Essay on Multifaceted Approach to Reduction of Sentencing of Minorities for Minor Offenses

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1000 Words
Date:  2021-03-30

Proposed Solutions

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The multifaceted approach proposed involves several factors that when implemented, can lead to reduced sentencing of minorities even for minor offenses. To begin with, there is a need for structural reforms at points of entry into the criminal justice system and sentencing (Rehavi & Sonja, 2014). Structural changes will ensure that there is fair and equal enforcement of the law across all groups in the demographic composition of the United States. All socioeconomic and geographic groups deserve fair and equal treatment. In addition, the structural reforms need to lead to the repealing of policies and practices that encourage racial disparities in sentencing. For instance, stop, and frisk policies, racial profiling by law enforcement who are given quotas on arrests and summonses, and racially disproportionate policing (Rehavi & Star, 2014).

The second segment of the multifaceted approach involves due execution of justice reforms that are aimed at reducing the effect of current systems that aggravate economic and racial disparities among demographic groups. The justice reforms need to be monitored periodically, assessed and reviewed to determine their suitability and impact over time (Brown et al., 2016). In addition, there needs to be assessment and evaluation of racial consequences in bail decisions, accountability of prosecutors and law enforcement officers, post-arrest service programs; and post-release programs that will enable integration of offenders into society to lead productive lives.

Alternative Solutions

It has been argued that by some, that racial profiling does not exist and there is a rational explanation for higher arrest number of minorities than white people. Briggs argues that what is mistaken as racial profiling is only playing the odds (2014). For instance, based on historical evidence, incidences of black men stopped speeding on highways has led to the discovery of drugs after searches implying that black people are more likely to be involved in transgressions (Gorham, 2010). It is only logic that a police officer after stopping black men in a vehicle for speeding searches the car for the probability of finding drugs. While some argue that is a rational response to high reported crime from members of a certain community, it leads to unwarranted suspicion arising from generalization. The generalization has resulted in increased stopping and searching of black men and minorities that have resulted in more busts in these communities (Lind, 1996). To stop this, the laws of probable cause need to be addressed in more detail. The Fourth Amendment needs to be reinforced, and law enforcement needs to act based on sufficient evidence to warrant a search or arrest.

Socioe-conomic disparities have been blamed for the prevalence of crime among minorities more than other groups. Addressing socio-economic disparities has been identified as a possible solution to minimizing crime. Minorities have a more difficult time accessing education and as a result, jobs, many end up in crime, and a vicious cycle is continued. By solving socio-economic issues such as providing educational, social and health facilities, it is possible to reduce crime rates.

Another suggested solution is making it difficult for criminals to commit crime by reducing the factors that make it possible for them to commit crimes (Lott, 2013). Reducing the factors that facilitate crime include reducing the number of guns in the public domain that facilitates gun crimes (Lott, 2013). Other factors that can be eliminated to deter crime include shutting down activities such as the drug trade that have been a major contributor to crime and subsequent incarceration of minorities (Eck & Weisburd, 2015). By reducing the factor that makes it possible to commit crimes, authorities can not only reduce crime but also eliminate it entirely because research suggests that without motivations, criminals quit their criminal habits (Telep & Weisburd, 2015).

The alternative solutions all work at reducing the number of minorities in jail through different avenues. However, they cannot as effective as the proposed strategy due to their limitations. To begin with, deterring crime by reducing the factors that encourage or enable crime is difficult due to limitations in the Fourth Amendment that may be possibly breached. Guns are one of the primary facilitators of crime. Without guns, it is a possible crime rate would decrease (Kleck, 2015). However, it would be a major hurdle winning the debate against guns considering how polarizing the issue is between those who support banning guns or control and those who do not (Boylan et al., 2013). The war on drugs could also lead to reduced crime; however, inefficiencies in international cooperation limit the ability to stop distribution of narcotics (Kearney et al., 2014). Addressing socio-economic disparities is also a possible solution to reducing the high and harsh sentencing rates of minorities. However, allocation of resources is a political issue that pits taxpayers against the beneficiaries of special programs from the government (Binswanger et al., 2012). It is, therefore, difficult to address disparities by allocation of resources due to the political nature of resource allocation.

Feasibility of the Proposal

Instituting structural reforms and changes in the whole justice system is a comprehensive plan that addresses various elements that lead to the problem. This course of action is less restricted by political influence based especially on race. It involves changes in laws that support equal and fair treatment regardless of race or socioeconomic class. In addition, the laws are backed by structures that facilitate their implementation. These laws will not institute programs that will be perceived as burdens to the taxpayers. The reforms will be based on existing structures and make use of modern facilities to achieve the improvement goals. In addition, the structures will set a platform for further additional modifications. Furthermore, the programs will have no new and challenging- to- adapt- to changes, but rather small tweaks that are possible to integrate into existing systems and run immediately. The changes will also not be harsh or vindictive to any particular group, but rather provide a level playing field for all parties to be in the view of the law as opposed to some socioeconomic groups feeling particularly under too much observation.

Actions to be Taken

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