (2017), sentencing policies, implicit racial bias, and socioeconomic inequality are all factors that contribute to the racial disparities in the criminal justice systems. In order to address these disparities we must first look at the incarceration rates from a broad spectrum. The U.S. is the world leader of incarceration with almost 2.5 million people serving time in either jail or prison. The reason there are so many individuals behind bars goes all the way back to the 1970s.…show more content…
When one thinks of rehabilitation centers they think of individuals receiving the help they need. Offenders face many obstacles when returning to society such as low levels of education, alcohol and drug addictions, loss of voting rights, and limited access to social welfare programs (Martin, Susan-Smith and Still, 2018). According to Martin et. al., one of the biggest obstacle offenders face when reentering society are criminal justice financial obligations (2018). Petersilia (1998) divides community corrections into two types of criminal sanctions: probation and parole. According to Petersilia the public is often confusing the two terms. Probation is defined as “a sentence served within a community while under supervision” whereas parole is defined as “ a conditional release granted to an inmate after a portion of their sentence has been served behind bars” (Petersilia, 1998). Petersilia also states that there are many types of community corrections such as halfway houses, residential centers, and work furlough (1998). Recidivism rates for offenders have reached up to 62 percent since 2011 according to Petersilia (2011). Due to the mass incarceration in the 1990s, the criminal corrections system has never fully recovered causing individuals to serve unreasonable lengthy sentences. When we look at a perfect example of the justice system we see individuals who commit crime behind bars, which is what is happening today. However, some of the crimes that are committed do not have matching sentences. A separation of non-violent and violent offenders needs to be made. By making this separation we can better serve the inmates in proper treatment. Individuals who commit drug-offenses should not be locked up in prison but sent to a medical rehabilitation center to receive treatment. Implementing reentry programs and community corrections can help lower the recidivism rates we see in our corrections

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