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An in-Depth Examination of Racial Disparity from Arrest to Incarceration

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An In-Depth Examination of Racial Disparity from Arrest to Incarceration
ENG 122 English Composition II
Prof. Ashton Schwarz
September 13, 2014

An In-Depth Examination of Racial Disparity from Arrest to Incarceration
The disparate number of minorities in prison populations is a concern for many who believe this disproportion is due to a systematic bias in the judicial system. While many factors may contribute to this overwhelming discrepancy, I contend that the disparate number of minority populations in prison is an accurate portrayal of how crime is committed in the United States. In order to understand the cause of this disparity, I will delve into the arrest rates and sentencing statistics that attempt to show why minorities are incarcerated at a higher rate, and why they're incarcerated for longer periods of time, than their white counterpart. These two focal points, arrest rates and sentencing statistics, I believe, are the best for gathering data, considering it is where the justice system both begins and ends.
Though many may think that there is a racial bias concerning the disparate number of minorities in prison working against minorities, an article entitled, “Are Blacks and Hispanics Disproportionately Incarcerated Relative to Their Arrests?” provides impressive data to oppose this claim. This article boasts being one of the first studies to include the Hispanic ethnicity in their data, which other studies omitted from, or never incorporated into, their findings, making this study much more reliable in terms of determining the cause of the referenced disparity, and more accurate in comparing the races involved. The disparity in prison populations, according to this article, reflects "considerable consistency across stages of the criminal justice system of disparities observed in racial proportions of arrests" (Harris, C., et al., 2009).…...

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