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Cultural Perspective on Crime

Write a position on whether or not you feel that minorities are overrepresented in the criminal justice system because of prejudices within the system. Use Internet sources to support your position. Please include references.

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First, it is important that you define "minorities". I suggest using the term Black and minority ethnic groups (BME) to cover black, Asian, Irish etc.

At a general level, all Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups have a higher representation as users of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) when compared to their representation as members of the population as a whole. This is especially true for Black and Asian suspects and offenders. Black and Asian people experience a greater likelihood of being stopped and searched. Moreover, Black defendants are more prominent in the Crown Court caseload, although this is partly due to a tendency to elect for jury trial more often than other ethnic groups, including White. Furthermore, Black people are also overrepresented in the prison population reflecting, at least in part, the longer average sentences imposed upon them.

In the UK,

- In 2004/5 an estimated 1.3 million arrests for notifiable offences took place. Of these, 9% were recorded as being of Black people, ...

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