Racial Bias U.S. Criminal Justice System

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Federal government officials have noted there is a great unfair disparity amongst, African Americans and other minority group entering or already in the juvenile justice system compared to Caucasian Americans (karger stoesz 2018, p.365). Recovery from slavery is a massive task for most African Americans in America because they were considered non-citizens which further increased ethnic disparity (karger stoesz, 2018). The Native Americans and Latino Americans were not spared from segregation in addition the treaties serving the Native Americans were unequal to other minority groups practices (NAACP, 2018). After slavery was abolished, there were organizations set up whose goal was to control the acts of the freed slaves (NAACP, 2018). The Caucasian Americans were ruthless to the extent of breaking into jails and killing Negroes (Karger, & Stoesz, 2018). There were constant fights that existed between African Americans and Caucasians Americans as a result many were killed or injured during the interaction (NAACP, 2018). However, the important facts in history confirm that government officials and law enforcement officials did nothing to neutralize racism in poor underprivileged communities (Karger, & Stoesz, 2018). Prejudice in America towards minority youth and adults has been a major setback moving towards the future (Karger, & Stoesz, 2018).

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Racial Bias in the U.S. Criminal Justice System

Congress amended an act in 1988, that would ensure that juvenile and adult offenders were confined in secure facilities according to their race (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). Furthermore, it was decided that this model would be followed by every state to maintain fairness among the citizens (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). However, each state was obligated to monitor the condition of the juvenile facilities to make sure they were upgraded (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). In addition, the situation leading to an individual being locked up should follow a similar procedure without racial bias (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). In 2009, a study was conducted on several inmates in cells official results concluded African Americans incarceration is the highest of all (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).

Caucasian Americans and Latino Americans had a relatively equal number of individuals that were incarcerated (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). This has been contributed greatly by the fact that many African Americans walking on sidewalks are viewed as criminals on many occasions police apprehend them (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). Tremendous efforts to deter any continuous bias toward minority cultural groups have been going on for years (Free, 2003). President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for instance, established a movement which banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin in the defense industry (Free, 2003). Studies have also reported that the Supreme Court overturned a decision allowing African Americans the right to attend different schools and enjoy equal opportunities (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).

The unanimous decision allowed schools to be integrated therefore every citizen had the right to attend whichever school they decided to attend (Weich& Angulo, 2000). It is quite unfortunate that many people in American society and some rouge police officers might perceive African Americans as criminals and apprehended them due to prejudice (Weich& Angulo, 2000). Furthermore, stringent measures should be taken into consideration to ensure that all the citizens feel secure and safe (NAACP, 2018). Some of the police officials should live in minority areas where they are stationed to get acquainted with their neighbors and other community leaders and residents, so they won’t perceive them as criminals (NAACP, 2018). Moreover, they should go through rigorous training to differentiate between criminal behavioral and law-abiding innocent civilians (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). This would help in the future ensuring equality among every American citizen (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).

American social policy and social programs need to stay consistent with the human developmental approach and the expansion of enriching human beings lives rather than if economic growth will ultimately lead, automatically, to the greater good for everyone wherever they live (Black & Yeschke 2014, p.21). Promoting racism and segregation based on color is bound to lead to stagnant economy (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). In American society blacks were driven to live in specific areas and were not allowed to interact with Caucasians who were living in wealthy communities (NAACP, 2018). Due to advancement in technology it is expected that all citizens embrace the change .However since blacks have lived in poverty for so long they have to make a choice between purchasing food or expensive computers and I phones (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).There are many African Americans who are talented in certain areas and could increase their productivity if they are offered the same opportunities as white Americans(Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).

However, due to racism, these cultural groups were ignored along with their talents (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). These racist actions lowered many young adolescents and adult’s self-esteem which also affected their mental cognitive behavior patterns. Depression affects individuals differently and a person’s brain consists of three different functions the retrieval, encoding and storage each part must interact together daily (Black & Yeschke 2014, p.21). An adolescent or adult encountering a lot of stress could be experiencing encoding” problems brought on by depression and low self-esteem (Black & Yeschke 2014). This behavior can lead to a person using drugs, alcohol and abusing prescription medication (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). Racial bias has impeded African Americans progress and influenced their behavior to start committing crimes from petty to more serious crimes (Karger, & Stoesz, 2018).

