Essay on The Criminal Population and African Americans

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African Americans are targeted by law enforcement more often than any other race (Toth, Crews & Burton, 2008). Because of this the term racial profiling was created to explain the process of targeting people for criminal activity because of race not evidence (Toth et al, 2008). African Americans are over represented in the criminal justice system based on their population amount compared to whites (Toth et al, 2008). African American males are incarcerated at a rate 9 times that of white males in most states, in others that number may be as high as 12 to 26 times more (Toth et al, 2008). Nationwide statistics show in most states 1 in 20 over the age of 18 are in prison, while 5 other states report 1 in 13 or 14 compared to the 1 in 180 …show more content…
At the prosecution stage, African Americans are subject to racially biased charges and plea agreements (TLC, 2011). African Americans are less likely to have their charges dismissed or reduced or to receive any kind of alternate sentencing than their white counterparts (TLC, 2011). In the last stage, the finding of guilt and sentencing, the decisions of jurors may be affected by race (Toth et al, 2008) African Americans receive racially discriminatory sentences from judges (TLC, 2011). A New York study from 1990 to 1992 revealed one-third of minorities would have receive a lesser sentence if they were treated the same as white and there would have been a 5 percent decrease in African Americans sent to prison during that time period if they had received the same probation privileges (TLC, 2011). African Americans receive death sentences more than whites who have committed similar crimes (Toth et al, 2008). Because of the unfair treatment from the beginning to the end of the justice system there is an over represented amount of African Americans in prison (Toth et al, 2008). Some of the problems faced by African Americans in prison are gangs, racial preferences given to whites, and unfair treatment by prison guards (Toth et al, 2008). One of the most recent lawsuits initiated by African Americans took place on September 15, 2011, against the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. The lawsuit alleges the institute
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