Race and Arrest Rates Research Paper

  • Length: 7 pages
  • Sources: 12
  • Subject: Criminal Justice
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #86987286

Excerpt from Research Paper :

race & arrest rates?

Black arrests vs. white arrests

The higher frequency of black arrests has been taken to a whole new level as Criminal Justice System is deemed predisposed towards minorities. Primary focus is on two questions here:

Is the high frequency of black arrests directly related to unfair and prejudiced organizational practices?

Is the higher frequency of black arrests related to their involvement in crimes? (Walker, et al., 1997)

The most logical justification taken from social organizational theories especially those based on conflict and consensus are all the more interesting and concrete as they suggest diverse judicial results for social order related behavior. In case of conflict and consensus, they have macro level repercussions related to practicality of social control by the judicial system (Cureton).

During the mid-1980, United States of American war against drugs, which implied punitive criminal justice sanctions unlike its earlier drug wars. Supporters of these policies thought that with these policies in place, all drug wars would be liable to fall under criminal sanction (Office of National Drug Control Strategy [ONDCP], 1989, p. 18, our emphasis).

But an adequate amount of research also suggests that not all drug consumers face criminal sanctions, but minorities have comparatively higher risks of being sanctioned as compared to white men (see e.g. Blumstein, 1993; Golub, Johnson, & Dunlap, 2007; Goode, 2002; Human Rights Watch, 2008, 2009;Tonry, 1995).The aim of the present research is to evaluate the racial / ethnic inequalities in arrests by the police force by observing certain factors such as:

Drug use

Drug sales

Nondrug offending

Minorities existence in criminal communities (Mitchell & Caudy, 2013)

Importance of the Topic

In case of United States of America, 1 in 45 blacks are arrested while in case of white men, 1 in 320 is arrested (Butler, 2010). There is a reasonable explanation for the 7:1 ratio of arrest. First explanation is that blacks are more liable to commit crime than white men leading to more arrests. Another justification is that the judicial system and the police force are biased in its methods to incarcerate black men. But these rationalizations aren't mutually exclusive. It could be a fact that blacks commit more crimes than white, but they could be a victim of racial bias as well. The thesis in this regard will only focus on disparity of black and white arrest rates, neglecting the judicial system biasness (Dageforde, 2013).

According to Consensus Theory, social order is called for in a democratic society because a neutral state needs to keep itself in control. The state's primary line of tactic is to ensure that they support moral beliefs by promoting them which violate criminal laws founded upon the universally accepted principles. Therefore, the police force will arrest those who commit crimes violating the laws of criminality (Chambliss, 1976:3-5). Apart from that, such acts can threaten and endanger value system, incapacitate, eliminate and harm the people residing in a society must be sanctioned (Tittle, 1994:25 as cited in Cureton).

Looking over the rate of arrests, one can observe racial differences which are hard to ignore (Beckett, Nyrop, Pfingst, & Bowen, 2005; Krueger, Bond Huie, Rogers, & Hummer, 2004; Lauritsen, 2005; Ramchand, Pacula, & Iguchi, 2006). In case of juvenile arrests, it has been observed the black youngsters are three times more arrested than white youngsters (Huizinga et al., 2007). Most object to the racial discrepancies seen in juvenile detentions, some have assessed the disparity with logic and explained them as well (Kempf-Leonard, 2007). In case of present research, two possible causes for racial discrepancies were noted for juvenile male arrests with the data gathered on:

Child internalizing

Externalizing behavior

Con textual risk factors (Fite, Wynn, & Pardini, 2009)

Research Question

Does white and black arrest rate differ in case of their frequency and seriousness of criminal offence which each group perpetrates?


In case of consensus theory being correct, racial rates of arrest must be due to illegal conduct (no discrimination). When rate of arrests aren't a product of extra-legal variables (social status and demographics etc.), then some examination of bigotry must be conducted. So, the supposition to be confirmed is this: Rate of arrest for black and white men will differ by frequency and seriousness of the crime (Cureton).


Race is now a major metaphorical method of talking about, disguising forces, classes, events, economic division and social decay in quite a threatening manner as compared to biological race is. It's maintained expensively, quite unsound monetarily and a weak political asset during election campaigns, racism still persists today as it did during Enlightenment. It has a usage apart from economy, apart from separating the ethnic communities from each other and exists metaphorically in our daily life evident everywhere and quite noticeable (Ladson-Billings, 1998)

The present comprehension of race has progressed from bio-genetic distinctions and concepts of phenotype. The advanced concepts consist of racialization of multi-cultural forms. According to Sociologist Sharon Lee (1993), 'the matter of race has been incorporated in the American census since the first census in 1790 (page. 86)'. Racial categories have altered with time in American census but two categories are constant namely, black and white. These two categories give a general vibe of polar opposites which clearly demarcates a line between whites and nonwhites. Deciding who is white and who isn't white constitutes individual construction and biological designation. For instance, in prior census information, the Mexican citizens were deemed as white Americans, but later due to political, social, economic and cultural norms, they were taken out from the white category. Haney Lopez (1995) on the other hand has noted that some groups arriving on American shore brought suit in courts as to be predominantly White. Meanwhile, Omi and Winant (1993) stress that the contradicting concepts of race, either as an objective condition or as ideological construct are limited in their definitions. Taking a race in terms of an ideological concept stands to fail it as a racialized society and it influences the life in their daily lives. But similarly, deeming a race as an objective condition neglects the factors associated to a race such as what fits in a racial arrangement (Ladson-Billings, 1998).

The concept of race and its general meaning is so confused yet intricate that it people generally fail to make proper usage of it. The concept of race can be argued as it still fixed and embedded in case of post-colonial and postmodern society. But this fixedness and embeddedness has taken a new meaning as of yet because it's concealed and downplayed in order to not make it look derogatory. Hence we embark on a concept of conceptual whiteness and blackness. Both of these don't meet the definitions of biogenetics and cultural allegiances. The conceptual groupings of middle classes, school achievement, maleness, intelligence, beauty and science are all related to whiteness. In case of blackness, they are related to underclass, basketball players, welfare recipients and gangs. It's what blackness category primarily stands for and comprises of (Ladson-Billings, 1998).

CRT is an abbreviation for Critical race theory which is a counter to general and liberal legal course of action for civil rights. It generally discusses the slow growth of racial reforms in America. Critical race theory suggests that racism is a common phenomenon in American society. It's is different from conventional legal scholarship by the usage of storytelling. It opposes liberalism and discusses that white men have been reaping the rewards of civil rights legislation. American schools stand for educating its pupils; CRT observes how races communicate with each other. Still, critical race theory has a long way to go in comprehending the educational inequity. It will need to analyze the civil rights era and its biggest legal conquests and education reform movements for instance multiculturalism (Ladson-Billings, 1998).

Rate of arrests

The front page of New York Times newspaper this week is about New York City Police Department which has been involved in racist search and frisk practices with a suitable template: a systematic racial breakdown of police behavior of each aspect, but denote the racial crimes just slightly. If the crime rates are revealed, which should be a standard against which police force should be assessed, would end the New York Times general assessment of the NYPD Police: New York City Police oppresses the black community just like the rest of the American city police departments. The racial tactics are completely unjust and unfair. In 2007, New York Times released some real black crime rates while talking about stop and frisk practices as a defense tactic for itself mentioning black crimes like a matter of fact whilst in case of stop and frisk rates, the newspaper is blunt and firm about it, in the absence of a source. The mistake of 2007 wasn't repeated again, as release of black crime rates has been taken off the New York Times on New York Police stop and frisk practices. The real statistics are quite alarming actually in case of city's crime activities that a…

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