I have wanted to be a prosecutor for as long as I can remember, but, in light of the events in Ferguson and Staten Island, I am disturbed by the amount of corruption in the justice system of “the people.” I think the police brutality aspect of white privilege is especially heinous: police officers should protect people from criminals, but instead it seems they arrest arbitrarily in low-income neighborhoods that are mostly minority. I think a solution is to have officers develop relationships with the people in their designated area. Another possibility is for the police academies to recruit in low-income areas and, once recruit are police officers, have them work in their neighborhood. I think this would foster a cooperative and positive relationship between these groups. I also think that public forums where people can voice their concerns about the police are a great way to help the police gain back some of the trust they lost. These strategies that are meant to gain trust can help reduce racial disparity and crime as a whole.
In terms of the prosecution dimension of the issue, I think it is imperative that they, as the document stated, consider race and socioeconomic status in their bail requests. An astronomically high bail may not only prevent a defendant from fleeing, but also may force a plea. The threshold for a high bail for a person of color is lower than the threshold for a white. If two defendants, one white and one black, indicted on the same charge were given a similar bail rate (say, $100,000), it is likely that the white defendant would be able to at least pay a portion of that price. The same is not true for the black defendant, and he would, as a result, be more likely to accept a plea deal rather than go to trial, even though he may be innocent. As was stated earlier, this leads to a criminal record, which leads to more arrests, which can lead to further imprisonment under the three strikes law. I had no idea that the price set by the prosecutor for bail could have such a profound impact on the minority community and the cycle of crime, but now I recognize it. If I do wind up becoming a prosecutor, I know now that I should at least consider the race of the defendant before issuing my bail request.
I have a multitude of questions for the police officer, but my main one is: In your experience, what do you think is the root cause of the disproportionate number of arrests of minorities?
When I was reading this article I instantly thought of Ferguson as well, when you connected police brutality with white privilege I thought you brought up a fantastic point. I just read an article on CNN that stated that the Justice Department may be suing the Ferguson Police Department for 'Discriminatory policing'. This topic is so relevant to whats happening in America right now, and I can tell you have really great insight on this situation.
First, I think its great that you want to be a prosecutor. I think that you should take the fact that your disturbed by such a fact to heart, and let that motivate you to be a better person than what is already out there.
I think that it is not just assumed by the race when determining a bail. Race just happens to be an effect that follows all of the negative choices that a human being chose to make. I believe that in your example between a White and a Black defendant, there is some preference. But it all comes down to why the Judge made that decision.
Where to begin? The article showed all of the issues with the system and was really biased by showing on side in my opinion. I think becoming a police officer would be one of the hardest jobs in the world and they get so much hell, in my opinion, for the things that the do. Yes, I agree that there are crooked police officers, but to assume that everyone is an issue seems a bit out of hand. It is like we are stereo typing police officers and basically say that all women are emotional unstable when they are not. I feel our opinions toward police officers and people of similar careers have become more bitter because of accidents that have grow way out of hand. Also has humans I feel all we want to do is blame people for what is happening, even if it was not 100% their fault, but also, as well, the person who is being shown as the victim.
Also some of their proposals for solutions seem like such common sense. For example, police officers should familiarize themselves with the area. If I was a police officer I would why would you not want to know what life is like their, who are the main leaders in they area, what to look at for, and so on. It was interesting as well to see how they were at one point I forgot were, but it was saying that it was not 100% the cops fault but those in the community not watching what the cops were doing. If I had a bad experience with a police officer I would report them and made sure that something would be done instead of waiting on the side lines and let others handle it. I am the member of the community and I should try to make sure everyone is safe.
However to argue about bad cops, there needs to be something done about them. But how do you deal with someone who uses their power for bad? This is not something that can be felt with like a snap of the fingers, but of time. We still have a corrupt system and corrupt people controlling our laws, media, and even education. It will take time to fix this, but we got to start small and remove people who threaten others or try to remodel casted iron.
For my question-or questions-for our guest sparker: What us your opinion of police officers getting a bad reputation from incidents like the fergunson case? Do you believe that this claims are fair to generalize all police officers? Do you believe all police officers are corrupt? If yes, what do you think it will take to change this system?
I agree that police officers should get to know their communities without being told to, and I also agree that changes will not happen overnight. But I think what angers so many people, and what causes many of us to mistrust most police officers, is that there seems to be few legal consequences for police brutality. Police officers are lauded as "heroes" in this country, and those that do commit heinous acts seem to be exempt from the ramifications of their behavior.
I kind of disagree with the police brutality. Yes, there might be a couple of cases of unprovoked attack, but most police act that way because they felt threaten. If someone who was say larger than you and resisting what you were telling them to do, then brutality seem fine. Aren't police allowed to use any means necessary to arrest people if they have a warrant or the right authority? If we do not let them arrest people of interest or people who have committed a crime without any means necessary, then we might as well send them in with water guns and pillows, unprepared. Of course you are right, there are extreme cases that the police go to far, and that is when there needs to be an investigation to know all the facts instead of jumping the gun.
But "any means necessary" should not include death. White police officers kill black suspects an average of two times a week (http://mic.com/articles/96452/one-troubling-statistic-shows-just-how-racist-america-s-police-brutality-problem-is). Killing someone without due process, unless the officers' life is ABSOLUTELY IN DANGER, is not morally or legally acceptable. Moreover, how do we know that these officers only felt "threatened" based on the suspect's size? How do we know that the "threat" was not based on race? I seriously doubt that white suspects are killed at the same rate.
Fixed the mistakes, I couldn't see them earlier.
Where to begin? The article showed all of the issues with the system and was really biased by showing only one side, in my opinion. I think becoming a police officer would be one of the hardest jobs in the world, and they get so much hell for the things that they do. Yes, I agree that there are crooked police officers, but to assume that everyone is the issue seems a bit out of hand. It is like we are stereo typing police officers and basically saying that all women are emotional unstable when they are not. I feel our opinions toward police officers and people of similar careers have become more bitter because of accidents that have grown way out of hand. Also as humans, I feel all we want to do is blame people for what is happening, even if it was not 100% their fault, but also the person who is being shown as the victim.
