Structured Inequality and Incarceration Essay

2843 Words12 Pages
Structured Inequality and Incarceration
Lori Young
Chamberlain College of Nursing

Abstract When it comes to arrest and incarceration, black men are overrepresented in comparison to Hispanics and whites. Over forty years ago the Civil Rights Act was implemented and racism still continues today due in part to a form of cultural imagery. This structured inequality is evident in the politics of government and all levels of the criminal justice system. The very system that is to be fair has been found to be racially disparate in the treatment of blacks. The causes and existence of this state has been researched for over the last twenty years as to it why does it exist, what are the consequences and how to correct it.

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There is a separation between federal and local government when it comes to being accountable and providing solutions to urban issues due to federalism. This practice of federalism perpetuates racism and class status by making it difficult for minorities to participate in government due to their resources or lack thereof. A racial hierarchy exists relating to blacks and the criminal justice system in the subject of drug abuse arrests and convictions. Government research according to The Sentencing Project (2011) has shown that drug use among blacks is no higher than use among whites but yet seventy-nine percent of drug defendants in 2011were black. The participants in the criminal justice system such as police, judges, lawyers and corrections officers may be part of a dominant group and use their ethnocentrism to create bias and discrimination based on cultural differences. There is the overt bias and prejudice that an urban area with large black and minority populations is crime ridden. This in turn is cause for over policing with arrests of blacks more often in open air drug markets. A study done by Katherine Beckett (2006) in Seattle showed the disparity between white and black drug dealers in different ethnographic
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