Over-representation of Maori in the criminal justice system Resources Comorbid substance use disorders and mental health disorders among New Zealand prisoners Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. The Court found that over-representation was “only the tip of the iceberg insofar as the estrangement of the aboriginal peoples from the Canadian criminal justice system is concerned.” In R. v. Ipeelee in 2012, the Court restated its findings in Gladue. People from a Black, Asian, ‘Mixed’ or ‘Chinese and other’ background were over-represented as defendants in the criminal justice system in 2019, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data. By doubting the work that the judiciary does the public also doubts that the judges know what they are doing and whether or not they understand the world in which they work. Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice; The over-representation of indigenous people in custody in Australia The over-representation of indigenous ... Offenders, Statistics, Courts, Corrections, Trends, Criminal justice system, Comparisons, Victims. Over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system: An exploratory report (September 2007) 4 September 2007 Executive Summary Māori are disproportionately represented in criminal justice statistics to an alarming degree. It is important for researcher’s to maintain their distance from what they study. According to Gabbidon it is hard to determine that race affects or plays a role in this decision as the race of the defendants is not disclosed (Gabbidon 2010). As a result, about half the inmates in the United States are African-American” (The Atlantic, 1998). The overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in crime and justice can be seen in early history, for example through the work of Frederick McClintock’s “crimes of violence” (1963), which studies violent crimes and finds that the conviction rate of black people increases by 13% in a span of 10 years (McClintock,1963). Judges are therefore immune when acting in judicial capacity; this means the act does not apply to the sentencing of offenders in the courts (Gabbidon, 2010). It will also look at the nature and extent of the variation in sentencing -if any at all- what might cause the variation and any available solution strategies. Media discourse thus blames crime on ethnic identity. The Royal Commission was also very clear in its analysis of the approach to dealing with the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. To explore the public opinions on the role of race in the sentencing processes of the Criminal Justice System a questionnaire was distributed to a small sample. In Nordic Countries, the educational and reinsertion in society approach, both socially and economically, leads to lesser incarceration rates (and the social democratic welfare state will reduce risk). In the media, crime is attributed to the culture of certain communities. The research question was then further informed, from the analysis of public opinions it can be argued that racial discrimination does exist in the sentencing stages of the Criminal Justice System, but to some extent. Overrepresentation in criminal justice systems, computer generated “predictive policing,”, Globalisation and State Sovereignty: A Mixed Bag, Copyright © 2015 London School of Economics. For example the response rate was low (raising generalizability and representative issues), there was little to no control of who volunteered and completed the questionnaire (can lead to bias). The powers are not totally unfettered; the most commonly used powers require ‘reasonable grounds’ for suspicion, although this is somewhat of a moveable feast. They all varied in gender and age; however, no specifics were noted about their age or gender due to limited time and the low significance of the issue. • Although Māori are 13% of the New Zealand population, in 2006 they accounted for 43% of all police apprehensions. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! Hood’s findings were unsurprising in relation to previous research; he found that the racial difference in sentencing was less than what might have been assumed. For non-Indigenous people, the imprisonment rate has increased by 24%, from 131 to 163 per 100,000 over the same period. In comparison to the previous question it was discovered that about 90 per cent of those who thought judges were doing a poor job also thought that the sentences were too lenient (see appendix 7). It is, therefore, evident that it is difficult to draw conclusions that race is the main explanation for the higher and harsher sentence rates of ethnic minorities as there are too many variables affecting the same decision. Respondents were asked to list as many sentencing options as they knew. The second part attempts to understand higher risk levels for some groups, by exploring structural factors: different levels of inequality, linked to types of welfare states, embedded ideologies (neoliberalism) and approaches to crime and punishment (retributivist, utilitarian). The need for credible research had an effect on the way the research was conducted because to ensure credibility certain guidelines needed to be followed and deviation from these was not permitted. To accept cookies, click continue. This paper attempts to shed … Firstly, certain groups are overrepresented, not because they are higher offenders, but because they are over-targeted : “Crime rates do not account for incarceration rates.” (Hartney, 2006). ... that bias operates within the criminal justice system, such that any suspected or actual offending by … An intersectional approach only may fully explain which groups are most overrepresented. Referencing the work of Hood brings the purpose of this research into context. The sentencing process is one of the important stages of the Criminal Justice System, not only is an important decision to be made but this is also how justice is seen as being done (Ashworth, 1983). Multiculturalism in Britain is thus portrayed as culture clash. It is important however, not to take these findings at face value as hood’s study faced a lot of issues both methodologically and theoretically. In using questionnaires interviewer variability was avoided and the questionnaires also proved to be more convenient for respondents. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. This made the topic easier to investigate. This obviously leaves poorer groups, because they are at higher risk (as discussed before), to be overrepresented. For example Birmingham Crown Court, which had the largest percentage of the whole sample, the chance of a black offender to be given a custodial sentence was one in three; while in Dudley Crown Court the chance was one in two. The study was set to identify the variation in sentencing for each ethnic group through multivariate analysis on the basis of 15 variables that were selected. Without tackling inequality there is no hope for changes in criminal statistics – there is a need for social justice, as well as economic distribution through progressive taxation (Piketty, 2013). Disabling Justice - Why the system fails people with disability and mental illness. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes. Essay competition 2018 second place: Is war and conflict an inevitable feature of global politics? They looked at the decision-making process of over 3,000 defendants, from this they discovered that over 50% of the black defendants were unemployed, this being more than double that of white or Asian defendants was seen as influencing the decision (Brown and Hullin, 1992). By Eponine Howarth (LSE (BSc Politics and International Relations). Ethnic minorities are also more likely to receive punitive sentences than white people and are overrepresented in aspects of certain crimes such as robbery, drug offences and -in some areas- firearms offences. Just over half thought that the sentences were too lenient (59 per cent) to some extent and just below half of the respondents (41 per cent) thought that the sentences were lenient enough. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! 2. After volunteers had shown interest on approach, they were briefed on the purpose of the research, each volunteer was then informed that they could stop doing the questionnaire at any time and that the questionnaire would remain anonymous and they were reassured that their data would not be used against them, that their information would not be handed to third parties and would only be seen by an examiner. This was seen as the better choice at the time of research as these questionnaires would help to get responses from large quantities at a time with no interviewer effects (Seale, 2004). To have a better and deeper understanding of the research findings, the research will be drawing on some theoretical concepts. 13th Apr 2017 Criminology Reference this. Indigenous people are overrepresented in Canada's criminal justice system as both victims and as people accused or convicted of crime. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. In recent years, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland courts have sought to rely on a range of 'diversionary' practices such as youth justice conferencing and cautioning as a response to the alarmingly high rates of over- representation of Indigenous youth in Queensland's criminal justice system. An individual is then most likely to follow the attitudes of their preferred groups just so they could be rewarded in the case of judges for example for promotions and higher pay rolls. Questionnaires were the choice of method mainly due to the sensitivity of the topic; it made it easy for participants to respond freely to the questions even though they might have felt uncomfortable about the topic (Bryman, 2008). McMaster, J. Aboriginal over-representation in the criminal justice system: A tale of nine cities. The utilitarian approach may lead to lesser overrepresentation, depending on the view of the usefulness of prisons. A prejudice is seen as an attitude that serves cognitive and emotional functions. Ethnic minorities are also seen to be discriminated against by courts; they are much more severely dealt with when it comes to sentences received in courts, more likely to be sent to prison than whites who have committed the same offence (Hood, 1992). To narrow this down this research, the essay will focus mainly on the overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in the sentencing stages of the Criminal Justice System, even though it is recognised that those of Asian background are only slightly overrepresented in the prison population in comparison to those of black background. The questions were constructed from guided topics (Blaxter, 2010). We do not assume the existence of a single criminal justice system or definition of crime : both vary across space and time, and