Minorities vs. The Criminal Justice System

Essay by shyafayeCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2006

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The number of people that are entering the criminal justice system has been on the rise for many years. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation World News, "the number of people imprisoned in the United States is at record levels and will exceed two million by the end of [2001]..." ("US Prison Pop...."). The United States has, "25% of the world's prisoners but we're only 5% of the world's population" ("US Prison Pop...."). In April of 2003, BBC News reported that "the number of people in jail in the United States rose to more than two million for the first time ever last year... One in every 142 people living in the United States was in jail last year" ("US Prison Population Peaks"). This information should be alarming enough to American society, but little is being done to try and lower this number. The number of minorities entering the criminal justice system is alarmingly disproportionate to the number of whites entering the criminal justice system.

"...80% of inmates are from racial minorities" ("US Prison Population Peaks"). In 2002 BBC News reported that there are more black men in jail than in higher education. "According to [a] study, there were 791,600 black men imprisoned in America in the year 2000, compared to 603,032 enrolled in college or university" ("More black US men..."). In 2003, BBC News reported that the US Justice Department also estimated 12 per cent of black men in there 20s and early 30s were in jail last year. Just 1.6 per cent of while males in the same age group were locked up" (""US prison Population Peaks"). Findings show that this disproportionate number is widespread throughout the justice system. From the juvenile justice system to capital punishment, minorities are a large majority. Minorities do not receive the...