African Americans and Latinos are given harsher punishments and longer sentences for drug-related crimes, whereas whites are usually given less punishment. Despite accounting for only 13% of the United States population, African Americans account for 33% of prisoners. To put this into perspective, whites are 30% of Prison population but they account for 61% of the U.S. population. Mass incarceration has disproportionately affected African Americans, Latinos, as well as Native Americans. What I found most interesting and shocking was that almost all of these very harmful white-collar crimes are committed by someone white.
while, very few African Americans commit conventional crimes.
The war on drugs also shows racial disparities. Media bias is also an issue, the media often tends to report a homicide and other crimes if the offender is Black or Latino. Similarly, when the offender is White, they tend to play the story of them being a good person who just made a mistake or had other problems which led to the crime.
Structural factors not only explain the racial difference in criminal behavior, they also explain why some people mostly minorities are more likely to be victimized than others. Higher crime rates are found in high poverty urban areas, so if you happen to live there you are more likely to be victimized than someone who lives elsewhere. Another racial disparity between victims is when the victim is white, and the offender is Black or Latino they usually end up receiving a harsher sentence or being found guilty than if it was a white offender on a black or Latino victim.
I believe that African Americans and Latinos usually tend to have a more negative perception towards police. From my point of view, many police officers aren’t very well trained when it comes to being educated on racial issues. They tend to discriminate and be biased against certain races and they guide themselves by many stereotypes. It is not uncommon for an African American or a Latino to have had a bad experience with the police. These personal experiences, as well as the history of being racially discriminated against, leads them to have a more negative perception of police. Racial disparities still exist to this day but I think it they have been significantly reduced throughout the years and that it is possible to continue reducing these disparities in the future by continuing studies on this subject and informing more and more people of the current disparities and issues within the criminal justice system as well as training police officers to better handle situations.