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Diversity, Crime and Justice Formative Assignment

Lavinia Balan

Student ID: 21322172

The Module Code: LW40038E

University of West London/ Ealing Law School

Title- Formative Essay

Word-count: 1096
Formative essay

This essay will cover the broad picture of advantages and disadvantages that comes along with
women being treated differently in the criminal justice system, also the reasons why women
convicted for offences have increased over recent years and most importantly, the reasons for
ethnic minorities being over represented in the criminal justice system.

Within the criminal justice system, there are many possible reasons that people of ethnic minority
are being over represented. A good amount of people still believe that crime of any nature is
related to each persons biology as Lombrosos and Ferros work explained (Newburn, 2013).
Obviously, black, Asian and Middle Eastern people arent the only groups of people that commit
crimes, but according to the statistics some people of particular origins are associated with
particular types of crime.

For children that are born in the UK, however have parents that are of the ethnic minority of
those that are stereotyped to commit the most crime in the UK, it is still believed that the child
will be treated differently, despite being a resident in the UK. According to (Sargon, 2016) poor
children do not get enough education and also, the family instability is affected by the
unemployed parents. (Sargon, 2016) states that black people, for example are more likely to be
raised by a single parent, which means they are more likely to lack a male role model compared
to white men. They seek approval in gang culture and that has a great impact on their criminal
record and reducing employment making it harder to achieve the goal of getting out of poverty.

The media plays an enormous role in the stereotyping certain ethnic ministry groups to commit
crimes. The media portrays men of colour and even young Muslim men as dangerous. According
to (Donaldson, 2015), the men of colour are portrayed by the media as drug dealers or drug
users. Overwhelming evidence exists of exaggerated associations of African-American men to
drug-related crime, unemployment and poverty.

Society tends to associate particular origins with particular types of crime. And because of this,
the police aim to pick up the most threatening individuals in the society and stop and search them
according to (Roberts, R. (2016) Racism and criminal justice). People of colour were stopped and
searched for drugs by law enforcement 6.3 times more than white people in 2009/2010 according
to (Press Release, 2016).

Ethnic minorities are not the only victims in society. The rates of women convicted for offences
had increased. Elizabeth Stewart, one of the authors for the Guardian UK thinks that there is
possibilities that not more girls commit crimes but rather a few are creative offenders (Stewart,
2008). Freda Adler (Sisters in Crime) argued that women changed due to womens new roles in
society as they are No longer tied to kitchens, baby carriages or bedrooms (Criminology,
Newburn). They play an equal part in society now but it is also considered that there are new
opportunities that came with their new roles that make women commit crimes rather than a
change in the women themselves. Poverty is another factor in this dilemma. As Newburn states
that there is evidence that shows that women offenders are motivated by economic concerns.
Moreover women tend to commit crimes because of social circumstances, social control and
different opportunities. They have a reason to offend unlike men. As Newburn argues, its either
that those women now commit more crime or that more women are being discovered, caught and
convicted in offences like prostitution.

Furthermore, even though the rates of women convicted for offences had increased, women
commit fewer crimes and fewer serious crimes than men. However, once they are in prison they
are treated like men. When women are prosecuted people do not view them as criminals but
rather mentally unstable or blame other factors, such as hormones. In fact of the Alge, D. (2016)
Gender, crime and justice PowerPoint, it mentions that women tend to use diminished
responsibility (DR). Unlike men, they blame themselves rather than blame the trigger for the
defence of loss of control like men do. Women also tend to get shorter sentences for the reason
that they are the main careers for children, people think there is a solid reason behind the offence
and they are not viewed as criminals unless they commit very serious crimes such as murder. As
Lombroso and Ferrero argued female offenders lack the qualities of the normal woman. They do
not only break the law but also disobey their gender roles and are viewed as masculine, even in
todays society. The disadvantage of treating women differently is that there is no equality in the
criminal justice system. The advantage is they get shorter sentences and they can be role models
for their children. Children that are raised by a single parent or no parent at all tend to engage in
criminal activity. The difference between both genders is not in the characteristics of men and
women but in social circumstances and different opportunities. Female offenders are more
affected by imprisonment according to (Sykes 1958) considering the fact that they tend to be
imprisoned at greater distance from home due to the smaller number of womens prisons in the
United Kingdom.

In conclusion, the many possible reasons that people of ethnic minority are being over
represented in the criminal justice system are poverty and the media. Both of them play an
enormous part in this dilemma. Poverty because it leads young men to take extreme measures and
media because it portrays men of colour for example as bad and dangerous people. Women are
also victims of society. Research shows that women are more involved in criminal activities as a
result of more opportunities that come along with the new roles women have in todays society.
The same as people of ethnic minorities, poverty is one of the reasons behind offending. Men and
women are being treated differently in the criminal justice system. Females offenders tend to get
shorter sentences than men, due to the fact that they are role models for their children. Obviously,
there are both advantages and disadvantages. Equality is important in the criminal justice system
but on the other hand, children need a strong and solid role model in order to grow up in an equal
society.

In my opinion the things that I did well are that I did write enough words, not more or less and I
followed the essay structure. However, the things I did not do so well are that I should have had
more references, statistics and facts.

Bibliography
(2015, September 15). Retrieved from Poverties: http://www.poverties.org/blog/poverty-and-crime

Donaldson, L. (2015, August 12). Retrieved from Theguardian:


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/12/media-misrepresents-black-men-
effects-felt-real-world

Newburn, T. (2004). Criminology second edition. In A. Worrall, Analysing Women's Imprisonment (p.
321). Willan.

Newburn, T. (2013). Criminology second edition. New York: Routledge.


Sargon. (2016, July 13). Retrieved from therationalists: https://therationalists.org/2016/07/13/why-do-
black-people-commit-more-crime/

Stewart, E. (2008, May 15 ). Retrieved from theguardian:


https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/may/15/ukcrime.youthjustice1

PRESS RELEASE-RACIAL DISPARITIES IN DRUG POLICING. (2016). [online] Available


at: http://www.release.org.uk/press-release-racial-disparities-drug-policing [Accessed 21 Nov.
2016].

Roberts, R. (2016). Racism and criminal justice. [online] crameandjustice. Available at:
https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/cjm/article/racism-and-criminal-justice [Accessed 17
Oct. 2016].