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How can we investigate problems between minorities and police services? Importantly, what is the nature and extent of the problems between the police and minority communities? How widespread are the problems and for whom are these issues problematic? Aiming to be both descriptive and prescriptive, the following will explore what has been done regarding this problem, and whether or not the innovations were effective? Finally, what are the possible solutions to the present problems between police and minority communities? Seeking to address these questions as they pertain to the issue of minorities within the United States and their relationship to the police services, the following will provide a thorough analysis of a complex phenomenon (Skogan, 2003).
The United States of America boasts the highest incarceration rates on the planet, even higher than places such as China, Iran or Russia. According to a report released by the Pew Center for Research on the United States, nearly one in 100 persons in the United States is incarcerated (2008). Accordingly, the state of California alone spends $8.8 billion annually on incarceration costs and while the statistics above are, remarkable, so too are the racial disparities within the American penal system. Accordingly, while African-Americans account for just 13% of the total population, their incarceration rates are much higher than for all other ethnic groups. With nearly 50% of the total prison population in the United States, African-Americans account for a disproportionate number of inmates in this country. Importantly, it is estimated that African-Americans have a 16% risk of going to prison in their lifetime, compared to a 2% risk for whites.
According to scholar Scot Wortley, “blacks are still 2 times more likely to experience a stop by police and four times more likely to experience both.
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“Investigating Problems With Minorities and Community Policing Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1562222-investigating-problems-with-minorities-and-community-policing.
Police officers often stop, check, and examine the vehicles of minorities without any reason or proof about the misbehavior or criminality of the person. Minorities are affected by various types of racial profiling including bicycle stops, police attack dogs, unnecessarily suspecting and checking shops and marts, immigration worksite raids, and stopping pedestrians without any reason.
The recent economic downturn and turmoil that has swept the country since 2008 has had many people, both ordinary and pundits, warning of an impending crime wave. The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that many municipalities across the country have been witness to city officials and police chiefs having to lay off law enforcement agents due to budget shortfalls.
Community policing encompasses three main components. These are the community partnership, organizational transformation, and problem solving. Community partnership entails the collaborative partnership between the individuals, organizations and the law enforcement agency that serve to work out solutions for the problems and enhance trust.
While the criminal laws are apparently neutral and the criminal justice system is explicitly based on the notion and promise of equality before law, the administration and enforcement of these laws are vitally and pervasively biased against minorities. According to the report the "massively and pervasively biased" treatment of blacks and Hispanics by the US police and courts is the major civil rights problem that America face in the twenty-first century.
However not all the law enforcement agencies have formulated a comprehensive complaints procedure. There is a general helpline which citizens can use to report their grievances against use of force by police officials. Citizens do have the option of filing anonymous complaints, but agencies prefer that the aggrieved citizen reveal his or her identity.
It is underlined that it is a philosophy and not a program or a project, an approach to be learnt by all the members of the police from the top to bottom, as well as community members, governments and public organizations. Unlike the traditional policing
Before going to discuss community-oriented policing and its components, let us get a better understanding of what community-oriented policy actually is. Mirsky (2009) states, “Community policing is the connection between police and citizenry, who work together on safety involving the public in the community”.
Foster presents the common structure for a quest and describes each of its components. There are five elements such as a quester, a place to go, challenges, a stated reason, and a real reason to go. Analyzing one of the oldest epic poems (The Epic of Gilgamesh) it is evident that it is a quest by all the five elements distinguished by Foster.
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