Also some of their proposals for solutions, seem like such common sense. For example, police officers should familiarize themselves with the area. If I was a police officer I would why would you not want to know what life is like there, who were the main leaders in they area, what to look at for, and so on. It was interesting to see how they were at one point, I forgot were, but it was saying that it was not 100% the cops fault but those in the community not watching what the cops were doing. If I had a bad experience with a police officer I would report them and made sure that something would be done instead of waiting on the side lines and let others handle it. I am the member of the community and I should try to make sure everyone is safe.
However to argue about bad cops, there needs to be something done about them. But how do you deal with someone who uses their power for bad? This is not something that can be dealt with like a snap of the fingers, but with time. We still have a corrupt system and corrupt people controlling our laws, media, and even education. It will take time to fix this, but we got to start small and remove people who threaten others or try to remodel casted iron.
For my question-or questions-for our guest sparker: What is your opinion of police officers getting a bad reputation from incidents like the Fergunson case? Do you believe that these claims are fair to generalize all police officers? Do you believe all police officers are corrupt? If yes, what do you think it will take to change this system?
I completely agree, there was a lot of bias placed and not a lot of solution thinking taking place. It is relate-able to people getting worked up at the president even though he has one of the hardest jobs in the world.
Corruption happens, but police officers are not corrupt by nature. School shootings occur, but no child is born with a loaded gun in their hand and hate in their hearts. Innate evil is a lie we tell ourselves about others to avoid the truth.
People are like seeds. If you plant one in healthy soil and you water it, it will grow into a tall strong plant. If you screw the seed from the second it's born, the seed will rot, and steal water from other seeds so that it may hope to survive. (Okay maybe that's not what seeds do, but people are smarter than seeds. They don't give up without a fight)
Crime will always be higher for whatever portion of the population is in worse circumstances. In the case that a police member is patrolling a black neighborhood where many residents are dangerously low income, odds are he will experience violence at the hands of the members of that community. Police officers die every day, and since most police officers are friends with other police officers, it's inevitable that working on the force you will have at least one friend who has been killed or injured by a gang member. Depending on where you patrol the humber could be way higher. Enough exposure to violence from a specific race will train your brain to associate violence with that race, much the same way touching a hot stove every day with teach you to associate stoves with burning your finger. (Even perfectly innocent display stoves at sears.)
The fact that these associations build isn't police officers faults. Its not the faults of criminals either (Because most of them are just fighting back at a world that never gave them sunlight or water.) Its not anyones fault. This may seem like a crazy notion, but maybe, just maybe, we should all accept the fact that in a similar situation, we could all become corrupt police officers or violent criminals. The only thing separating us from either of these roles is the fact that we can afford not to.
Just maybe, these are perfectly good cops who were exposed to poor circumstances . Maybe we should hold our judgment for just a second and blame the society that forced them to act this way instead of the people who stepped up to the plate to deal with crime in area's where everyone else decided to avoid and ignore. Its easier to call names and to say "They're the problem!" that to take responsibility and empathise.
News flash, corruption is more common in third world nations where cops are underpaid and brutalised. Does that mean that people from cambodia or mexico are just innately worse than people from california? Unless you're an outright racist you will say no to that question. People everywhere are the same. You are no different from the WarLord killing thousands in africa, or the Neo Natzis beating blacks in russia, or the countless families putting out their baby girls to die in China. Until we realise that, the world will never get better, it will just stay shitty while everyone plays the blame game, shaming those who were born in different situations than they were for being so terrible.
If we every hope to fix corruption in our police system, we will have to do it by relieving the poverty that forces minority children and adults into dangerous worlds of drugs and crime, supporting police officers who are led to believe in bias, and most importantly empathising with the reasons people do terrible things.
Hiller didn't come out of the womb hating jews, he was a cute baby just anyone else, and something happened to him that broke him, and we should all take responsibility for the things that break people, instead of just dooming those broken people to forgotten and despised places in history because we are under the false illusion that we were ever any better.
I am impressed with your interest in the topic and thoroughly agree with you that none of us can understand the position of a police officer or a criminal. I am often frustrated by people who only accuse without actually looking at the facts of the case.
I really liked how you made analogies and connections to solidify your argument. It was really interesting to see that you stated that not just one side is at fault, it is all a matter of circumstance. That is a really eye opening way to look at it.
While I am intrigued by your progressive approach to stay anonymous I am curious as to how you will be getting participation points.
That being said I agree with your statement about Hitler, however humanizing a monster takes a lot more than saying they were a cute baby. Food for thought :)
There's no need to humanist someone who was born human. That's gods job.
APP, you are right in that everyone is human, but what they become cannot be justified based on their species. I appreciate you looking to a higher power to solve issues in the world, but I respectfully disagree. I believe that it's society's job to discourage that kind of behavior.
I think that society and environment play a big role in shaping our characters but we are all responsible for their own mistakes. It is a power of choice. Therefore, I disagree with you that you can find excuse for all these people and happenings you placed above. No offence. Love love. Spread peace .
Does the need to place blame lie above the need to prevent future pain?
Would you still send someone to jail for 10 years if you knew 10 days would be enough to scare them from ever committing another crime (hypothetically) or would the need to punish them be too great for forgiveness?
Yes of course I would send him because that is the rule and law. Rules need to be same for all. Probably in past a lot of people were sent in prison for 10 years why would not send that person? There is a lot of laws that are questionable and that is discussion for other time. At the end of the day people are those who chose the system you are living in.
YES. APP, you have a right to your opinion, but the criminal justice system should not let off anyone for simply being scared from committing another crime. That allows for manipulation and it opens the door to injustice and crime.
Society may do everything in its power to foster evil in us, but we can still resist. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ghandi were all subjected to unimagibale terrors. Holocaust survivors were slaughtered for their religion. Armenians were mercilessly deported and executed for their ethincity. If anything, they were the ones society tried to break the most, but they stayed strong and continued to advocate for love and peace. Hitler may have been broken, but that does not mean that he did not have any control over his actions.
I don't know. Am I making sense?
