The U.S. justice system is often cited as being unjust. Specifically, people of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system with over 58% of prisoners identified as African American or Hispanic, despite accounting for only 25% of the general population (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], 2016). Estimates suggest one out of three African American men will experience imprisonment in their lifetime (NAACP, 2016). The impacts of incarceration extend past release, as a felony conviction limits voting rights and creates difficulties in finding employment and housing. What are the reasons for the occurrence of these racial and ethnic disparities?
In this Discussion, you consider how institutional discrimination may be a factor influencing these statistics and how the intersection of poverty impacts both crime and victims. In addition, you provide ideas about how to address issues related to social justice that may have contributed to the criminal behavior.
Two examples of the impact of race, ethnicity, and/or socioeconomic status in the criminal justice system.
Segal, E. A., Gerdes, K. E., & Steiner, S. (2019). An introduction to the profession of social work: Becoming a change agent (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
- Chapter 13, “Violence, Victims, and Criminal Justice”