Disparity And Discrimination Essay

828 words - 4 pages

There is no hiding the fact that both disparity and discrimination are alive and well in the criminal justice field. When reading the words disparity and discrimination, at first glance one might think of them being the same. When we take a closer look at the two the definitions when it pertains to the criminal justice system, they become quite different. It is an important task to identify the two definitions in the criminal justice system, and have an open mind to the cause of disparity rather than to assume discrimination.
The first thing we must do is define both disparity and discrimination. Disparity is defined as lack of similarity or equality toward a group of people. For ...view middle of the document...

13, para 3). Discrimination comes in many forms while dealing with the criminal justice system. From the police making the arrests, to politicians making the laws, discrimination is at all levels of the criminal justice system. For example there was a study done by the Justice department that found “while Hispanic, black and white drivers were stopped by the police about as often, Hispanic drivers or their vehicles were searched 11.4 percent of the time and blacks 10.2 percent of the time, compared with 3.5 percent for white drivers” (Glater, 2007, para. 8).
When taking both disparity and discrimination into consideration they are both alike. Both words are used in the criminal justice system when focusing on the sentencing of an offender when dealing with their arrest or court proccedings. Discrimination is a much wider scale with many different areas when compared to disparity. It is believed by some that disparity is the product of discrimination. “The main difference between disparity and discrimination is legal or extralegal factors; therefore, when a decision is made based on the seriousness of the offense and the offender's prior criminal record the difference is a disparity” (Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2004).
While both discrimination and disparity are both found with the criminal justice system, discrimination is mostly found in the arrest process and disparity is found during the sentencing process. However, even to try and figure out which one effected the decision, you have to take into consideration of the...

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