• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that ethnic differences in crime rates are the result of the ways in which the criminal justice system operates.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A2 Crime & Deviance Assess the view that ethnic differences in crime rates are the result of the ways in which the criminal justice system operates. (21 marks) Official statistics not the criminal justice process show some striking differences between ethnic groups. For example, black people make up just 2.8% of the population, but 11% of the prison population. Asians make up 4.7% of the population, however that take 6% of the prison population. By contrast, White people are under-represented at all stages of the criminal justice process. However, such statistics do not tell us whether members of one ethnic group are more likely than a member of another group to commit an offence as they simply tell us about involvement with the criminal justice system. For example, differences in stop and search or arrest rates may simply be due to policing strategies or to discrimination by individual officers, while differences in rates if imprisonment may be the result of courts handling down harsher sentences to minorities. ...read more.

Middle

It can be argued that there are ethnic differences at each stage of the criminal justice process. For example, Philip and Bowling note, since the 1970s there have been allegations of oppressive policing of minority ethnic communities. It has also been said that members of minority ethnic groups are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. Compared to white people, black people are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched and Asians are over twice as likely. There are three possible reasons for the disproportionate use of stop and search against members of minority ethnic groups; Police racism, ethnic differences in offend and demographic factors. In addition, figures for England and Wales show that in 2006/7 the arrest rate for blacks was 3.6 times the rate for whites. By contrast, once arrested, black and Asians were less likely than whites to receive a caution. ...read more.

Conclusion

As we have seen, official statistics on the criminal justice process show differences between ethnic group. The question is therefore how we explain these patterns. There are two main explanations for ethnic differences in the statistics; Left realisms and the Neo-Marxism. The left realists see the statistics represent real differences in rates of offending. Whereas the Neo-Marxists see the statistics are a social construct resulting from racist labelling and discrimination in the criminal rates of offending. From a left realist perspective, the justice system does not necessarily act on the differences of ethnic minorities but demonstrates a true representation of the rates in offending. On the other hand from a Neo-Marxists view the statistics is just a myth of the social construct and they see that is what the justice system acts on. To an extent, the left realist perspective seems to be valid as it is inane to believe that the ethnic minority community could be the fault of most crimes simply as a result of their race. However, it is also conceivable that their race, religion and ethnicity has a significant contribution . ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. The Justice and welfare debate.

    the young persons offending behaviour in the first place were not being addressed. In 1997 The New Labour Government came to power and tackling youth crime became one of their main priorities. This was shown in the record time that its youth justice legislation hit the statute books (Goldson B, 2000:5).

  2. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    Cohen though does not explain utilitarian approach to crime but just non-utilitarian. One also believes that working-class boys start off sharing middle class success goals, only to reject these when they fail. He ignores the possibility that they didn't share these goals in the first place and so never saw themselves as failures.

  1. Outline and Assess Sociological Explanations of Gender Differences in Crime Rates.

    This had led to stereotypes of the female offender. Marsh in 1981 carried out a study that showed how 80% women commit more crime around the time of their period of menstruation. Pollak stated this was because their period reminded them of their inferiority to men and therefore they acted out.

  2. The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice.

    Injuries and deaths incurred with corporate crime are said to be an unintended consequence. The lack of criminal intent may seem to justify the crime's causalities. However more than just negligence and bureaucratic carelessness, conscious violation of the law (in the pursuit of profits, perhaps) makes white collar criminals killers.

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of the Prison system, and its purpose in relation to its ...

    1991, which limited the circumstances in which suspended sentences were given, who before this Act attracted such suspended sentences. Another way in which the prison population can be analysed is in terms of its ethnic composition. Ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom are extremely over represented in the prisons system.

  2. Assess the right realist view that crime is the result of biological rational factors ...

    working class are welfare dependant that can cause anti social behaviour, is a very strong case that formal social control such as reducing or withdrawing benefits should be done. Realist approaches emerged in the 1970's and 80's in the political context of a shift to the right wing in politics.

  1. Are women underrepresented in crime statistics because of sexism within the criminal justice system?

    Pollak argues that because men dominate the criminal justice system it is much easier for women to hide their crimes, also. He claims that women are accustomed to hiding things from male, biologically, because of their inclination to hide menstruation, pain and suffering as well as misleading men sexually during intercourse.

  2. Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    The label sticks and people treat you differently even if it isn?t true. The label then becomes a master status and overrides other labels as friend, neighbour, brother etc. The labelled person then accepts the label even if it isn?t true; their self conception is largely made up of what other people think.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work