Race, Class and Gender in Criminal Justice

Race, Class and Gender in Criminal Justice

Race, class and gender have always played a big role in every community, and especially a larger role in every criminal justice system. Your race, class or gender can determine if you will be stereotyped or discriminated against by any branch of the criminal justice system. These kinds of unfair and unequal treatment have been ongoing for a few centuries, if not since the beginning of mankind. But from the start of unfair and unequal treatment of people’s race, class and gender, people have been too afraid to say anything because they feared for their lives. They believed that if they were to even mention one word about a certain incident to anyone of authority, there and their families’ lives might be in danger.

Minorities began to be categorized as minorities by the more dominant, superior white race. And most, if not all, racism, prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping was started by the white race. One of the main reasons why I believe the dominant white race began all of this was the fear they had that one day they wouldn’t be the dominant or superior race. Also that they would have to follow rules and regulations that wouldn’t permit them to mistreat anyone based on their race, class, or gender. So there way of showing resentfulness was to continue discriminating and mistreating all people of color. They believed that if they continued hurting and killing minorities that they would continue being the dominant race and that all other minorities would be too scared to try and do anything about all the wrong doing that the white race was engaging in. It took hundreds of years for minorities to gain the courage to stand up and begin to fight back against all the discrimination, racism, and unnecessary murders their people were going through on a daily basis. It has been a long and hard fight for minorities to try and gain their rights as humans to be treated as equals in society, whether they are from a different race, class or gender.

Even though progress has been made since the beginning of this war on unequal treatment against minorities, not much progress has been made when it comes to unequal treatment of minorities in the criminal justice system. Many people argue that the criminal justice system is very corrupt and that it has an excess amount of control over who gets arrested and who gets convicted. They have the authority to decide the individuals sentencing period, which sometimes can be a little too harsh. Especially when people look at a similar case that involves a white male or female in the same position facing the same, if not worst, charges. In many of these cases the white male or female almost always receives minor sentencing or charges, and in almost all cases where a minority is being charged with the same charges, they receive longer sentences or stronger charges. This is only one reason why people, usually in minority groups, believe that the criminal justice system involves in racism, prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping.

I believe that the entire criminal justice system needs to re-evaluate its criteria for sentencing individuals who have committed a crime. And it shouldn’t be based on an individual’s race, class or gender, because if it is then they are taking steps in the opposite direction, instead of trying to progress and see beyond an individual’s looks or beliefs. If people with authority, especially those in the criminal justice system, can’t look beyond judging an individual based on their looks or beliefs, then people in all minority groups will never feel safe. And that feeling of fearing the people whose job is to protect us, will never help minorities progress.