You must take into account that most of the people listed above had strong mentor figures who helped shape them into the type of individuals they were. Martin Luther King had a father who was a loving pastor, Nelson Mandela learned from Walter Sisul and Ghandi...well, "His father was the Chief Minister of Porbandar, and his mother’s religious devotion meant that his upbringing was infused with the Jain pacifist teachings of mutual tolerance, non-injury to living beings and vegetarianism."
I came away from this reading feeling beyond confused. The author used many large words, but I feel that he or she was attempting to hide that fact that nothing concrete was being put forth. "Arrest Alternatives" seems to be a great idea that would help cases in which the perpetrator would not be served by an arrest. However, the reading never specified what it meant by "Arrest Alternatives." I am intrigued by the ideas put forth in the reading, but I would rather know more realistic solutions. Does this mean letting the perpetrator go home? Sending them to a church? Telling them to go to class? I am not sure what this would mean and therefore it is not helpful to me, or anyone reading it. I understand that creativity is needed, but I feel that it is necessary to provide a guideline, as the author originally had some inspiration. However, I do agree that more funding needs to go to police facilities. One point not touched on is the need to fill a certain number of tickets or arrests. I am not sure if this is fact or fiction, but I am under the impression that officers are encouraged to fill a quota. The need to arrest a certain number of individuals might lead officers to target minorities, even if they do not realize it.
When looking at the pretrial process, I was most struck by bail. It stands to reason that, with what we have studied about racism and stereotypes, that there might be an inherent racial bias towards minorities. However, these stereotypes do not change the conditions surrounding the probability of the defendant to return to court. The article brought up a significant point, that bail is not determined solely by the crime, but by how likely the defendant is to try to flee. The more likely he or she is to attempt to escape, the higher the bail. It is important to separate racial bias from the determination of whether or not a defendant will flee. However, the article states that bail should not be financial, but I am not sure that will ensure the idea of bail remains effective.
I was also interested by the ideas put forth at the prosecution stage and the importance of looking at whether minorities have equal opportunities for prison alternatives. The ability to be on probation or avoid prison can be the changing factor in someone's life. I remember speaking to a judge in 9th grade, and he told us how it was difficult to make decisions on cases of whether or not to send young people to prison. He said that it can often cause more harm than good and will change the course of a persons life. Every individual should have an equal possibility to keep their life on track and avoid possible harm.
I would like to ask the police officer about his personal experience with racial disparity. Does he see an unusual amount of minorities being arrested? What does he think would be an alternative to arrest?
I think your question is great, however I would even go further as to ask him what his/her opinion is on the racial disparity within his/her precinct.
i find it interesting how race has such a big impact in the justice system. in the reading it says "Racism fuels the overt bias which can show in the language, attitudes, conduct, assumptions, strategies
and policies of criminal justice agencies." with this people can be tried for longer then they should be imprisoned or less time then they should have received.
Apparently they can't really tell which race makes the most trouble because not all of the crimes are reported. also the "more serious a prior criminal record, the greater the likelihood of receiving a prison term for a new offense." I think that this my apply to a lot of criminals but not all because some bad guys can go good.
if a lot of decisions are based on a bias/racist person how do we know that the decision is fair?
That is very true. It is hard because they judge people on their history. That is a whole nother problem that runs parallel to the racism in the legal systems.
Remember that the article expressly stated that racial disparity does not come from simply a racial bias, but also from the situations different races are placed in. That means that not all "decisions" are based solely on a true racial bias. It is a problem in society.
I think that the fact that a higher percentage of African Americans live in lower income communities and are therefore more likely to be arrested because the police tend to go to lower income areas, is really sad and wrong. Yet what is the way out? Should police not go to low income areas as much? More crimes would be executed and gone unnoticed. I guess if the police went to areas where people are middle-class, they wouldn't get as many arrests and therefore maybe feel like they were not using their authority to stop the most crime that they could. It is a hard question and there are many things that are linked together that keep the poor and minority groups where they are.
Development and Use of Arrest Alternatives:
I definitely think that these alternatives should be used by the legal system because a lot of people are arrested maybe where another method would have been a lot more effective.
Development and Implementation of Race- Sensitive Policies and Practices:
Here the legal system must follow the rules that they made and maybe change them to stay un-biased towards any group.
Engage in Public Advocacy:
It said in the one report of the police in the Bronx who got many complaints about how they were doing there business when they were using brutal methods to slow crime rates. This shows us the power of the people and that if many people criticize the legal system for a good reason and in a targeted section, the legal system might be inclined to change that to gain the overall favor of the public.
Collaborate to Develop Effective Strategies to Reduce Crime:
This is a good one and one that I agree with. The legal system should put its resources into the neighborhoods that need the help (including alternative programs, that prevent people going to prison if not absolutely necessary). Then they would have less work later and could maybe change that certain area so that there is a lower crime rate and therefore they could send less units to that neighborhood, thus taking a step toward racial 'un-biasy' in the legal systems.
I agree with the point you brought up about how the police go to lower income areas because there is a higher crime rate, its really conflicting subject to think about.
This is almost exactly how I feel about this topic. The fact that there are more minorities in some cases in these lower class areas, I feel does not play a part in if the cops go into the areas. It is really to stop crime that is happening. Where homicide is more prevalent in lowercase areas, selling of illegal substances, prostitution. There is a much bigger reason than the race factor. And people who pull the race card use that as a rediculous excuse in my opinion! "The cops only arrested me cause I'm black." No they arrested you cause you were just caught selling drugs.
Yes my friend I agree. They are just doing their job.
From what ive seen I think police typically go where there most needed. I think they tend to go in the lower income areas more often because thats where the most illegal activity could be taking place at the time. I have also witnessed heavy police patrolling in "higher income areas". I feel like there is always a reason behind why they are in certain areas and its not based only on income.
Reflection: In the first seconds of opening the PDF I found an utter lack of sugarcoating- I knew this article was going to go deep. The parallel between an African American and Caucasian male caught my attention and almost felt cold, as if I was being judged. The mission statement for The Sentencing Project was particularly interesting as it highlighted the racially biased law enforcement situation. Section One broke down the main causes of racial disparity in "the system". The Legislative Decisions section is what interested me the most. This section had a sub-category called "The War on Drugs" which stated the following statistic; "About half of the inmates (53% of state and 45% of federal inmates) met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- IV) criteria for substance abuse or dependence." This to me was shocking. I found through reading this article that I take pity on criminals with mental disorders- how are they to know what they've done if they don't have the mind to tell them?
