Criminal injustice

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Abstract Racial perception of criminal injustice determines the way people from different races believe in justice. Whether justice is adhered to or racial power affects the dynamics of the justice system is predicated on the explanations offered by the social disorganization theory. While Whites believe in the justice system, people of color contend that racial relations play a key role in determining the functionality of the justice system. Such perceptions are mainly prevalent in low-income neighborhoods which elaborates on the social disorganization theory which links crime and racial perception as an understanding of criminal tendencies. Thus, the paper explores the embedded racial disparities that cause injustice in the criminal justice system to the people of color through perceptional judgment. Introduction Different factors influence how people form opinions about the police and the criminal justice system. Media reports and personal interactions are the predominant of these factors with the former influencing perception on the fairness of the laws and opinions about policing agencies (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2018). Race and class also influence how the system is equally treated. For instance, people of color in most situations conceive racial bias when interacting with the police and the court system. While 75% of whites believe that the police are competent in using the appropriate force across all racial identities, only 30% of people of color believe in the same assumption (Morin & Stepler, 2016). The blacks think that there is a disparity in the treatment of the ethnic minority by the police and officers are rarely held accountable when accused of misconduct. The explanation towards such trend emanates from the cognitive theory of social learning which explains the relationship between race and crime. Racial perception of the criminal justice system affects people’s conception of whether justice is realized or merely presumed. The essay delves into the racial inclination of the justice through actions and interactions will all other aspects of the criminal justice system. Methodology According to Matsueda and Drakulich (2009), the legitimacy of many social institutions is undermined by the perception of criminal injustice against people of color. For instance, the legal system as a social institution is threatened due to the same notions. Conceptions of injustice based on racial formation denote that these people have minimal faith in the legal system and the same effect the overall perception of the outcomes of the system including the elements of justice. Therefore, the same encourages supportive programs since it is conceived that criminal injustice against people of color puts them in grave disadvantage (Matsueda & Drakulich, 2009). The supportive programs, for example, affirmative action are employed to resolve the effects of racial disparity as conceived in these social institutions. As such racial orientation and inclination have a profound impact on the conception of criminal justice. Matsueda and Drakulich (2009) further provide that the perceptions of criminal injustice based on racial grounds, on the other hand, affect the supportive programs. Such is because these perceptions it encourages racial attitudes that are symbolic. For instance, the police are seen as racially biased by people of color, and due to such conception, symbolic racism arises by the whites towards the perceptions of blacks. Thus, consequently, supportive programs like equal opportunity are treated negatively by whites (Matsueda & Drakulich, 2009). The net effect of symbolic racism which arises out of the racial perception of a minority race results in positive influence in actions like increased spending on crime and support for the death penalty which further exacerbate the situation. The use of penology of racial innocence in assessing penal policies and institutions in an attempt to determine the role of race is equally ineffective (Murakawa & Beckett, 2010). The main contention, in this case, is that the presumption that criminal justice system is innocent of exercising racial power unless it is proven otherwise represent the wrong starting point. Such is because there are numerous countervailing changes in the social and legal comprehension of the system. Besides, the problem is compounded by the contracted definition of racism. In many instances, racism has been reduced to intentionally act with discrete harm (Murakawa & Beckett, 2010). Such notions leave essential social and legal aspects of racial interaction with the criminal justice system in a way that vindicates the system even though if these factors were included; racial power plays a pivotal role in criminal justice. Despite the contracted definition of race and the application of the penology of racial innocence, the criminal justice institutions have since expanded. The expansion means that the system affects many people of color at increased levels (Murakawa & Beckett, 2010). The problem with these facts is that the penal policies are too broad and the same has effects on the justice these racial groups attain. For instance, due to the comprehensive nature of the penal policies, it is increasingly difficult to prove racial power in the criminal justice since it is near impossible to identify racial intent and causation to hold the system accountable of racism. Therefore, penology of racial innocence is problematic because the justice system is expanding to cover numerous races, but the definition of race remains constricted which will consequently