levels of overrepresentation vary accordingly. The level of inequality is a strong determinant of risk : social and economic exclusion. Questions about the equality of minority treatment by police, courts and other personnel in the justice system have prompted state policymakers to address this important issue. According to the theory of prejudice, experience and knowledge are its main functions, it is important for an individual to know what they are doing and understand the world in which they do it in (Anderson and Taylor, 2007). Through this an individual’s self-mage and social identity are seen as being more important (Tajfel’s social identity theory). However, the sample was too small to draw any significant conclusions from the findings due to the issues associated with methodology and theory. Since the growth of ethnic minorities in Britain with its peak in the 1990’s the interest in their progress has increased. Second is the instrumental function which is associated with rewards and punishments (Anderson and Taylor, 2007). Looking for a flexible role? Respondents were asked to estimate that out of every 50 ethnic minorities that were convicted of any of these crimes, how many ended up in prison. To find out more about cookies and change your preferences, visit our, Call for Abstracts: New Challenges, New Perspectives LSEUPR Annual Undergraduate Conference 2021, Essay competition 2018 winner: “The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate” – Thomas Jefferson. It is an error to consider the human being as naturally inclined to committing criminal offences – a racist or sexist approach because the is no scientific evidence that men, or black ethnic minorities are naturally criminals. Overrepresentation is different in some countries because some welfare states attempt to prevent crime, by limiting risk factors for those excluded from capitalist markets. Furthermore, neoliberal laissez-faire economics in the US, suggest the market naturally redistributes wealth fairly. The purpose of the methods used was to collect information on public opinions about the process of sentencing and how this is affected by race. Many of the research findings on race and sentencing have issues -for example methodological and theoretical issues and concerns – this results in the difficulty to prove that a relationship between race and the sentencing decision exists (Spalek, 2008). Hood wanted to find out the race effect of sentencing and to do so he looked at 2,884 defendants who appeared in different Crown Courts in the West Midlands. However, statistics show that ethnic minorities are overrepresented at all stages of the Criminal Justice System. It is clear that the role of race in certain stages of the Criminal Justice System such as sentencing is very important. Residential segregation shows that poorer groups tend to be concentrated in areas where the access to public services is worse : schools, infrastructures etc. Inequality is a strong explanatory factor of over-incarceration : school failure, peer influence, living in poor areas, drug use and joblessness (Webster, 2007). The reproduction of these inequalities (economic, social, cultural) and lack of social mobility (equal opportunities : Sen and Nussbaum) lead to the perpetual overrepresentation of the same groups. Although mostly small at each point, the cumulative effect is likely to be sufficient to justify closer examination and investigation of options to reduce disproportionate representation of Māori. But, there is obviously no perfect method of collecting data, as surveys rely on a reliable sample. This essay suggests that systematic overrepresentation of certain groups is more structural, a collective fate for ethnic minorities (holistic approach) in individualistic societies, rather than the agency (methodological individualism) or biology of these individuals. As well as advantages, the method used had limitations and this may have affected the validity of the findings. Understanding Race and Crime. The focus on certain neighbourhoods, also means that the crimes committed in that specific area come to the police’s attention, rather than in other neighbourhoods (since there is no unlimited police forces : selectivity) : ”Drug crime is everywhere, but police only find it where they’re looking.” (Isaac and Lum 2016). That’s why I have asked David Lammy MP to lead a review of the over-representation of defendants from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in the criminal justice system. However, there is no understanding systematic overrepresentation without understanding certain structural risk factors : levels of socio-economic inequality (exclusion from communities and markets), because of different welfare states, ideologies and approaches crime. – Meant that topics to be addressed in the questionnaires would be sensitive and/or embarrassing to some, it was, therefore, easier to be addressed through an anonymous questionnaire (Babbie, 2010). The respondents were then questioned about 3 types of crime (robbery, drug and firearm offences). Due to the nature of the topic the respondents were given the option to take the questionnaire home and complete it in private. Australian crime: facts & figures 2013. These results were inter-linked, those who estimated high numbers robbery did so too for the remaining categories and those who put slightly lower numbers for robbery also did so for the remaining two categories. For research such as this it is important to address some ethical considerations in order to collect good data (O’Leary, 2004). 