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Panel I: Responsibility, Justice, and Representation


 


Criminal Justice and Minority Demographics: Utilizing Minority Representation

Social injustice has been prevalent throughout the criminal justice system since its inception. People of color often do not receive fair and just treatment when they are stopped by the police or arrested. In recent years, the trial involving Brian Banks, an African American male of low socioeconomic status, exemplifies bias in the criminal justice system. Banks was falsely accused and imprisoned for rape, which is in stark opposition to the case of Brock Turner, a wealthy white male sentenced to 6 months in jail for sexual assault. Assessing arrest rates, prosecutorial decisions, and sentencing rates show that racial disparities in the criminal justice system cannot be ignored. There is no easy solution. Options have been proposed, but solely solving one aspect of the problem could create a problem in another area. A truly systematic solution has to start with increased representation of minorities in police departments and the court system to attempt to reduce the injustice.

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All people should be treated equally under the law. Yet, equality has not been achieved even after years of the inequality being social recognized. Minorities continue to be targeted in traffic stops across the United States. Minorities are also charged and sentenced to longer terms than Caucasians. Utilizing minorities for careers in the criminal justice system can decrease the unfair treatment that minorities are receiving. However, this is just a starting point and more policies must be revised and created.

Hali Marquez

Criminal Justice & Criminology / Psychology


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