To conclude with racial bias (which was the original point) I think that it's just as shocking as the mental health statistic that there is such aggressive and horrendous racism in the criminal justice system.
Finally I would love to ask the police officer how many of his inmates test positive for a mental illness. It would be very interesting to compare his/her statistic to that of the one found in The Sentencing Project.
I think that the question you came up with is very fitting to the situation and I would love to hear and answer to it form the guest speaker.
Mental illness is a term used to describe a wide range of disorders, from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia. Saying someone has a mental illness is not an automatic indicator that they have no understanding of their actions.
I agree about the lack of "bias" within the first several seconds of reading this. But I believe that it was written this way to carry the message across to all readers without creating some kind of an influence.
I also agree with APP, that it is a wide range when the term mental illness/disorder is used. Many people that generally abuse drugs develop some kind of disorder as a side effect. They could have been perfectly fine before they made the choice, but it was their choice.
Because you are a caucasian male, it sounds like this article came alive to you and really got you thinking!
It seems weird to me how the arrest rates are higher in lower income areas where most minorities reside, and in return, more cops patrol those areas, which results in more arrests. It seems like a deadly cycle to me, as people who are arrested usually go back into that lifestyle after getting released, and if no one is doing something to actively change this, it will only yield the same results. There is seemingly no way out for the victims. I believe that although there are some exceptions, not all cops are racially biased people even though the media makes it out to be that way. There are always going to be a group of people putting a bad name on an occupation and creating stereotypes for a profession as a whole, but some people need to see that beyond what makes the front page of the news, there are morally sound people that work in that profession that are just like you and I.
How often is the race card pulled, and does that have any impact on the punishment?
The cycle has more to do with poverty than it does crime. Access to medical care and education have a greater success rate of reliving poverty throughout history than increased (or decreased) police brutality.
Crime is a symptom. To attempt to solve crime by dealing with criminals would be akin to stopping the bleeding in your amputated arm by mopping blood off the floor.
"I keep on cleaning............but all its doing is making me dizzy!I MUST NEED A SWIFFER WET JET!"
**continues to waste money on cleaning supplies while bleeding to death.**
I completely agree its a vicious cycle and no one knows how to stop it.
I agree the system is broken.
This article was eye opening, though it was hard for me to follow at some points I really enjoyed reading it as preparation for tomorrows guest speaker. In section IV under the law enforcement passage, the author mentioned the idea for community policing approaches, they say that the police stations should support public forums where police officers can talk to community members and thus giving the community members a chance to give feedback and communicate so they can feel more comfortable in the community. This also gives the police opportunities to reach out to the community and learn about what “Cultural and racial conflicts present in the area” This would encourage a more personal relationship between the police and the public, instead of the police promoting fear.
I really found it interesting how many of the proposals surrounded the idea of changing how judges and police officers are trained and taught. What I asked myself after reading those ideas were “Who would train them?” and the only answer I could come up with was pervious judges and police officers. The same judges and police officers that actions caused for the training to occur in the first place. With the creation of new standards it is difficult to discard the old ones. Of course I understand that this may not be the case when it comes to educating new judges and police officers, but changing whole mindsets won’t just take a training session when these potential government workers grew up with different morals.
My question for our guest speaker tomorrow is, How do you think the public perceives the police force and the court system? How do you wish they perceived police force and the court system?
I also think that it is interesting in how a big aspect of this issue is the way that judges and the officers are taught. Education is almost always a solution to problems.
Always Dylan always. Nelson Mandela : Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
It does not surprise me that generally people from the middle class are arrested less. As it said in the document, they have better ways to teat people and prevent some crime for happening because they have money. And it just so happens that, because or racial bias, minorities tend to be stuck in lower classes, where they do not have the means to pay for special services to help people who are troubled. It seems to me that the reason for a crime would need to be looking into more. If a kid beat up another kid so he could have enough money for food, or is selling drugs was someone only source of income because in their area they are unable to find any jobs. I am not saying that the excuses for a crime make the actual crime any less of an offence, but what I am trying to get across is that with more insight in people's actions, that might inspire other people to come in and help the situation.
I would like to ask the police officer whether or not they felt/feels if there is/was racial bias in the force that they encountered personally.
I think that it is really interesting when the article was explaining how the life outside of the arrest is important. Like what they have access to and how it affects children growing up.
Officer Question: Is racial discrimination a part of your job?
From previous knowledge about the amount of african americans in jail compared to there total population in america. It increased my comprehension on the reading. By understanding the population size of african americans in jail, it put into perspective how young adults and adults are expected to live or whats to become of them. The reading mentioned how when a citizen is younger than 18 and arrested, like all minors(Of any race) are not tried as an adult but rather build a record. How later on they are more likely to be arrested and taken to jail and then once they can be tried as an adult. The next time they are taken to jail they have a more severe punishment because of there record. This is very present in young african americans and how they grow up and if arrested, they are bound to a horrible track record by the jail system. Then this is how those individuals are represented in society as "juvenile citizens' then "Criminals" when they are older. Like a domino effect, african americans are rumored to be more likely to become a criminal, when they could be a normal citizen and have no record.
I like how you related this whole chain reaction to a domino effect, it gives extremely clear imagery of how the court system works.
I think to start off, this entire process seems very very complicated. It seems like there is a lot of thought that is gone into this and I think that the people who prepared this document has been studying this for a very long time. I think that what they were saying about how people are brought up and how the class that they live in is affecting what they may be prosecuted as was really interesting. Something that I think would be very interesting to study would be how people are affected by what they are educated.
I would like to as the guest speaker tomorrow how they think that race has affected their job personally. I think it would also be interesting to hear what the thing about this whole kind of aspect of what we've been studying. How they think race affects their field, etc.
