The New Jim Crow, And The Criminal Justice System

996 WordsApr 7, 20164 Pages
The criminal justice system in America is a system designed to work in three distinct steps. The first being to fairly identify those breaking the law, second, create a process through which to both punish and rehabilitate criminals, and lastly integrate them back into society. The current system typically goes unquestioned, as those in the system seem to be deserving of what ever happens while they are in it, even once they have served their prison sentence. It is only upon deeper inspection that we begin to realize the discrimination and unfair tactics used to introduce certain groups of society into the criminal justice system and proceed to trap them there. This is the issue addressed in Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, and it is through arrests, sentencing and further upon release from jail that this oppressive system is created and maintained. The first step used to establish the “new Jim Crow” occurs at the arrest stage. It is in this stage that prejudice and discrimination are used to unfairly target members of the minority community, more specifically black, and Hispanic Americans. Many of the discretionary practices used by our law enforcement work to put these groups at a disadvantage, even before being confronted by a police officer. For example, when it comes to routine traffic stops, blacks and Hispanics are more likely then their white counterparts to be pulled over. Furthermore, after the initial stop, those of darker skin color are again far more likely than
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