In addition, unfair treatment by the authorities creates a retaliatory atmosphere influencing reckless and violent behavior towards other minority cultural groups (Free, 2003). Congress has attempted to change the judicial system by reducing minority cases due to racism and other means of exclusion (Free, 2003). Researches has shown that bias remains rampant in many states (free 2003). The studies carried out have verified the lack of documentation showing that racial bias (Free 2003). Several studies conducted verified the lack of documentation showing that racial bias is legal (Free, 2004). However, many police officers exert excessive force when handling African Americans opposed to the way they interact with Caucasians it has been confirmed (Free, 2004).

Furthermore, they use derogatory language and abusive words during their interactions with minority groups (Free, 2004). Relationships between fellow police officers also influence their behavior and interactions with minority cultural groups (Free, 2003). A panel of New York state commission consisted of judges, attorneys, law professors found that there are two judicial systems a very different one for minorities and the poor and another one for whites (Karger, & Stoesz, 2018). The panel also found inequality, unfair treatment, and social injustice based on race (Karger, & Stoesz, 2018). The court system failed protecting minority youths for example the central park five (PBS,2018).

Although some law enforcement officers but not all of them because there are good police officers in society working to change the outlook. (Free, 2003). Therefore, not all police officers promote racism in poor communities (Free, 2003). Every law enforcement officer is expected to uphold law and order and not to influence people to commit more acts of delinquency (Free, 2003). Since a law was established that ensured the public could live together amicably, it is important to promote peace along with encouragement to work harder in their respective fields (Free, 2003). Throughout the years, many scholars have shown youths who commit crimes have been arrested and placed in facilities whereby they are expected to change their ways (Free, 2003).

In these facilities, they are treated differently depending on their color and race (Free, 2003). In society blacks continue to be exposed slavery which continues to be enacted indirectly (NAACP, 2018). Even though the laws have been put in place that promote equality, the people who are expected to enhance the laws are unwilling to do so (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). In addition, it has been noted that many males are jailed as opposed to women (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012). Many young minority juveniles most notably blacks, experience a run in with the law at higher rates than whites (Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).

An analysis was conducted concerning various prisons overtime, and witnesses have attested to experiencing harsher conditions from the police brutality than any other law enforcers(Gabbidon & Greene, 2012).According to Karger, & Stoesz, (2018), “in 2014, 6% of all black males ages 30 to 39 were in prison, while 2% of Hispanic and 1% of white males in the same age group were in prison(Karger, & Stoesz, 2018). Statically out of 682 convicts that received a life sentence 48% consisted of African Americans 29% Hispanic Americans and 20% were Caucasian Americans (karger & stoesz, 2018). African American communities are devastated by the amount of male and female incarcerated every year (Karger, & Stoesz,2018). This proves that in the twentieth century it can be argued that racism and other forms of exclusion and segregation must be been done away with, there still exists cases of the same crimes committed against mankind (Free, 2003).


Researches have determined since slavery was abolished, there have been an effort by the government to reduce racism nation (Karger, & Stoesz,2018). However, many efforts have been futile concerning equality for various races living in society (Karger, & Stoesz,2018). African Americans travel to nations hoping to further their studies have experienced cases of racism on many occasions (Free, 2003). In addition, some learning institutions have been confronted because of racial policies placing African Americans and Caucasians in different quality hotels (Free, 2003). Furthermore, many young minority cultural groups cannot display their knowledge in various learning categories (karger &stoesz 2018) Furthermore racism is a factor that has contributed greatly to the failure of economic growth in many states must make sure that all areas progress moves forward in the future (Weich& Angulo 2000)


Black, I. S., & Yeschke, C. L. (2014). The art of investigative interviewing. Massachusetts, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann. Free, M. D. (2004). Racial issues in criminal justice: The case of African Americans. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press. Gabbidon, S. L., & Greene, H. T. (2012). Race and Crime (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAG Publications, Inc. Karger, H. K. & Stoesz, D. (2018). American social welfare policy: A pluralist approach (8th Ed). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon NAACP. (2018). NAACP | Criminal Justice Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/ PBS. (2018). Home | THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/centralparkfive/ Weich, R. H., & Angulo, C. T. (2000). NCJRS Abstract – National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=182442

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Racial Bias U.S. Criminal Justice System. (2019, Feb 20). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from

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