That examines the criminal justice system and our multicultural society. Examine our system and determine if minorities are treated differently or not (for example, other ethnic groups, LGBTQ and the poor). How do the Multicultural influences of today's society impact/effect the criminal justices system (which includes, police/fire, courts and corrections). A minimum of five references/resources are required (beyond the text).
A. How do the cultural concerns and influences affect justice and security, administration and practice?
B. What contemporary methods are used in societies of mixed cultures?
C. How do these influences and considerations relate to and affect nondiscrimination practices within the criminal justice system?
Overview of the Criminal Justice System in the United States
The efficiency of criminal justice system relies on the fairness to have the fate of the people. However, in a culturally diverse nation like the United States, it is possible that the cultural adversity of the country can work against the idea of unbiased and fair justice system.
There are a lot of people who hate jury duty, but it can be considered as the most common ways in which the ordinary citizens interact with criminal justice system. The parts of the criminal justice system include the police, prisons and the courts. The main objective behind the criminal justice system in the United States is due to the people of the country safe, ensure that their voice is heard in the courts and to keep the convicted felons, separate from the ordinary citizens. However, the three parts of the criminal justice system deal with these tasks differently. As is the case with any other system having various parts that are operated by different people, sometimes there can be problems due to the reason that the individuals may vary on how they are going to process and act on the information.
Effect of cultural concerns and influences: there are several different forms of the adversity but in the present work, the focus is going to be on cultural diversity and its impact on the criminal justice system. Persons who have come from different cultures and have different values, faiths and beliefs live in the United States (Alpert and Dunham, 1999). There are several ways in which the adversity can be an asset. Diverse perspectives allow for the adoption of a number of approaches that can be used for solving problems, in developing and testing new ideas and cultural expressions like music and art. One reason behind the robust development of the policy of free speech in the United States is the promotion of communication between the people having different experiences (Baldus, Woodworth, and Pulaski, 1990).
Social diversity and multi-culturalism can be seen more in case of the criminal justice system as compared to the rest of the society. For instance, in case of race the African-Americans face rate of incarceration that is nearly six times as compared to the whites. As a result, only 6% of Caucasian males have to go to the prison. On the other hand, there are 32% chances in case of African-American males of going to prison. This chance is 17% in case of Hispanic males. While the African-Americans represent only 13% of the population of the United States, they represent 44% of the convicted offenders at the federal level. There are some states where the African-Americans are incarcerated for offenses related with drugs, up to 57 times more as compared to the Caucasians.
The Effect of Cultural Concerns and Influences
Two reasons are present due to which it becomes significant fo those working in the criminal justice system to understand the effect of multicultural differences on the system. First of all, when a particular group of people is alienated from a particular system as a result of its disparities, the distrust of such a group with the system is likely to increase. Systemic racial disparities can be linked with the communities of color, along with their distress in the criminal justice system of the United States. Secondly, it is also necessary that there should be an awareness regarding social differences in order to make sure that there is a harmonious environment in the workforce of criminal justice system (Beck and Tolnay, 1995).
There are some police forces and the communities that have prevalent minority cultures that may offer diverse city training. An example in this regard can be given of the New York City, where there is a manual for the police force for new recruits. The manual is titled as "Policing a Multicultural Society" and it explains to the police officers how there are some significant cultural differences that may result in miscommunication. For example, the Arab Americans may want to get out of their vehicle after they have been pulled over. This is done by them as a courtesy to the police officers. At the same time, it is also explained by the manual, how pointing a finger at the person or raising the palm can be considered as an insulting gesture for the new immigrants who have come from diverse cultures.
There are a large number of colleges that offer degrees in criminal justice and at the same time, they also offer curriculum in diversity training. An example in this regard can be given of the criminal justice program that is being run by the University of Washington. This program lays stress on the adversity, social justice and community partnerships. At the same time, resources are also offered by the American Bar Association related with cultural differences and cultural competency. This includes the Building Community Trust program. Similarly, schools also play a role in encouraging diversity in the justice system workforce (Bishop, 2005).
Keeping in view the significance of culture in our lives, it needs to be noted that cultural factors are relevant at different stages of the process of criminal justice. It has been pointed out in a number of articles that culture provides essential depth, complexity and nuance for forensic psychiatry which includes criminal matters. During the major part of the 20th century, crime and punishment provided the most significant symbols of racial divide in the US. During the early decades, it was common to have incidents of lynching, chain gang style penal practices and judicial and prosecutorial bigotry (Bishop and Frazier, 1996). Generally the racial minorities were tried by all-white juries in the United States and in all-white courtrooms.
Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
In this way, the earlier research related with the effect of culture on different stages of criminal justice system suggests complex interactions instead of simplistic processes. There have been certain studies that found direct all over race discrimination that was present in the criminal justice system. On the other hand, there were seven other studies that discovered race effects in particular contexts, situations or jurisdictions. However, there is no doubt that significant racial disparities as well as the overrepresentation of minorities are present at all the points of criminal justice process. These effects have considerable social consequences, but it is possible that all of them may not reflect racial bias.
Generally there is an agreement between policymakers, practitioners and academics that more research is required for the purpose of better understanding racial disparities that are present in criminal justice process. Reason is that there is still a lot that is not known regarding the causes and consequences related with criminal victimization and offending. It is also suggested by this lack of knowledge that innovative research models need to be adopted for detangling complex interactions that are present, for instance, between socioeconomic status, criminal offending and race or ethnicity (Bonczar and Snell, 2004).
It is being indicated by the demographic trends that the racial character of the nation is undergoing a change. There is significant rise in proportion of Hispanic population, although relatively fewer studies focused on Hispanics. However as a result of the "genome revolution", the criminal justice system has to face complex new challenges.
However it reveals the areas that need systemic and solid social research for the purpose of understanding in a better way the link that is present between race and crime in the United States.
Alpert, Geoffrey P. and Roger G. Dunham, 1999, “The Force Factor: Measuring and Assessing Police Use of Force and Suspect Resistance.” Pp. 45–60 in Use of Force by Police: Overview of National and Local Data. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice
Baldus, David C., George Woodworth, and Charles A. Pulaski, Jr. 1990, Equal Justice and the Death Penalty: A Legal and Empirical Analysis. Boston, MA: Northeastern U. Press
Beck, E. M. and Stewart E. Tolnay, 1995, “Violence Toward African Americans in the Era of the White Lynch Mob.” Pp. 121–44 in Ethnicity, Race, and Crime: Perspectives Across Time and Place, edited by D. F. Hawkins. New York: State University of New York Press
Bishop, Donna M. 2005. “The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Juvenile Justice Processing” Pp. 23–82 in Our Children, Their Children: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Differences in American Juvenile Justice, edited by D. F. Hawkins and K. Kempf-Leonard. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Bishop, Donna M. and Charles E. Frazier, 1996, “Race Effects in Juvenile Justice Decision-Making: Findings of a Statewide Analysis.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 86(2):392–414
Bonczar, Thomas P. 2003. Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974–2001. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bonczar, Thomas P. and Tracy L. Snell, 2004, Capital Punishment, 2003, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
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