erase the racial power in criminal justice despite being prevalent in different forms. The effects of such an approach are a denial of justice based on the law and policy that doesn’t reflect the true nature of the system. Murakawa & Beckett, (2010) provide both criminal justice and racism are systematic and should, therefore, be treated like that. People in impoverished societies have perceived racial bias when it comes to the application of the law (Morin & Stepler, 2016). Such perceptions apply to African Americans as well. These perceptions are connected to the cynicism that these people harbor and the experience they have towards law enforcement which is typically negative (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2018). It is assumed that such cynicism and negative experience is both moral and legal. The Social Cognitive Theory According to social cognitive theory, people learn and react to issues by observing others. The model person who is the center of the learning provides the means of demonstrating behavior to others (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2018). After the observation of the behavior, the observer acquires knowledge based on the same precepts. The theory also assumes that learning is internal that leads to the behavior in question. The theory applies in the case of racial perception by Blacks about the justice system. Through observation of how some of their members are treated by the criminal justice system, they develop the knowledge that the system is biased and unjust. Such explains the tendencies adopted towards the enforcement officers, the courts and even the prison system. Primary Data Methodology One of the best method of primary data collection that can be successfully implemented in this case is the questionnaire system. Questionnaires has have different questions related to the information that is desired by the researching party and it must be related to the research problem. Both open-ended and closed questions can form part of a questionnaire (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2018). It is considered feasible where the population from which the data is to be collected is huge. In this case a questionnaire will be administered on campus and off campus to increase target audience. Specific questions relating to racial perceptions must only target black participants and this will be guaranteed through verification process. Sample questions must revolve around racial perception of criminal justice system as a lifetime experience. Findings Matsueda and Drakulich (2009) found that although racial perceptions of criminal injustice lead to supportive actions, racial symbolism negatively affects these supportive actions. While the justice system might racially discriminate on the blacks, the supportive responses to remedy the same problem ends up fueling measures like the death penalty and increased spending on crime which ultimately affects the way the criminal justice treats racial minority. The use of penology of racial innocence as a way of assessing racial power in criminal justice is problematic and furthers race discrimination. The definition of race is being constricted while the justice system is expanding to cover multiple ethnic groups. The tool tries to eliminate racial power instead when it exists (Murakawa & Beckett, 2010). Besides, impoverished societies and people of color have cynicism towards the justice system and negative interactions with law enforcement. These findings indicate the inherent racial disparity within the justice system that promotes the perception among the people of color that the criminal justice system is racially guided in many of its decision-making systems. Discussion and Conclusions People of color and those from impoverished areas have negative interactions with law enforcement because of the cynicism they have towards the justice system and perception of injustice (Morin and Stepler, 2016). The cynicism towards the system is the primary cause of the negative interactions since it increases the sensitivity of the stereotypes about people of color who are suspects. Racial symbolism, which affects the supportive programs after the initial injustice perceptions indicate that politics, criminal justice, and race are intertwined. The racially dominant group is more than likely to dictate the policies of criminal justice from the perception of the race which affects the racial minority. As such, the realization of justice is somewhat construed from racial interaction. The application of penology of racial innocence additionally notes that race primarily affects criminal justice due to the definition of race. However, the challenge is that the approach rather than addressing the way race and criminal justice influence the other, it tries to erase race from the when legally and socially, race is part of the system. In conclusion, the racial perception of the criminal justice system affects people’s conception of whether justice is realized or merely presumed References Adler, F., Mueller, G. O., and Laufer, W. S. (2018). Criminology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Matsueda, R., and Drakulich, K. (2009). Perceptions of Criminal Injustice, Symbolic Racism, and Racial   Politics. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 623, 163-178. Morin, R., and Stepler, R. (2016). The racial confidence gap in police performance. Pew Research Center29. Murakawa, N., and Beckett, K. (2010). The Penology of Racial Innocence: The Erasure of Racism in the Study and Practice of Punishment. Law & Society Review, 44(3/4), 695-730


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