It seems like a never ending cycle. Kids are raised in low income areas where the only way to get by and stay on top is to commit crimes. After this they commonly get arrested and released repeating the same process over and over. The question is how should people break the chains in which continues this viscous cycle. Once a citizen has a criminal record their is no going back. Even if a man or women wants to change their life they will permanently be reminded of what they have done and what they are considered to be by the criminal justice system, a criminal. Once you are considered to be a criminal whats to stop you from continuing to be a criminal.
Question: What do you personally think should be done to stop high levels of crime in low income areas?
After reading these excerpts, I found a lack of "human input." What I mean is there really wasn't some kind of narrator presenting/telling the "story." I found interesting points throughout the reading, which improved my view on these conflicts. It came as no surprise that people who are more privileged(better education, access to more resources, etc.) were less likely to be arrested or even stopped by police officers.
This reading, though lacking a type of bias that most people are accustomed to finding, was indeed very factual. It stated the problems that lie within the police department, racial profiling, and overall treatment between citizens. I believe that by stating the faults of both sides, it illustrates how many people chose to point fingers, much stronger. Many people in today's society, have grown up being taught that it was better to point fingers at someone else and have them take the blame.
There are infinite examples of people not accepting their own mistakes, and attacking other people. In order to see the variety of the examples, one just has to turn on one of the news channels. Fox news generally blames the Democratic Party for numbers of problems in the U.S. CNN is covering the American Sniper trial, the list goes on.
One of the biggest things that stood out to me the most in this reading, is how much it advocated for the education of culture, language, beliefs of a certain area or group of people. The need for this is much greater than any basic need. The police department needs to be educated, the "minorities" need to be educated, and the privileged needs to be educated. Every person is different in their own way, but not everyone is taught to recognize that this is a good thing. History has recorded many stories of ignorance, the treatment of Indians and African Americans in the United States, etc.
I was quite shocked when I read the section about the pretrial. More specifically the issues around bail. The worse the crime, the higher the bond. It is also tied to race, and the bail is also easily decided by the Judge. The Judge more or less has the final say in court, and that can be the verdict, bail, etc. There are corrupt people, and there are those that have and always will be good people. However, because of stereotypes and racism that still lurks in the shadows today, there is a higher chance of a low-income "minority" that had been arrested for a minor offense, will have a bail designed for a more serious crime.
It is hard to accept that people are still being mistreated today, all because they have a different skin color, they aren't as financially stable, or even that they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although after reading these excerpts, I can agree that more and more people are advocating for the people around them, and that it is time to change the faults of the past, and move towards a better future.
Wow, I entirely agree with you about how we have to educate not just one group of people about this but we need to educate everyone in order to become less ignorant of the things happening around us. Very impacting statement Morgan! I also agree about how shocking racism is tied into bail and verdict. It really reminds me about the zoot suiters play we read and how judge mental people could be solely based on race.
It is obvious that this article is written by experts who know their work. Even though some parts were hard to followed, it revealed whole problem of US police system nowadays. One of the biggest facts that were brought here is that approximately 37% of all crimes in the country are committed by black people. Compared to the demographic statistic of blacks and whites in America ,approx. 14% to 60%, it is a way large number. There are a various reasons behind this unequal situation in prisons. There are two main reasons that article and my friends brought tonight: racial bias of american police and bad socioeconomic status of African Americans. Those are true and I agree with them. Author of the article was talking how police officers prefers patrol in the black neighborhoods rather than the white ones. Also the story about drugs and huge need for bad situated people to sell them in order to earn some money and live is said and it really feels that cycle of poverty will never end. I have never been in the desperate situation to do something bad in order to have better life so I absolutely can not judge these moves that the young adults (even kids) and adults were forced to do. It is unknown am I going to be but something that I was learned that there is always way. There is always way to solve problems. The presentation of Mrs. Clark's dad Power of choice has a big message to the world about your choices even in hard situations. In addition, people of United States chose the system they are living in, Chose the laws. Laws are over there to regulate all unhealthy things for the country. Therefore everyone in this country is required to respect them. Of course everyone who breaks those need to take a responsibility. At the end of the day police officers are just people who are doing their job to earn money and survive. 99.9% percent of them are not on some kind of mission to hurt some race because then he would need to be responsible for breaking above mentioned laws. At the end I hope that Darren Wilson, the murderer of the Michael Brown will spend a good amount of time in prison (because he committed a horrible crime) so the message to the world can be sent.
Question: Do you think that police officer salary is good enough to cover all pressure, stress and dangers they suffer?
I definitely agree with what you mentioned about the cycle of poverty. How do you think we could change that? Do you think it is possible?
All in all i found the overall article to be really interesting. The fact that the Criminal Justice system experiences aggressive racism due to the health statistic is a great point to conclude from a racial bias standpoint. I mean these aren’t the everyday topics that are usually talked about during class, so this was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge on these situations. When I came across the section of war and drugs under section IV,I was quite intrigued with this particular event. I agree with how Parole agencies need to focus funneling their resources towards temporary housing for example. If they’re able to obtain enough funds for these controlled environments, they are reimbursing the chances for a better recovery for drug and alcohol relapses.
Question: Do you personally think that it's necessary to racially profile people?
Yeah that's super interesting with the parole agencies! I think it's crazy how they fund the temporary housing thiugh.
I can tell the writer really knew what they were talking about, they brought so many ideas to the table that I had never thought of before. The simple concept of introducing officers to local citizens builds a foundation of compassion and familiarity. This could help the officers understand the interworking of a high crime community. Also understanding the culture and tradition of a community could help the officers identify weather an activity is illegal behavior, or just a tradition that these community members grew up doing.
I saw the word “Advocacy” many times throughout this article, this positive word use really made me think about the purpose of the article. This article was created because the system in which police deal with minorities and races can be extremely biased. All though most officials are unbiased and just doing there job, there are officials out there that racially discriminate weather the know it or not. Reading all these propositions encouraged me that change is possible, but it could take a long while to free all racially biased arrests.
I think this fits in perfectly to what we are learning right now about invisible privilege, I remember one of the privileges from the unpacking the knapsack reading was about how she didn’t have to worry about being arrested because of her race, and it wouldn’t be a factor if she was arrested. The more I learn about invisable privilege, the better I can identify it in everything I see or read.
