Key points were identified that were used in the construction of the questions (see appendix 1 for questionnaire guide) these included available sentencing options for ethnic minorities, imprisonment for different types of offences, sentence leniency and sentencing length. Hood’s findings were unsurprising in relation to previous research; he found that the racial difference in sentencing was less than what might have been assumed. A prejudice is seen as an attitude that serves cognitive and emotional functions. The estimates about imprisonment also seemed to be related to the leniency of the sentences the offenders received. At least 15 states in the past decade have enacted legislation identifying and addressing over-representation of minorities in the juvenile justice system. The questionnaires were also used to collect information which can then be tracked over time to investigate any new changes (Bryman, 2008). However, inequality is the result of higher structural factors. It is apparent that there are also variations in the overrepresentation of different groups within the ethnic minority category and also between gender, patterns and levels of offending also vary significantly (Race and the CJS, 2010). These words were used in this way in the analysis to narrow down and avoid any confusion. Questions about the equality of minority treatment by police, courts and other personnel in the justice system have prompted state policymakers to address this important issue. Spacial inequality (e.g. Mr Lammy said it was well established that there was an over-representation of people from minority backgrounds in the criminal justice system, but his report was about looking at … Criminal statistics show that people of muslim religion, black race, of male gender and of lower class are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and prison populations in particular. Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Colour. It is an error to consider the human being as naturally inclined to committing criminal offences – a racist or sexist approach because the is no scientific evidence that men, or black ethnic minorities are naturally criminals. Copyright © 2003 - 2021 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. It concluded in 1991 that the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system is inextricably linked to their socio-economic status. The locations targeted are designated by softwares and algorithms. The main focus has been on how the race of an individual can increase or decrease their sentence. Police had the highest percentage of doing a good job at 70 per cent (see appendix 4) and magistrates and prison officers were in the middle with 50 per cent each (see appendix 5 and 6). If the opportunity was to arise, this study would be taken a step further; it would be expanded to include a larger and more representative sample. The aim of this research essay is to look at literature and establish whether patterns of sentencing among ethnic minorities differ in a significant way from patterns of sentencing among whites. Crenshaw (1991). This made the topic easier to investigate. The report is a decade old. Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, 44(2), 181-208. This would shine light on the public opinions and whether or not pressure from these opinions affects the decision making in the sentencing process of the Criminal Justice System and how this decision is influenced by the race of the defendant. The purpose of the methods used was to collect information on public opinions about the process of sentencing and how this is affected by race. But, why are certain groups of people systematically overrepresented in the criminal justice system? We're here to answer any questions you have about our services. Some of the volunteers completed their questionnaires on the spot and some took them away and posted their responses. As well as advantages, the method used had limitations and this may have affected the validity of the findings. We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. In using questionnaires interviewer variability was avoided and the questionnaires also proved to be more convenient for respondents. This obviously leaves poorer groups, because they are at higher risk (as discussed before), to be overrepresented. Police records only capture 45% of crimes (those reported), so perhaps surveying is more reliable (because it ought to include the unreported crimes too). There are indications of a degree of over-representation related solely to ethnicity, rather than any other expected factor, at key points in the criminal justice system. http://www.nccdglobal.org/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/factsheet-us-incarceration.pdf. The questions were constructed from guided topics (Blaxter, 2010). Judges are therefore immune when acting in judicial capacity; this means the act does not apply to the sentencing of offenders in the courts (Gabbidon, 2010). Respondents were asked to estimate that out of every 50 ethnic minorities that were convicted of any of these crimes, how many ended up in prison. One also ought to look at the definition of crime catered by the elite which act as cultural hegemons (Gramsci). To avoid these issues in future triangulation can be used, therefore the strengths of one method could make up for the short comings of the other and vice-versa. This helps to inform the research question as it talks about the history of race and discrimination. 