3.20Figure 3.3 below shows that the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has increased 41% over 10 years, from 1,438 per 100,000 in 2006 to 2,039 per 100,000 persons in 2016. The govern… Key points were identified that were used in the construction of the questions (see appendix 1 for questionnaire guide) these included available sentencing options for ethnic minorities, imprisonment for different types of offences, sentence leniency and sentencing length. Research into race and sentencing like those referenced above and others alike bring up concerns about some of the questions left unanswered about the topic. Predictive policing predicts crime to occur in a particular place, and therefore the police’s resources are concentrated towards arresting crime perpetrators in these areas. Criminal statistics show that people of muslim religion, black race, of male gender and of lower class are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and prison populations in particular. This would shine light on the public opinions and whether or not pressure from these opinions affects the decision making in the sentencing process of the Criminal Justice System and how this decision is influenced by the race of the defendant. In 2010 the rates for indictable offences were higher for white persons at 81% than for ethnic minorities, 74% for black and 77% for Asians (Race and the CJS, 2010). For example, in 2014, a significantly higher proportion of Indigenous people than non-Indigenous people in Canada (aged 15+) reported being victimized in … The unclarity of what constitutes ‘reasonable grounds’ for lawful police action translates into a culture of targeting BAME people at a disproportionate rate. The report is a decade old. We're here to answer any questions you have about our services. To ensure credibility of this research, standardised instruments were used because they can be assessed in a direct way. C. Ideologies (neoliberalism) and approaches to crimes (retributivist vs utilitarian). Copyright © 2003 - 2021 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Ultimately, overrepresentation of economically and socially excluded groups is higher in liberal welfare states like the Unites States, also fuelled by neoliberalism and a retributivist approach – the incarceration of those financially excluded from markets committing crime. Thus, the crucial intersectional approach (Crenshaw, 1990), because it is not men or black people that are overrepresented, but young black men from lower social classes (intersection of race, gender, age and class). The significant over-representation of people with disability and mental illness in prisons represents a failure in providing appropriate supports, early intervention and alternative pathways, said panelists at a forum on disability in the justice system held at RMIT University on Friday, 1 March 2019. However, even though race might not have an influence at this stage, it is clear to others such as Hood (1992), Mhlanga (1997) and Banks (1999) that race does affect prosecution, sentencing and legal representation. There was limited knowledge of non-custodial sentences. Cunneen, C. (2006), ‘Racism, Discrimination and the Over-Representation of Indigenous People in the Criminal Justice System: Some Conceptual and Explanatory Issues’, Current Issues in Criminal Justice… Hood himself admitted that he did not aim to provide a general or casual explanation but wants to make sure that the reasons for these differences in treatment between ethnic minorities and whites should remain open to speculation (Spalek, 2008). Māori Over-representation in the Criminal Justice System overall, and this was particularly marked for Māori (an increase of 40%). Overrepresentation also suggests two types of problems : groups more likely to commit crime, and those more likely to be arrested. A strategy to address this overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in sentencing is needed to bring together departments and find ways to reduce it. • Māori are particularly over-represented in violent, dishonesty and administrative offences. BAME youth continue to be disproportionately targeted by police’s wide-ranging stop and search powers. The method used closed-ended questionnaires. This means if most of the distribution of cases had been from Dudley Crown Court and not Birmingham Crown Court the results would have been more racially biased (Hood, 1992). 15 questionnaires where completed for the purpose of this research; the questionnaires were obtained from individuals whose participation was entirely voluntary and they were not offered any compensation. He found that only 5% of blacks were more likely to be given a custodial sentence than whites and that 80% of the overrepresentation of black offenders who were in prison were there due to the severity of their offences and not their race. Prejudice is hard to remove showing the difficulty in combating the negative opinions of the public. