Ethnicity and criminalisation


the basics

  • Blacks are overepresented in the criminal justice system
  • in street crime, its clear that victims and their offenders share the same ethnicity
  • self report studies have shown that whites and blacks have similar rates of offending whilst Asian groups were all lower
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Racism in the criminal justice system

Stop and Search ; black people are 7 times more likely and Asians are twice as likely as white people to be stopped and searched

  • since the Terrorism Act 2000, it shows that Asian people are far more likley to be stopped and searched under this act

Police Racism;

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Racsim in the CJS pt 2

  • despite the higher numbers of arrests, the CPS are more likely to drop charges on ethnic minorities because they are arrested on strereotype instead rather than actual crime
  • Convictions and sentencing; black and Asian defendants are less likely to be found guilty
  • However, when guilty for more serious offences they are more likely to get a heavier sentence.
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Theoretical explanations for differences in offend

  • Hall (Marxist); studied the moral panic about the moral panic about mugging in the 1970s
  • there was actually not an increase of mugging but it was just about the labelling of the black youth
  • As well as this there was a  moral panic about the economic cricis facing british capitalism
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Left Realism

Young et al; believe that black crime is a real problem especially in young black males

More recent approaches;

  • Neighbourhood; young blacks are more likely to live in very deprived neigbourhoods which may explain their higher involvement in crimes
  • Getting caught; some groups are more likely to be caught due to the types of crimes they commit

Ethnicity and victimisation

ethnic groups are more likely to be victims of burglary, violence and other crimes due to the fact that they live in vunrable post codes

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