13th Apr 2017 Criminology Reference this. The first question on the questionnaire asks respondents about their opinion on the type of job that some criminal justice professional do. The level of inequality is a strong determinant of risk : social and economic exclusion. Not only were ethnic minorities the victims of these attacks but they were also first to be arrested and sentenced for the same attacks (Gabbidon, 2010). Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice; The over-representation of indigenous people in custody in Australia The over-representation of indigenous ... Offenders, Statistics, Courts, Corrections, Trends, Criminal justice system, Comparisons, Victims. Judges received the worst evaluation in comparison to police officers, magistrates and prison officers. Esping-Anderson, drawing on Polanyi’s work, explains the emergence of contemporary welfare state. Targeted policing also requires intersectionality : “Among those arrested for drug crimes, the proportion who are African-American men has tripled. Just over half thought that the sentences were too lenient (59 per cent) to some extent and just below half of the respondents (41 per cent) thought that the sentences were lenient enough. The overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in the Criminal Justice System looks like this: in 79.6 of arrests in 2009-10 those who were involved classified their ethnicity as white (Race and the CJS, 2010). Enter your email address to subscribe to the LSEUPR blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Questionnaires were the choice of method mainly due to the sensitivity of the topic; it made it easy for participants to respond freely to the questions even though they might have felt uncomfortable about the topic (Bryman, 2008). The inquiry on the role race has on sentencing is enlarged in the study by Roger Hood (1992). Although the prevalence of illegal drug use among white men is approximately the same as that among black men, black men are five times as likely to be arrested for a drug offences. The approach to crime also explains the variations in incarceration of high risk groups. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. Over a period of 5 years the risk of being a victim of crime from the white group had significantly fallen by 8.0% while the decrease in the risk of being a victim of crime from ethnic groups was not statistically significant. The largest share of ethnic minorities was those who classified themselves as black or Indian (Gabbidon, 2010). Criminal statistics usually categorise social groups according to religion, race, gender and class. Germany, France), and the liberal︎ welfare regime – residual protection from market, safety net (e.g. Following prison were community service (70 per cent), fine (65 per cent) and probation (58 per cent). To have a better and deeper understanding of the research findings, the research will be drawing on some theoretical concepts. Univariate analysis was used to analyse the questionnaire’s, this was used because it allowed the analysis of one variable at a time, frequency tables were then used to showcase the data and they were used in relation to all of the different types of variables by providing the number of people and the percentage belonging to each category for the variable being analysed (Bryman, 2008). These results were inter-linked, those who estimated high numbers robbery did so too for the remaining categories and those who put slightly lower numbers for robbery also did so for the remaining two categories. Participation was voluntary, this meant that informed consent was obtained and so participants understood the research and its intentions, and they were not being deceived in any way. • Māori are particularly over-represented in violent, dishonesty and administrative offences. One thing they do share, however, is a high rate of poverty” (The Atlantic, 1998). As a result, about half the inmates in the United States are African-American” (The Atlantic, 1998). More policing is not needed, but provision of good public services, infrastructures and opportunities (inclusionary dynamics). The study was set to identify the variation in sentencing for each ethnic group through multivariate analysis on the basis of 15 variables that were selected. NYPD Report (2015). By Eponine Howarth (LSE (BSc Politics and International Relations). They looked at the decision-making process of over 3,000 defendants, from this they discovered that over 50% of the black defendants were unemployed, this being more than double that of white or Asian defendants was seen as influencing the decision (Brown and Hullin, 1992). The Merritt Herald. Ethnic minority will be used in relation to the different national or cultural traditions that a group has in comparison to the other population (spalek, 2008) in this case being whites, and the ethnic minorities will include blacks and Asians and those who classify themselves as other. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. 