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Race And Ethnicity Of Juvenile Offenders Essays

Massey has suggested that blacks are unique among groups in showing very high levels of segregation and isolation (Massey, 2000:1):

As of 1990, the degree of segregation was so severe, and occurred on so many dimensions simultaneously, that it was called “hypersegregation. ” This pattern of extreme segregation is unique to African Americans and is unrelated to their economic status and unexplained by their housing preferences. . . . High levels of African American segregation have interacted with recent shifts in the income distribution and class segregation to produce unusually high concentrations of poverty among African Americans. The spatial isolation of poor African Americans has, in turn, elevated the risks of educational failure, joblessness, unwed parenthood, crime, and mortality.

Effects of deleterious neighborhoods have been studied in relation to both immigrants and blacks (e.g., Shaw and McKay, 1969). Recent research has focused on ethnographic studies of youthful gang members and drug dealers (Bourgois, 1995), although the link between drug use and minority status has a long history in the United States (e.g., Helmer, 1975).

Spatial isolation has been a consequence, in part, of social policies. Taxes promoted an exodus of jobs from the cities, where impoverished blacks lived in public housing that was restricted by ordinances to locations removed from job opportunities. Racial discrimination in housing, enforced by restrictive covenants and threats of violence, set a pattern that left blacks more clearly segregated than other minorities (Jackson, 1985; McCord, 1997c; Robinson, 1993; Sampson and Lauritsen, 1997; Wade, 1972). The resulting disparities may explain at least part of the differential exposure to risks by black youth. The next section examines attempts to consider the influence of exposure to risk factors on rates of violence.

Examining Risk Factors to Account For Racial Disparity

There is scant research that examines the extent to which risk factors explain racial disparity. In one very recent investigation, Farrington and colleagues (in press) used data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study, a prospective longitudinal survey of the development of offending and antisocial behavior in three samples, totaling about 1,500 Pittsburgh boys (for description of Pittsburgh Youth Study, see Loeber et al., 1998a). This analysis is based on the middle sample of boys, who were about age 10 when they were first assessed and screened for inclusion in the study. The first follow-up was six months later, and during this assessment information concerning a large number of explanatory variables was collected. They were then followed up in court records for 5.8 years up to a median of age 16.4. Farrington et al. (in press) used combined reports of violence from mothers, boys, and teachers (rather than self-reports alone),

The Relationship Between Race and Crime Essay

668 Words3 Pages

Crime has always been a hot topic in sociology. There are many different reasons for people to commit criminal acts. There is no way to pinpoint the source of crime. I am going to show the relationship between race and crime. More specifically, I will be discussing the higher chances of minorities being involved in the criminal justice system than the majority population, discrimination, racial profiling and the environment criminals live in.

It is a stereotype that black people are more likely to be criminals than white people. Does this stereotype have any truth to it? A black male born in the United States of America today would have a one in three chance of going to prison. This cannot be said for a white male in the same…show more content…

This shows relation to the ‘conflict theory’, because different social groups are not treated equally.

Another explanation to explain why minorities are involved in the criminal justice system more would be plain discrimination. Discrimination has been around forever, and it hasn’t disappeared. It wasn’t even more than a couple of decades ago when African-Americans were victims of slavery, or were not allowed to drink from the same water fountain as a white person. Whites had power over minorities for a long period, and have recently tried to make everything equal. With minorities being treated so unfairly in the past, they would hold a grudge against the justice system. Their ancestors being discriminated against would make these people rebel (Wright).

Racial profiling is not a myth. There are recordings of black people constantly being pulled over while driving, just for the fact that they were black (Hunter-Lowe). The November 25th, 2006 Sean Bell incident and the February 5th, 1999 Amadou Diallo incident shows examples of racism from the police force towards blacks. Both of these incidents involve unarmed black men being shot and killed by US police officers. This quickly leads to the belief that there is racism in the police force. Another example of racial profiling would be searching middle-eastern people at the airport, assuming they are more likely to be terrorists than other

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