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Journey Through Criminal Justice

Systems Law Essay


The journey through the Criminal Justice System that one may have to take if he/she is ever stopped
by a police for committing a crime is a long process. There are many different factors that influence
ones initial treatment, arrest, sentence, or release. Many say that the Criminal Justice System is
highly influenced by ones class and background they say that it is racist and biased. On the contrary
some will argue that it doesnt matter what race, gender or ethnicity you are; everyone is treated the
same, a crime is a crime. But I find this absolutely absurd; facts and statistics have proven that most
minorities will have a different experience throughout the criminal justice system than do people of
the majority. Despite the more severe harms resulting from the actions of white-collar offenders,
society recognizes young, urban, poor, African American males as the typical criminal.
(McNamara, Burns.2009.27)
I am in no way claiming that the Criminal Justice System is formally biased or racist but I do believe
that there are minor cracks throughout our system that seem like they have been formed for the sole
purpose of making people of the minority fail in the system. According to, Multiculturalism in the
Criminal Justice System, The system is not biased. Some individuals impacting the system are
biased. At first glance one may say that his is indeed true statement; but even if the physicalitys of
the Criminal Justice System is not biased, if you have people who are in the system that are racist
and biased, that in turn makes the system racist and biased. The individuals who work for and
represent the Criminal Justice system are who make the system what it is. The system is nothing
without the people in it. Thus if the people are biased and racist; so is the system.
Let me now begin the process through the criminal justice system. I will explain the legal process
and the decisions that lead some people to believe that the system discriminates against some more
than others. First off throughout the process we encounter the observed, reported, and investigated
crime stage. We have a young African American who has locked his keys into his car and does not
own a spare set. His car is parked along the side of the street and he begins using different tools as
a mean of breaking into his car. A couple drives across and sees this man and automatically
assumes he is breaking into someones car. They call the police and report that they see a young
black man trying to break into someones car. Police rush to the scene to investigate what is going
on; legally the police must report to the scene to check out the crime that has just been called in.
The police get there and see that the man is still trying to break into this car. They tell him to step
back from the car or he will be arrested. The boy becomes agitated because he knows has does
nothing wrong and refuses to step back from the car. The police then question him about exactly
what he is doing and he explains. The boys perceived discrimination here is that because he was of
color and seen trying to use tools to gain entrance into a car the police automatically thought he was
breaking in. As I have already stated, legally the police had to show up and find out what was
happening; to the boy it may have seemed like him showing up at all was discriminatory, because
the he was only trying to get into his car after locking himself out. But what the boy did not know was
that, showing up to the scene was a legal factor that any police officer would have had to take
despite of anything else; but the way in which this police officer handled it by telling him to back
away before he even asked what was going on did make it seem as if he was being racist. This one
situation can lead to the boy resenting police for the rest of his life. He may continue to hold a
grudge against all police officers because, rather than the police asking if he needed help they
assumed he was committing a crime.
The next stages in which we get into are the arrest and charges stage of the process. We have a
couple in which the wife is white and the husband black, who are fighting at home and their next
door neighbors hear them and call the police. As procedure has it, the police must give such a call
priority as who ever the victim is may be at risk. The police will conduct a complete investigation and
use their digression to decide whether or not anyone will be arrested. When the police get to the
house they are still fighting and the police separate them and bring the fighting to a stop and places
them both in hand cuffs. They begin to explain to him that she started the fight and over something
minute and then it just got out of hand. Even though both partners were involved only the man was
arrested and taken to jail and charged with domestic abuse, where as the woman was charged with
nothing. The mans perceived discrimination here may be that, the police only took him away
because he is the man. To him she started the problem and made it progress as far as it did, so she
should have been the one to have been arrested. But what he may not know is that because she is
indeed the woman and the mother of familys kids the police officer was more lenient towards her;
because traditionally the mother is in more control of her kids and it would be a lot easier for them to
remove the father, rather than the mother; despite that fact that she did indeed start the problem.
From this encounter with the police the man may begin to think that police favor women and that
woman who are involved with the same crimes as men are more likely to be given less harsh
treatment.