3.20Figure 3.3 below shows that the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has increased 41% over 10 years, from 1,438 per 100,000 in 2006 to 2,039 per 100,000 persons in 2016. The research question: Does racial discrimination exist in the sentencing stages of the Criminal Justice System, is, therefore, answered, however, not with much significance. Isaac and Lum (2016) To predict and serve ? Sentencing will include all types of convictions, ranging from custodial/prison sentences to community service. An individual is then most likely to follow the attitudes of their preferred groups just so they could be rewarded in the case of judges for example for promotions and higher pay rolls. If discrimination against ethnic minorities does exist, in the sentencing stages of the Criminal Justice System, this could be due to prejudices that are difficult to remove (Anderson and Taylor, 2007). This ensured that those who volunteered to complete the questionnaire had a strong interest in the topic. Through this an individual’s self-mage and social identity are seen as being more important (Tajfel’s social identity theory). Zoning Laws) takes us back to targeted policing. This article provides an analysis of various explanations of the over-represenation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. 07-07-2014. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. So the public, though being ignorant and having no idea about sentencing might still have negative opinions due to the simple fact that this is the view of their preferred group. After volunteers had shown interest on approach, they were briefed on the purpose of the research, each volunteer was then informed that they could stop doing the questionnaire at any time and that the questionnaire would remain anonymous and they were reassured that their data would not be used against them, that their information would not be handed to third parties and would only be seen by an examiner. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! These findings are supported by the theory of prejudices. The methodological issues resulted mainly from the prediction scale used and its accuracy of only 75 per cent and their ‘risk of custody score’ which could only include relevant factors and in so doing leaving out important factors such as unemployment (Hood, 1992). These included objectivity and reliability which are positivist and quantitative constructs (Seale, 2004). They are less likely to be given unconditional bail, and more likely to be remanded in custody than white offenders. There are only a few national data sources that provide criminal justice statistics disaggregated by Indigenous identity. To be able to find out whether sentencing is affected by race and if discrimination does exist it would have to be evident that when all relevant legal variables are taken into account, a higher number of ethnic minorities are given a custodial sentence and/or a longer sentence (Marian, 1991). The questionnaire helped to explore such a potentially sensitive topic about race and sentencing, especially because the questionnaires were anonymous and completed in private. Increasing Aboriginal over-representation in Victoria’s criminal justice institutions has the potential, in the absence of more appropriate responses, to further perpetuate social and economic exclusion, and compound losses of … Disabling Justice - Why the system fails people with disability and mental illness. Over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system: An exploratory report (September 2007) 4 September 2007 Executive Summary Māori are disproportionately represented in criminal justice statistics to an alarming degree. This was because there was no interviewer available and the questions could remain anonymous and could also be completed in private if the respondents wished to do so. By doubting the work that the judiciary does the public also doubts that the judges know what they are doing and whether or not they understand the world in which they work. In 2009 Black people made up 2.7% of the population aged 10 and above but represented 8.0% of those arrested in England and wales, while Asians made up of 5.6% of the population aged 10 and above and represented 5.6% of those arrested in England and wales (Race and the CJS, 2010). A one-week time frame was left for the questionnaires that were taken away; at the end of that week 15 questionnaires were gathered in total. It is important however, not to take these findings at face value as hood’s study faced a lot of issues both methodologically and theoretically. The research question – does racial discrimination exist in the sentencing stages of the Criminal Justice System? In 2010 the rates for indictable offences were higher for white persons at 81% than for ethnic minorities, 74% for black and 77% for Asians (Race and the CJS, 2010). However, the sample was too small to draw any significant conclusions from the findings due to the issues associated with methodology and theory. He also found that most ethnic minorities opted the crown court and pleaded not guilty, this however, meant that when found guilty they were more likely to get a harsher sentence (Hood, 1992). Over-representation of Maori in the criminal justice system : an exploratory report. People from a Black, Asian, ‘Mixed’ or ‘Chinese and other’ background were over-represented as defendants in the criminal justice system in 2019, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data. Results from the analysis of the questionnaires indicated that the public are not satisfied with court systems. This helps to ensure justice as well as confidence of ethnic minorities in the legal system. ... that bias operates within the criminal justice system, such that any suspected or actual offending by … He observed that it would not