My question is, have you ever met a fellow officer who is racially discriminative, and if so how did you identify them?
in my interview for the last ancillary, the majority thought that in order to reach full equality and social solidarity, knowledge and understanding of different cultures is necessary so I like how you said that the police officers should understand where the citizen is coming from, While introducing themselves to civilians
It’s no surprise at all to me that minorities have a greater chance of being placed in jail than the majority in this country. After all, aren’t they disadvantaged in many other areas regarding well being as well? This isn’t just one problem, as shown in the article. It’s a multitude of problems that keep feeding each other; an endless cycle. The fact is that nothing will change unless the injustices in the legal system are weeded out first. Our legal system needs to be as infallible as humanly possible, so as to avoid sending people to jail who don’t belong there. Only then will we see the plain truth of the rest of the situation, which can thereby be resolved one step at a time. You can’t expect minorities who are being unjustly prosecuted and persecuted by a prejudiced legal system to fix everything for themselves. They did not dig the hole that they were pushed into.
My question is: How can lawyers and the like do their part in preventing unjust prosecution?
Given that all the evidence points to holes and problems in the law enforcement and judicial system, why aren’t the systems being evaluated for change? It is time that an entirely new approach be used in patrolling areas ridden with poverty and it is time that a new approach be used with people accused. Education, Education, Ecudation. If you have never gotten to hold books, many many books, if you have never seen a play, if you have never seen ocean life or another setting, if you have never had the opportunity to play in sports, if you have never gone to bed with a full stomach for an entire month – how is a person to know all the glory that exist in the world? These people need opportunities. The system has to change! Spend as much money on schools in these areas as is spent on patrolling these areas. Show the people that education can bring them a better life. If radical change is not implemented in these racially driven systems, the outcomes are always going to be less than positive. The recent civil unrest will hopefully get people talking and actively making changes.
Question: During the time you have been in law enforcement, have you seen any programs in poverty ridden areas where the true data shows positive change?
I completely agree with your statement on the values of the court system and how they arent being met. And question why the evidence is not enough of an insentive for change?
The first section talking about higher crime rate, it was interesting to me to realize that the data found which suggests that African-Americans are more likely to commit a crime that these only account for arrests and not actual occurrences. The police have to make the decision to arrest someone which could be corrupt if they are racist.
I also like how little in the last paragraph for the first section it talked about "there should be no relaxation in training in human relations, orientation to cultures and subcultures of the people with whom criminal justice agents interact daily" because the understanding of cultures is what many people in my interview said that would induce equality and social solidarity.
The sections within IV had a lot of "shoulds" but it makes me wonder if those shoulds get acted upon. Especially in parole and reentry. The suggestions provided in this section are sound and make sense. Why would anything be done a different way?
My question for the police officer is as follows:
What happens to an officer when he does not follow police guidelines?
How are you taught to be unbiased in regards to race?
You have really great questions, and your first one makes me think of all the protests against police brutality after Ferguson. I haven't heard much about any punishment for the cops responsible which makes me question the whole thing, so I really want to hear the answer to this question.
I love the first question, I wonder when a cop makes a huge mistake but does not blow up on the media, if this leads to a rightful punishment.
The article perspectives were eye opening and very different from what I knew. I never even thought about some of things in the article before. One of these ideas that I didn't know before was the idea of community policing. I found this idea to be a good option but in my own personal opinion I don't see it working. One way it would work in my own opinion would be having these meetings and making the police officers where cameras when they are out on patrol so they cannot abuse their power. When the article talked about changing the way the police officers are taught I thought that would be a really good step towards fixing the problem.But I only think this would work with people who are fresh into training. I think this is true because it would be close to impossible to make a well trained cop forget everything they have learned and had been doing. I also think they would also be hesitant to change once they get into a routine.
Question Why do law abiding citizens fear police officers?
I also think that the cameras would be a good idea, seems like it would help cops and citizens. And your question makes me wonder the same thing, I know I tense up when I see a cop while driving even if I'm doing nothing wrong. I think it might be with the idea of being scrutinized and examined by someone.
Question: What official guidelines, rules, training, etc are you given to avoid unbiased and fair arrests?
Overall this document brought up a lot of good points, most of which involved lower class families being stuck in a vicious cycle. It is sad, it really is that this happens but it isn't impossible to break it without the use of legal changes. You could educate youth on the effects of drugs, wipe out police corruption, and give people a set of guidelines to success. I believe that if you give these people the tools to become successful (of which they largely already have) they can become successful. I know because my family started off in debt and fairly low in income and they managed to rise up, take advantage of the system and become successful.
Something else I noticed was a LOT of criticism but very little recommendations for any future system that could be put in place. For example, they talked about how bad corruption was. Yes, it's horrible now how do we fix it?
Basically we need to look at every economically safe solution that can benefit everyone equally while also keeping true to american values.
Your question will be good to ask, I wonder to if they are even taught to keep everything fair and unbiased
I thought this part was really eye-opening as to how there is a cycle against minorities within the justice system. I never thought about how a lack of resources could be a big reason why lower income minorities end up in prison versus a middle class person. I also never thought about how more resources could be offered in prison so people don't end up in the same situation over and over. Especially with the high amount of inmates that probably have a mental disorder and genuinely need treatment for it and won't be able to get the help they need in prison. And the part in the later section about community meetings seemed like a great idea to me because in the media I've seen a big separation between police officers and citizens and I think that would be a great way for people to vocalize their concerns. I think it would help both parties see more eye to eye and understand the difficulties that both sides faced.
What have you heard from community members that made you re-think some aspect of your job?
It's really sad to see the sort of situation the minorities in the lower class have to face. I'm not surprised that crime is well, fairly more common when it comes to the lower classes. Not only is this actually physically seen but when you sort of try to justify it, it's just a way to get by. I'm not saying that it's a good enough reason to commit a crime (there really isn't any good reason) but it's understandable. It is what it is, and it sucks. It's unfair that these people don't even have the resources to defend themselves and seek better help. In terms of race and ethnicity, it boggles my mind that those factors can play a significant role in these situations, and it's stupid. It makes sense in a way but it still hurts me personally that this kind if judgement is seen. I think that maybe understanding all these cultures is something that needs to be practiced significantly more often, hopefully that might start a change. Maybe equal justice can be achieved in every situation.
