Reducing Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

To reduce racial inequality in the criminal justice system, the government should explore ways to reduce police arrests, arrests and lengthy sentences, according to a new report. Like an avalanche, racial disparity grows cumulatively as people go through the criminal justice system. This report identifies four key features of the criminal justice system that produce racially unequal outcomes and shows initiatives to reduce these sources of inequity in adult and juvenile justice systems across the country. Marie Yovanovitch advocates supporting Ukraine while the war drags on and warns that defeat would embolden Putin and other dictators.

A study conducted by Harvard psychologists reveals that personal charitable preferences are preserved and specific matching funds are offered. Recent videos and reports of black and brown people beaten or killed by law enforcement officers have sparked a national protest over the disproportionate use of excessive, and often lethal, force against people of color, prompting demands for police reform. Historians and other scholars point out that this problem is rooted in the history of the nation and its culture, stemming from slavery, racial disparities in police and police violence, which are based on systemic exclusion and discrimination, and fueled by implicit and explicit prejudices. Any solution will require a myriad of new approaches to law enforcement, courts, and community participation, as well as comprehensive social change driven from the bottom up and from the top down.

The current moment of national reckoning has broadened the perspective of systemic racism for many Americans, prompting academics to explore the ways in which inequality pervades every aspect of American life. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor at Harvard's Kennedy School, traces the history of police in the United States to “slave patrols” in the antebellum South, in which white citizens were expected to help oversee the movements of enslaved blacks. This legacy can still be seen in today's police force. Slave patrols ended after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment, which formally ended slavery “except as punishment for a crime”.

However, former Confederate states quickly used that exception to justify new restrictions known as black codes. When millions of African-Americans fled the South during what became known as the Great Migration in search of opportunities in industrial centers of the North, they discovered that metropolitan police departments tended to enforce the law according to racial and ethnic criteria. This has led to widely discredited practices such as racial profiling and “stop-and-frisk”.But how does the desire for change actually translate into reality? Bratton argued that technology eliminated the problem of prejudice in the police, without ever questioning the possible bias in the data or algorithms themselves - a major problem given that African-Americans are arrested and convicted of crimes at disproportionately higher rates than whites. Rajiv Sethi, a Joy Foundation fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute is investigating the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers. They have found that exposure to lethal force is greater in mountainous regions of the west and Pacific compared to states in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with racial disparities even greater than national figures indicate. Examining characteristics associated with police departments that experience large numbers of lethal encounters is one way to better understand and address racial disparities in policing and use of violence. For many analysts, however, the real problem with police in United States is simply that there are too many of them.

Professor Brandon Terry experienced this tension first-hand during his chemistry final at Baltimore High School when frozen buckets were placed in center of classroom.

Luis Mersinger
Luis Mersinger

Devoted internet enthusiast. Evil internet geek. General pop culture enthusiast. Extreme web specialist. Typical internet aficionado. Alcohol guru.

Leave Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *