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Social Class and the Criminal Justice System

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Ashley Neil

on 4 October 2012

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Transcript of Social Class and the Criminal Justice System

Social Class and the Criminal Justice System This study followed 4,445 offenders.
70% were white while 30% were black.
16% of whites said that they grew up in poverty while 28% of blacks said they came from poverty.
Both groups had equal amounts (30%) of high school degrees.
Blacks were three times as much time sentenced than whites.
Whites on average received 8 months incarceration while white received 2 years on average. Case Study 1 The crimes that were committed included bank robbery, narcotics offenses,postal forgery etc.
These findings never clearly stated what percentage of blacks and whites committed what crimes but rather grouped everything together making it impossible to determine what crimes each group goes to prison for more frequently and for longer periods of time. This image shows that the US has the worlds highest population of criminals. Of that amount Black inmates populate the prison system by 40%. 53% of people in prison are violent offenders.
This would make people believe that the people who are in prison as violent offenders would be blacks because they populate the prison system most but that is actually false. Most blacks are part of the 19.5% in prison for drug offenses. Race, Criminal Justice Contact, and Adult Position in the Social Stratification System Author(s): KENT R. KERLEY ,, MICHAEL L. BENSON ,, MATTHEW R. LEE , and FRANCIS T. CULLEN
Social Problems, Vol. 51, No. 4 (November 2004), pp. 549-568

BRUNSON R. “POLICE DON'T LIKE BLACK PEOPLE”: AFRICAN-AMERICAN YOUNG MEN'S ACCUMULATED POLICE EXPERIENCES. Criminology & Public Policy [serial online]. February 2007;6(1):71-101. Available from: SocINDEX, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 3, 2012.
wwnorton.com This presentation will examine the correlation between social class and the likely hood of becoming part of the criminal justice system. Case Study 2 40 African-American young men’s direct and vicarious experiences with police harassment and violence, and their impact on perceptions of police.
40 black males
St Louis, Missouri
Ages 13-19 , mean age of 16
Spring 1999-Spring 2000
Voluntary participating with $20 reimbursement
Assured confidentiality
This group was chosen because African American men because this group has been identified by previous research to have the most frequent involuntary police contacts in the US.
Data collection began with a survey and audio taped interview administered by 4 individuals.
3/4 were African American ( a male professor, a female Ph.D student from the same neighborhood as the participants and a female M.A. student)
The last person was a white male Ph.D student from Holland.
"Participants were asked how often they believed the police do a good job enforcing laws, respond quickly to calls, work hard to solve crimes in the neighborhood, are easy to talk to,are polite to people in the neighborhood, do a good job preventing crime,and harass or mistreat people in the neighborhood." "Most study participants reported having both direct and indirect experiences with police harassment. Specifically,83% of respondents reported having experienced harassment themselves,and more than nine out of ten reported that someone they knew had been harassed or mistreated."

I choose this study because it demonstrates the disconnect with people in their communities and the people that are supposed to protect them. I believe this study also shows that not all people that are supposed to do the right thing actually do it and people in lower income areas are taken more advantage of showing that your social status determines in some cases how you will be treated throughout the criminal justice system. What is social class?
Social class is the stratification of people within the United States based upon material wealth, education, living conditions etc.
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