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Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice - Research Paper Example

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Race and Ethnicity of Juvenile Offenders Agustina Rossato University of Phoenix Abstract In a free county, everyone has equal rights. The constitution provides for fair treatment of citizens regardless of age, sex, size, social status, race, or ethnicity. Adults, as well as youths are sometimes suspected for various offences, arrested, arraigned in court and even imprisoned…
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Download file to see previous pages This aspect of the constitution is not reflected in the justice system as various discriminations are observed in the justice system. Gender, age, size, social status, race or ethnicity, residence, and wealth status are some of the main factors that result in inequitable treatment of citizens. Adults are treated differently compared to juveniles, which is in line with the constitution since both parties have different needs. On the other hand, adults should be treated equally with other adults and juveniles treated equally with other juveniles. The age of the juvenile and the intention and gravity of the crime are some factors that should be put into consideration when arrests, arraignment in court and acquittal are done by officers. This paper reviews the role of race and ethnicity in discrimination of juveniles by the justice system. It also aims to draw a line that connects arrests and detention rates and suspects’ races. Juveniles are discussed as they are least represented in government agencies. Race and ethnicity is seen to play a role in administration of justice in various states despite a fair constitution. Race and ethnicity Race comprises the physical appearance of a person due to inherited genetic make-up of their parents. If one's parents are Caucasian then the physical characteristics of a Caucasian are passed on to them. On the other hand, ethnicity is about the aspects of culture that one learns in the course of life because of living in a certain environment. This makes one acquire behavioral characteristics, beliefs and perceptions of the people around them. Consequently, one may be genetically and phenotypically a Caucasian but not have the cultural characteristics associated with Caucasians. The behavioral tendencies will, therefore, comprise one’s culture. In addition, race is permanent while one can, subject to change in environmental factors, change their ethnicity. It is, therefore, not advisable to conclude one’s ethnicity based on physical appearance alone, other factors must be considered. The concept of race is also becoming fuzzy as these days many children are born of parents from different races and thus their races become harder and harder to determine. For instance, in the US, there are many African Americans who have a white parent; these people are undoubtedly as white as they are black. In addition, these people are born and brought up in the American environment. This means that despite having a mixed parentage, they have the same ethnicity as White Americans and, therefore, skin color, eye color or hair appearance is no basis for treating them differently (DifferenceBetween.net, 2010). Juvenile population The juvenile population, like other components of the American population, is growing consistently and, therefore, it should be taken care of better than current trends reveal. Adequate protection of these young people from discrimination by the legal system should be enhanced. Racial characteristics of the American juvenile population are continually changing. In 2000, people classified as of mixed race accounted for 1.4 percent of the whole population and 2.5 percent of the juvenile population. More interaction between people from different races will result in an increase in the mixed race class. It is, therefore, quite essential that this new race be protected from discriminatio ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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