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. VAT Registration No: 842417633. criminalising adultery). In the US, the lower income groups, also happen to be immigrants with different ethnic backgrounds (importance of immigration levels). Although the prevalence of illegal drug use among white men is approximately the same as that among black men, black men are five times as likely to be arrested for a drug offences. It does not mean there is no need to inquire on whether they too suffer discrimination in the Criminal Justice System or not (Gabbidon, 2010). This is made clear by Bowling and Phillips (2002), when they note that ‘once a suspect has been charged with an offence at the police station, their case file is sent to the crown prosecution service (CPS) in order that they can make the decision about whether to proceed to court with the case or to terminate the case – in which case the defendant does not have to attend court or face criminal charges. Aboriginal over-representation in the justice system The majority of Aboriginal people will never offend nor become involved in the Victorian criminal justice system. Esping-Anderson (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. The consequences of colonisation are far-reaching and intergenerational, continuing to play out in Aboriginal peoples’ interactions with the criminal justice system. Overrepresented because higher risk factors – structural mechanisms. Spacial inequality (e.g. Although this sampling method has questionable issues, especially with representation (Bryman, 2008), this was not much of a problem to the research as it was mainly for exploratory purposes. From early history its evident that race plays some sort of role in the sentencing of ethnic minorities. This leads to immediate assumptions that ethnic minorities are then automatically at a disadvantage (Mathews, 2009). The least popular options included compensation (18 per cent), conditional charge (15 per cent) and electronic tagging (20 per cent) (see appendix 8). These factors could all play a part: areas and environment in which they grew up in, social and material deprivation, boundaries up the employment ladder and inadequate socialisation, just to name a few (Mathews, 2009). It is then clear that although the public are aware of some sentencing penalties, not all of them are known as a result not thought of when the public talk about sentencing. The media is largely guilty because of the way it contributes to the depiction of black minority people, as true perpetrators of violence. The inquiry on the role race has on sentencing is enlarged in the study by Roger Hood (1992). Crime becomes an expression of class conflict or a reaction to structural disadvantages. The estimates about imprisonment also seemed to be related to the leniency of the sentences the offenders received. Sveinsson (2008). It is clear that previous research on race and sentencing tends to focus on the role of the courts and the judges and how they make their decisions. It is important to investigate the procedure that occurs when an individual is to be sentenced, when researching the effects of race on the differences in sentencing. Only 23 percent of respondents thought that judges were doing a good job; 48 percent thought that they were doing a fair job and 29 percent thought they were doing a poor job (see appendix 3). But, why are certain groups of people systematically overrepresented in the criminal justice system? Considering crime punishable for the simple fact it’s a crime (retributivist approach), leads to the natural incarceration and overrepresentation of higher risk groups (criminalisation expansion in the US). Targeted policing also requires intersectionality : “Among those arrested for drug crimes, the proportion who are African-American men has tripled. The questionnaire was used to collect direct information relating to the opinions of the public about the behaviour of certain people; it also looked at the basic opinions of a group of individuals in relation to the issue in question. The research question that will be investigated will then be: Does racial discrimination exist in the sentencing stages of the Criminal Justice System? This, however, does not apply to officials representing the Crown as they are exercising powers to exclude or punish. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. The methodological issues resulted mainly from the prediction scale used and its accuracy of only 75 per cent and their ‘risk of custody score’ which could only include relevant factors and in so doing leaving out important factors such as unemployment (Hood, 1992). It shows that there are far too many variables to accurately study this process and come out with valid and representative results, either way some important variables are left out or irrelevant ones included. The participants were approached in Coventry town centre and were asked to complete a questionnaire. In the US’s highly individualistic and low job protection liberal welfare state, we notice stronger inequality and stronger incarceration rates, whereas in Scandinavian social democratic welfare states, inequality is lower and incarceration rates too. http://www.nccdglobal.org/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/factsheet-us-incarceration.pdf. He observed that it would not seem right for a judge to ignore any public opinion when in court. W hen David Cameron asked me to conduct a review into the over-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system, I thought I … The nature of the mobilisation determines the type of welfare capitalism that emerges : the social democratic︎ regime – highest level of decommodification, egalitarian in aim (e.g. One thing they do share, however, is a high rate of poverty” (The Atlantic, 1998).