Disparity and Discrimination Essay

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Disparity and Discrimination Essay

Jolene J. Orlowski

Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice CJA420

University of Phoenix

Instructor Kevin Dzioba

July 8, 2007


Disparity and Discrimination Essay

In today's American criminal justice system there is supposed to be equal rights, due process, and fair and equitable treatment for all. However, many statistics reflect that there are still issues of disparity and discrimination when professionals within the criminal justice system are dealing with the public. The following pages will not only contrast the differences between disparity and discrimination as they relate to the criminal justice system , but will also address how disparity and discrimination plays a big part in law enforcement, court procedures, and correctional facilities.

The difference between disparity and discrimination are best described when their definitions are split up separately. Disparity is defined by Microsoft Encarta Dictionary (2007) as "a lack of equality between people or things." Discrimination is defined by Microsoft Encarta Dictionary (2007) as "treating people different through prejudice: unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender." The difference is in the treatment of the person and whether or not there is bias portrayed or not.

For example, disparity could be described as a situation when one person has 20/20 vision and another has 20/10 vision, of course the 20/10 person would see things at farther distances and would therefore have better eyesight, making the 20/20 person have a visual disparity when compared to the 20/10 person. Disparity is just another word for difference.

In the criminal justice system disparity is commonly associated with race, ethnicity, or sometimes income level. When it concerns race it can be an issue because the disparate treatment...