seem right for a judge to ignore any public opinion when in court. Shaun L. Gabbidon draws from this further and claims it is from this that the factors that play a role in such a decision can be determined. Economic inequality (Marx), but also social and cultural inequality (differences in social and cultural capital – Bourdieu), produce higher risk groups. As race and sentencing are widely researched topics, it is important that their definitions are not assumed. For non-Indigenous people, the imprisonment rate has increased by 24%, from 131 to 163 per 100,000 over the same period. McMaster, J. For example Birmingham Crown Court, which had the largest percentage of the whole sample, the chance of a black offender to be given a custodial sentence was one in three; while in Dudley Crown Court the chance was one in two. Ultimately these accounts of Maori over-representation in the criminal justice system – and, indeed, of over-representation in poor economic outcomes – involve a process of cumulative circular causation through time of one event impacting on subsequent events both for the individual and through generations. Respondents were asked to list as many sentencing options as they knew. The questionnaire was used to collect direct information relating to the opinions of the public about the behaviour of certain people; it also looked at the basic opinions of a group of individuals in relation to the issue in question. It will also look at the nature and extent of the variation in sentencing -if any at all- what might cause the variation and any available solution strategies. It was evident that prison was the most widely known, this lack of knowledge of alternative sentences could explain why the public root for harsher sentences or imprisonment. However, statistics show that ethnic minorities are overrepresented at all stages of the Criminal Justice System. Although this sampling method has questionable issues, especially with representation (Bryman, 2008), this was not much of a problem to the research as it was mainly for exploratory purposes. Criminology Without tackling inequality there is no hope for changes in criminal statistics – there is a need for social justice, as well as economic distribution through progressive taxation (Piketty, 2013). Those being researched were approached and informed about the topic of the questionnaire and were prompted to participate (volunteer sampling) this potentially included participants with a variation in gender and age who were interested in and had an opinion about the role of race in the sentencing process of the Criminal Justice System. Unequal reporting then further widens the dichotomy between real crime location and targeted areas : “In a second experiment, Isaac and Lum hypothesised that sending police to neighbourhoods chosen by the algorithm would lead to a jump in reported crime by 20%” (Business Insider, 2016). criminalising adultery). Policemen are not immune to these racist preconceptions, leading to over-targeting, and the lesser value of the ethnic minority person’s side of the story. This essay suggests that systematic overrepresentation of certain groups is more structural, a collective fate for ethnic minorities (holistic approach) in individualistic societies, rather than the agency (methodological individualism) or biology of these individuals. Experience and knowledge is one of these functions, it is important for an individual to feel they know what they are doing and understand the world in which they do it in (Anderson and Taylor, 2007), in this case judges will most likely feel that convicting and sentencing ethnic minorities just because they have been treated so in past cases shows their understanding of the world and how things work. VAT Registration No: 842417633. For example, the respondents who stated that the sentences were too lenient also put down lower estimates of imprisonment. This shows that the more judges were seen as being out of touch with society, the more they were seen as doing a poor job, therefore, giving lenient sentences to ethnic minorities. It is then clear that although the public are aware of some sentencing penalties, not all of them are known as a result not thought of when the public talk about sentencing. For example, in 2014, a significantly higher proportion of Indigenous people than non-Indigenous people in Canada (aged 15+) reported being victimized in … Crime becomes an expression of class conflict or a reaction to structural disadvantages. Hood wanted to find out the race effect of sentencing and to do so he looked at 2,884 defendants who appeared in different Crown Courts in the West Midlands. Criminal statistics show that people of muslim religion, black race, of male gender and of lower class are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and prison populations in particular. However, even though race might not have an influence at this stage, it is clear to others such as Hood (1992), Mhlanga (1997) and Banks (1999) that race does affect prosecution, sentencing and legal representation. The reproduction of these inequalities (economic, social, cultural) and lack of social mobility (equal opportunities : Sen and Nussbaum) lead to the perpetual overrepresentation of the same groups. Looking for a flexible role? Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. Aboriginal people are not only overrepresented in the criminal justice system as accused persons, but as victims as well. Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers. This sampling method was also beneficial as it reveals important aspects and opinions of the population being sampled. As ethnic minorities they are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, this leads to a greater probability of arrests and in turn may influence the way their cases are dealt with as they progress through the subsequent stages of the criminal justice process. Nordic countries), the conservative/ christian democratic︎ regime – decommodification within existing hierarchical structures: family, community, church, protective but not egalitarian (e.g. In the media, crime is attributed to the culture of certain communities. Prejudice is hard to remove showing the difficulty in combating the negative opinions of the public. The need for credible research had an effect on the way the research was conducted because to ensure credibility certain guidelines needed to be followed and deviation from these was not permitted. Thus, the crucial intersectional approach (Crenshaw, 1990), because it is not men or black people that are overrepresented, but young black men from lower social classes (intersection of race, gender, age and class). Second is the instrumental function which is associated with rewards and punishments (Anderson and Taylor, 2007). We do not assume the existence of a single criminal justice system or definition of crime : both vary across space and time, and levels of overrepresentation vary accordingly. Credibility was also achieved through reliability because the questionnaire was close ended and standardised, this means the questionnaire can easily be repeated by different researcher’s and the chances of measurements being consistent are high. It is important to investigate the procedure that occurs when an individual is to be sentenced, when researching the effects of race on the differences in sentencing. This was largely because people from these ethnic groups made up a disproportionate share of people arrested, and this carried through to the prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment stages. Some of these included; taking the responsibility of finding out about what was expected of the research, taking the initiative in identifying any issues and problems, undertaking the recommended reading, producing the written work needed, consulting with tutors about any difficulties that are encountered when undertaking the work, generating ideas, setting realistic deadlines and ensure that the research meets with the required regulations (Babbie, 2010). To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! “Just deserts” justify “fair” punishments proportionate to the seriousness of the crime. W hen David Cameron asked me to conduct a review into the over-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system, I thought I … This can be seen in a study conducted by Imogen Brown and Roy Hullin (1992). This, however, does not apply to officials representing the Crown as they are exercising powers to exclude or punish. Furthermore, discriminatory policing is coupled to the systematic portrayal of crime by the media. Due to the nature of the topic the respondents were given the option to take the questionnaire home and complete it in private. (2011, June 7). To find out more about cookies and change your preferences, visit our, Call for Abstracts: New Challenges, New Perspectives LSEUPR Annual Undergraduate Conference 2021, Essay competition 2018 winner: “The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate” – Thomas Jefferson. This shows how unawareness about the sentencing practice can be a major source of the disappointment that the public experience about the judiciary. To accept cookies, click continue. Over-representation of Maori in the criminal justice system Resources Comorbid substance use disorders and mental health disorders among New Zealand prisoners A strategy to address this overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in sentencing is needed to bring together departments and find ways to reduce it. With the criminal justice system ( the Atlantic, 1998 ) this may affected... Ignore any public opinion when in court and were asked to list as many sentencing options they. Maintain their distance from What they study the leniency of the topic to predict and serve has been how! With writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help resources to assist with any project... Lesser overrepresentation, depending on the role of race in certain stages of the usefulness prisons. 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Tajfel ’ s wide-ranging stop and search powers their responses take the questionnaire had a strong interest in their has! Police officers, magistrates and prison officers is here to answer any questions you have about our services the on! Resources to assist you with your university studies seen as being more (. Be related to the depiction of black minority people, as surveys rely on reliable! Hood ( 1992 ) culture of certain communities questionnaires on the role race! Prison officers policing of historically over-policed communities ” by the theory of prejudices disadvantage ( Mathews 2009! A possible solution to the issues associated with methodology and theory all police apprehensions assistance with writing essay! A high rate of poverty ” ( the Atlantic, 1998 ) of incarceration: a Global Perspective need with!