How do you think the public sees police officers/law enforcers? Does that affect the way to perceive the public?
Does that affect your attitude or mindset as a police officer?
It frustrates and confuses me how at the base of everything, America has this huge theme of equality, its indebted in its history. And we claim to strive for a court and justice system that is to be as fair and non-biased as humanly possible, yet there is an understanding for fault. These statistics show an obvious fault. There is cold hard evidence showing that the system has and is swayed by racial bias. For example used in the reading, a hispanic man was sentenced to death because he was labeled for "future likely dangerousness" which is absurd to me. To deny him a chance to get better and grow from his expirience, how could they determin that he at the point of the trial has a potential for violence and should be killed no other wise. I do not know the case of this man, nor his history, but I do know that people are shaped through thier experience and have seen in multiple different cases, some more extreme then others of people coming and turning thier lives around. For them to deny him that chance is absurd. In my opinion prejudice will never go away, it natural and not necessarily a bad thing because everyone cant help it. But there are ways to get around it with exposure and an open mind set.
When aproaching african american and whites does he feel any difference in attitude, emotion, or expectation?
It's incredible to me how no one noticed or reported the comment the prosecutor said about Hispanics being dangerous until the investigation. Something like that shouldn't really stand in a court of law.
The article was confusing, the wording was a bit to out there for me to understand what I was reading. It did how ever show a lot of the points I have been able to find on my own in the justice system. The whole 'building a record" thing to me is bullshit. There have been plenty of white teens who bounced back and forth from juvy and were labeled as "trouble maker" or "Emotionally or mentally distrubed". And although these facts may be true, a black teen, or any other race would not be labled in such a way.This made me think about the recent case, where a white male, killed, execution style, three Muslims. If a Muslim man killed three white people, the entire news would cover it, the word would be enraged. But for this case, the man was described as "obbsessed with parking" and was not charged for the hate crimes that he cleary did. The news meida did not cover it right awy and if they did, they focused on how this white male rescued uppys and was distruped. IF a black male, or a Musim man did this the word "TERRORIST" or "GANG MEMBER" would be put onto the new screen and be the number one topic today. I know this report did not over mdeia but it is astomishing to me that this happned. The justice system did not charge him on a hate crime, which is what he did, and he was given the chance to be be looked as an an inoccent "disturbed" person.
Question: Why was it okay for the police department, in North Miami Beach, in South flordia, to use living black male's photos as target practice?
This makes total and complete sense to me. For the first section there were two main things that stuck out to me the most.
The first was Higher crime rates. The more and more the document began to talk about how the justice system tends to look for more drug related areas when looking for drug usage, and from there police officials tend to look toward more low income areas which in turn are most populated by minority groups. It made so much sense to me that the reason why minority groups (specifically Latinos and African Americans) have such high crime rates, not simply because they create more crime, but because they are the ones most sought after.
Then the second one that I really believe plays a VITAL role in racism within the criminal justice system was the simple fact of the limited access to resources that minorities have. This document brought up the fact that because middle class families have the money and the resources to keep their children from becoming a delinquent, it becomes easier for them to keep their child from going to a juvenile hall for criminal activity. Whereas with lower income families such as African Americans and Latinos are not liable to receive those same resources which in turn would become the start of a domino effect. Then these people would find it harder for themselves to find a job after having a criminal record at a young age, there becomes a higher chance of them becoming involved in criminal activities again, and then they find themselves just getting deeper and deeper into despair the more that they try to struggle out of it. They become heavily ingrained into the criminal justice system and that creates the bad reputation for their ethnicity and stereotypes and racial judgements begin to sprout and there is no control over what happens for generations to come.
After reading a few other sections I realize how much isn’t really known or seen when people just decide that police are bad or racist. It was interesting to see what legal aspects the justice system understands and recognizes about racism. I can’t wait to hear what our guest speaker has to say!
Questions: What are your feelings or opinions towards the police brutality going on today? If there was anything that you could change about the criminal justice system, what would it be?
I like how you brought up the point of getting jobs after criminal records. It resembles how the cycle is never ending and shows how the children may turn back to a life of illegal doings.
This was a eye opening look at the difficulties of minorities in the justice system. One complaint I had about this artical was that it was hard to understand becasue of the vocabulary, yet when I looked up the words thist article was extremely informative. While I had realized the correlation between lower income minorites and incarceration rates, the death rates due to police classified by race is astounding. (from further research). It struck me how when cops would look for drugs, they would search the lower income ares specifially where latinos and blacks live. Yet in a middle class neighborhood there are still whites or people of other races abusing drugs at the same time. This vicious cycle should be stopped yet this article didn't really give any solutions but just critique the system.
Question for the officer?
Why don't police members build better relationships with the people in the community, especially in areas where the people lack trust for them? Becasue potentially building more trust will result in more people coming forward honestly about dangerous activity.
yeah I agree with the fact that pigs search the lower class but not the rich ones who have more than enough money to buy drugs in the first place smh
The first part pages 5-9 was intresting. I wasnt really in the mood to read this but it kind of caight my attention. I went on to read about prosecution, defense, judiciary, and parole/rerentry. These all were very informative. there is a lot that goes into bieng a representative of the law and I never really realized how much they do. It makes me put more value in mind whenever I see or think of that profession.
One question I have for the Officer tomarrow was what would it take for you to leave this profession? What is your biggest regret?
How minorities play a part in the justice system I find very wrong. Unfortunately it makes a lot of sense on why lower income places are more threatened by the police. Police get payed more for doing their job correctly and poverty stricken communities has a high rate of crime. This leads to the majority of poor communities are run by minorities. What makes this wrong is the never ending cycle. The minority is born into a poor community and is raised with bad influences and is very hard to make it out. One wrong mistake which puts them with a bad criminal record leaves them ineligible to go to a great college or get a good job. Unfortunately this makes it very hard to break this cycle and only the good few can make it out. I am not sure on how this can be changed though. Cops main job is to keep the clean streets. so it only makes the most sense to keep watch on these poverty neighborhoods. Since the lack of money can lead to a life of crime.
