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Flashcards in Ethnicity, Crime And Justice Deck (5)
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What are the 3 sources of statistics on ethnicity and criminalisation?

1) official statistics
Blacks are 7 times more likely to be stopped for stop and search and 5 times more likely to end up in prison.

2) victim surveys - In the case of mugging black people are more likely to come up in character references. Whites tend to over identify blacks.

3) Self report studies
- Bowling found that blacks and whites have almost identical rates of offending what Asians have much lower rates. This may discredit the theory that blacks are more likely to offend.


How might there be racism in the CJS? First 2 points -

Policing - Bowling found that there are many allegations of oppressive policing of minority communities.

Mass stop and search operations, excessive surveillance and deaths whilst in police custody and a failure to tackle racist violence.

Minorities see them selves as over-policed and under protected.

Stop and search -
Asians are 3x more likely to be stopped under the terrorism act 2000.

Blacks 7x more likely

Very few stop and searches end in convictions.

The patterns may be explained by the fact that some ethnic groups are more likely to offend.

Police racism - Police can discriminate against ethnic minorities, the Macpherson report 1999 found institutional racism in the Met police and made a number of recommendations.

Ethnic groups are parts of other demographic groups that are more likely to be prosecuted e.g working class or urban dwellers


How might there be racism in the CJS? 3 further explanations

Arrests and cautions - The arrest rate for blacks is 3x higher than whites but once arrested blacks are less likely to receive a caution, this may be because minorities are more likely to deny the offence meaning they cannot receive a caution.

Prosecution and trial -
The Crown prosecution service decides whether a case is brought to the police.

The CPS is more likely to drop cases against ethnic minorities than whites and black and Asian defendants are less likely to be found guilty. This could suggest that evidence against minorities is often weaker and based o stereotypes.

Sentencing and prison -
Black People make up 13% of the UKs prison populations despite making up only around 2.5% of the wider population.

Blacks and Asians are also more likely to serve longer sentences.


How does Left realism explain ethnic differences in offending?

Lea and Young argue that ethnic differences reflect real differences in offending rather than racism in statistics, this is because ethnic minorities are more likely to be culturally and economically deprived and face marginalisation.

They argue even if police act in racist manners it’s unlikely to make up for the differences in offending. Police racism can not explain why Asian convictions rates are below average who would also experience racism.

Over 90% of crimes are reported by the public showing that police racism could make very little difference and the statistics are representative of actual crime rates.


What do Neo- Marxists argue about black crime as a social construct?

Gilroy argues reject the view that statistics represent reality, rather they are the outcome of social construction process that stereotypes minorities.

Gilroy - the myth of black criminality

In reality these groups are no more likely to commit crimes than any other ethnic group.

But because the CJS acts on these stereotypes statistics show otherwise.

Crime could be political resistance that began as anti colonial sentiment, crime is resistant to white Euro centrists. Lea and Young criticise this arguemtent saying that many first generation immigrants were very law abiding.

At the same time as an economic downturn a moral panic about black muggins was created which Gilroy finds suspicious.

More recently FitzGerald argues that black People today are poor but live largely near richer white areas which increases the opportunity for crime regardless of race.