Black American Discrimination in U.S. Criminal Justice System

Racial disparities across the United States cities have been documented in the entire criminal justice system, from long-term imprisonment to routine police stops. Blacks are more likely to be stopped, searched, and handcuffed on American streets or roads compared to whites or any other race in the country. Analysis of pedestrian and traffic stops in Oakland, California, for instance, revealed a consistent racial disparity pattern. It was established that 60% of stops made by policies in the city involved African Americans, despite the group accounting for just 28% of the population in the city. Once stopped, black Americans were substantially more probable to be searched, handcuffed, and arrested (Hetey & Eberhardt, 2018).

The disparities persisted to be statistically noteworthy even after the control of over 24 factors relevant to decision-making among officers, such as underlying socioeconomic and racial demographics, and crime rates where they stop were made. Similar patterns are documented in other cities including New York City, Boston, Los Angles, North Carolina, and Greensboro among others. Also, there is a striking racial disparity in the incarcerated population. Although African Americans only account for 13% of the country’s population, they make up about 40% of the inmates in the country (Hetey & Eberhardt, 2018). The high number of blacks in U.S. prisons is demonstrate the mass criminalization of Blacks and high racial discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system.

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Racism in the US Criminal Justice System is a Pandemic

Racial discrimination among African Americans is widespread and highly documented in the American criminal justice system. The discrimination starts with the police encounters which are frequently a person’s entry points into the criminal justice system. During these encounters, the police engage in different community members’ treatment due to their race. When probing illegal acts varying in severity from considerably minor crimes such as traffic violations to more serious crimes such as actual or threatened violence, police officers are extra probable to use less force or to be lenient with White compared to Black offenders (Kovera, 2019).

Black has been found to have been traffic stop targets in most cases, particularly to check their documents or for no reason at all. Blacks are also more likely to be searched in traffic or any other police-related stop compared to white. Besides this, black is also likely to be roughed by police in most of their encounters compared to white (Kovera, 2019). Hetey and Eberhardt (2018) research established that police were more likely to talk to black with a high level of disrespect in traffic stops compared to whites. Also, police are more likely to rough unarmed black men based on suspension, including shooting unarmed black and such incidences are likely to happen with other races. Blacks are also more likely to be arrested for all possible reasons including drug possession, violence, theft, or mere suspicion compared to people of other races, and to go through trial and be incarnated (Kovera, 2019). Generally, despite black Americans accounting for 13.4% of the total US population, they make up 22% of fatal police shootings, 35% of individuals executed by the death penalty, and 47% of wrongful convictions (Inman, 2022). This demonstrates the level of discrimination in the US criminal justice system.

            Black men are imprisoned in federal or state prison at six times the rate compared to white men. In their lifetime, one in every three Black American males can anticipate being incarcerated compared to one in every seventeen White males in the country (Hetey & Eberhardt, 2018). Also, Black males aged 18 to 19 are 12 times more probable to be imprisoned compared to the white male of the same age group in 2019 (Carson, 2019). This was documented as the highest white-to-black racial disparity for all age groups in the country. Moreover, African-American men face disproportionately harsher incarceration experiences compared to whites.

Also, racial disparities are evident among Black youth, who are likely to be subjected to a long-existing school-to-prison pipeline and higher incarceration rates as Juveniles (Inman, 2022). The 2019 statistics also show that Black females were 1.7 times more probable to be imprisoned compared to White females (Carson, 2019). This shows that Blacks are discriminated against despite their age or gender in the American criminal justice system. The injustice and differential treatment evidence in the criminal justice system is devastating as the issues underlying the situations are historically based, ongoing, and pervasive. Given the population of African-American men in the US, these statistics are overwhelmingly discriminatory.

The Recidivism Rate in the US Shows Outright Discrimination against African-Americans

African-American men have higher rates of recidivism despite evidence of lower risk factors. African-American men are re-incarcerated more quickly and more often than any other group. For instance, follow-up research in North Carolina demonstrated that over 58% of Black males were re-incarcerated compared to less than half of White Male in the study, within eight-year after release. This is despite Black men demonstrating lower risk scores on almost all of the variables employed on a standardized risk assessment tool. The research established that Black men contained less contact with the criminal system and fewer risk factors usually related to recidivism. This proposes that other than individual risks, other aspects, such as implicit and racism bias, employment opportunities and poverty are driving recidivism in the local community.

(, 2018). Kovera (2019) supports that the reason behind this disparity is that in the US criminal justice system risk factors for recidivism go beyond personal factors to incorporate others such as implicit bias and racism. Once an African-American is incarcerated, whether as a juvenile or adult, they are more likely to spend the rest of their life in and out of prison. This is because although there are no significant differences in overall risk factors between African-American and white youths, Black males are at increased risk of recidivism (Campbell et al., 2018).  The disproportionality in the recidivism rate demonstrates bias against African-Americans by the US criminal justice system.

The Discrimination by the U.S. Justice System Over African-Americans is Against Christian Teachings

The U.S. criminal justice system is highly discriminative, especially against Blacks. The country has established a system that criminalizes Blacks based on their mere appearance. This makes the country considerably unsafe for them as one is likely to be labeled as a criminal and be incarnated, shot, or harassed without concrete evidence. This kind of treatment is against biblical teachings about fairness and justice. In Isaiah 1:17 (ESV) “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause.” This scripture emphasizes that those in authority must seek justice and correct oppression. The US criminal justice system has been unjust and oppressed African-Americans for a long time and it is time that this is corrected.

The injustice among Black Americans is historically rooted in slavery. It seems the majority sees them as fewer humans and hence they can be mistreated. The element of racism in American society seems also to play a great part in promoting black discrimination in the country. Such social issues may need to be addressed to make America safer for Black Americans. Also, Plasms 89:14 (ESV) claims that “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” The US criminal justice needs to make justice the foundation of its activities. The criminal justice system is designed to deliver justice for all (Platt, 2019). However, it seems to overlook this fact when it comes to people of color. The criminal justice has made black discrimination and biased treatment obvious in the country. This makes it hard to effectively implement any policy meant to eliminate racial disparity in the country, as the criminal justice acts result in labeling of blacks, creating negative perception of the community in the society.


It is evident from this analysis that Black Americans are more likely to go through the criminal justice system for one reason or another in their lifetime. This is not because they are the most sinful or unruly community in the United States, but because they are more likely to be stopped, searched, roughed, and arrested by police in the country. The system has generally painted Blacks as criminals, making them suspects in everything they do. Consequently, there are more Blacks in American prisons and the criminal justice system than other races, despite the community only accounting for just 13% of the population in the country.

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