The publics opinion on cops have dropped drastically, what do you think cops can do to bring the yrust back into the people?
After reading this article, I feel that a big role that plays into this is racial profiling. Just the other day I was Chillin with my homies when the 5-O pulled up to a African American and started questioning him and asked what he had, did he have drugs, and all these things. In our eyes we saw that the guy didn't do nothing rather than just walk around. I feel that race had to do something because we were the ghetto side of esco, and we were the ones being suspicious but he pig went for the African American. I feel that the reason the pigs go to ghetto parts were the less fortunate reside is that since there less money people tend to steal, even I did that because I broke. I can see that the pigs want to do good for the people by removing those who steal but those who steal are just trying to make a livin out here. There is definitely corruption in the Justice system because of one thing and one thing only and that is money. Because if you have the power to hold people at gunpoint, search people's house, and even get away with murder people with use that and abuse it in order to get money. And just goes to show that where there is light, darkness is bound lurk among it.
If you have seen form of corruption within the police system?
I read the entire booklet, because it's something I'm interested in yet don't know much about. However, most of it kinda went over my head. It proposes a lot of policies to counteract racial disparity.
It seems likely that at least a few of you have heard the recent This American Life episode "Cops See It Differently, Part 1". It's release is very timely, considering the unit. Most of the hour was spent on the Milwaukee Police Department, which has a long history of tensions with black residents. The department got a new chief in 2008 named Ed Flynn, who has been changing a lot of policy in order to make things better with the community. A lot of the changes are very similar to the ones listed in this booklet. A kind of crazy thing that Flynn did that isn't suggested in the booklet is a method called community engagement, where police officers are encouraged to talk to ordinary citizens for positive purposes. He has a lot more walking patrols, where the officers are allowed to engage normal citizens who are not committing crimes. This reduces the public's distrust, and gives the officers more empathy.
This is certainly an interesting idea, and a valid one to consider on top of the cornucopia of options presented in the Sentencing Project Booklet. But, perhaps even more interestingly, Flynn claims that race is not a significant factor in policing. "At the level of cop working in the neighborhood, race is irrelevant. It's just people." He says people are way too eager to blame things police do on racism.
Question: Do you think race impacts policing? What policies do you think are most effective in counteracting racial disparity?
I think this articleaddressed a lot of questions and ideas that people had pertaining to the way that African-Americans are treated in court and by law-enforcement officers.it starts by and lightning the reader on the statistics and the uneven amount of African-Americans to their population in the United States within the jail system, and then it continues by elaborating on why the rates of incarceration ofminorities are higher. Something that I thought was important that it addressed was the idea that there are more, and uneven numbers of African-Americans was in the jail system because they commit more crimes, but this addresses it and shows thatfrom studies, they have found that to be untrue, and there is a bias towards white individuals to lessen their incarceration well at the same time increasing incarceration and sentences of African-American citizens and minorities.
This article is pretty interesting. I just spoke to Kayla about my opinions on it and she communicated hers to me. I agree with what Kayla said above, not all cops are like those in the town of Ferguson. The cops in Ferguson though are not shooting people like crazy, cops have a right to take any action necessary to stop a criminal. I might be sounding a bit biased but it's because I knew more about the justice system before reading this due to the fact that my uncle is a mall cop and I talk to him often about his job. If the police in Ferguson are corrupt like people claim (which I highly doubt), they might just be more violent or less patient with people who try to escape
I think that this article was definitely a little difficult to read. I think it was very insightful though! I really enjoyed how it spoke about how racial discrimination can be something potentially expressed in the court and how it can go to local policeman. I think it must be very difficult form the perspective of a police officer though. If they are located in lower class areas. They are constantly affected by the crimes that are occurring in the lower class areas. So I feel profiling is something that happens and it is something that everyone does now. If you see someone who looks like a criminal and they are partaking in criminal activity. If you see someone who is looking almost the same exact way, you are probably subconsciously see them as a criminal. It is something that people do everyday, which makes it insanely difficult for police officers not to do that. I feel they have a huge burden!
How much do you enjoy your job? Do you get a lot of criticism?
I was not very surprised when reading this article. This is one of thousands of stories of police brutality. It occurs daily, I even read a story about a schizophrenic man who was beaten by police and then taken to a hospital for jaw reconstruction because he was beaten so bad and then left at the hospital with no ride. He ended up walking and hitch hiking 188 miles home. I believe that all this brutality is completely out of control and we need to change it.
the fact that the system is mainly for one group of people while the other groups have many more opportunities and programs that they can pay for instead of going into the system. Thus the system gets more and more records from the lower class and less and less from the classes above them because of money for other programs that keep them out of the system.
It's important to take in account the big picture and not just the small details you find fitting. This is vital when discussing the topic of corruption within in the police force. Although there is undoubtedly corrupt officers in the force it is unjust to group the rest in that category. The article discusses the different reasons for the Racial Disparity in the Criminal and Judicial systems which should be kept in mind when discussing racism in the police force. For example the fact minorities are more likely to come from a lower income with higher crime rates. As stated in the excerpts a great method would be communicating with public and bringing up the reason of racial disparity in the criminal system. A lot of people don't really understand what factors into the rates of minorities in prisons, and tend to lean towards corruption. Having the community aware of these issues may prevent further discrimination with arrests. Also as it said by making the system more diverse it will add the voices of minorities and have different perspectives. When it comes to the judicial branch the price of bail is also a leading cause as bail is often set too high for low income minorities while a white person with the same bail has a higher chance of affording it. Though corruption in the systems can't't be denied, the few rotten officers don't account for the opinions of the rest of the force.
Question: Have you seen racial discrimination first-hand on duty?
Questions for officer: What is your opinion of Ferguson? Have you ever shot someone? Did you regret it?
At this point of this project a lot of this information is not surprising in any way. We have learned about privilege, how police treat whites better than blacks, and seeing statistics like one in three black men will go to jail in their life. So seeing statistics like African Americans represented 35% of those arrested for drug offenses in 2006 isn't really anything new. Unfortunately I now expect to see this stuff in a country that is labeled as "The Land of the Free."
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.