There Are No Children Here By Kotlowitz

1236 Words Nov 14th, 2015 5 Pages
In There Are No Children Here, Kotlowitz describes the experiences of Pharoah and Lafayette to highlight the racist and classist undertones existing within the criminal justice system of Chicago in the late 1980s. This essay will utilize the theory of critical criminology to illustrate the structures of inequality within the criminal justice system and the subsequent marginalization of youth that exists within the Henry Horner community, leading to youth deviance and violent crime. Beginning with a brief outline of the major characteristics of critical theory, the essay will then address the increasing focus on gang involvement as an explanation for inner-city youth crime, using examples from the Disciples and Vice Lord gangs, and how that focus demonstrates the bias and inequality within the criminal justice system. Next, the necessity of the Henry Horner community creating a system of “self-help” will be analyzed, a result of the perceived inadequacy of the criminal justice system in addressing the problems that the community faces. The theory of critical criminology demonstrates how structures of inequality are represented in the criminal justice system: the incessant focus on gangs and inadequacy of the system to provide protection causes the marginalization of youth like Pharoah and Lafayette, reinforcing instances of youth deviance and crime.
The theory of critical criminology looks to examine how “the criminal justice process contributes to structural inequalities…
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