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Criminal and Social Justice Intersection: Annotated Bibliography

Feigenberg, B., & Miller, C. (2021). Racial divisions and criminal justice: Evidence from Southern state courts. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 13(2), 207–240. Web.

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This article addresses the profound injustices embedded in the criminal justice system of the United States. According to Feigenberg and Miller (2021), this aspect of the U.S. government focuses on punishment, as harsh conditions and serious sentences prevail within it. At the same time, the punitive side of the American criminal justice system is not homogeneous, as certain groups endure poorer conditions in this regard. More specifically, Feigenberg and Miller (2021) argue that racial factors affect arrest outcomes, which is why people of color are detained more often, and face worse sentences. This situation is enabled by profound biases embedded in the law enforcement structures on various levels. The authors of the article test their hypothesis, according to which racial heterogeneity contributes to the unequal distribution of justice in the Southern States. The study outcomes confirm this assumption, highlighting the detrimental impact of racial biases on the functioning of the system.

The discussed article provides relevant information in regards to the research on the intersection of social and criminal variations of justice. Moreover, it adds an empirical dimension to the discussion, enabling a better understanding of the practical impact of the matter. These findings confirm that social justice and its criminal counterpart are not currently synchronized across many areas of the country. The data can be used to support the arguments against the current distribution of justice.

Fernandes, A. D., & Crutchfield, R. D. (2018). Race, crime, and criminal justice. Criminology & Public Policy, 17(2), 397–417. Web.

This study concentrates on the evolution of the racialized perception of justice in the United States. As stated by Fernandes and Crutchfield (2018), President Johnson’s administration devoted little or no attention to the social aspect of justice in its recommendations to the system. Moreover, the authorities of the time started an opposite tendency that drew further division between social and criminal justice. In fact, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administrations of Justice manipulated the arrest record statistics to portray people of color in an unfavorable manner. More specifically, the responsible bodies of the government claimed that black people committed more crimes, thus explaining their higher incarceration rates. However, this situation disrupted the nexus of justice, law enforcement, and correction, as the statistics did not consider the initially biased arrest procedures that targeted people of color and favored white criminals. As per the primary idea of the discussed article, these manipulations aggravated profound racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

The ideas presented in the writing are highly relevant in that they show the danger of statistical manipulation. The facts mentioned by Fernandes and Crutchfield (2018) make the connection between the biased presentation of data and social injustice within the system obvious. Furthermore, the authors show that the root of the issue often lies on the nationwide, systemic level. Accordingly, in order to establish a culturally aware nexus of social and criminal justice, such biased manipulations of facts are to be excluded.

Owusu-Bempah, A. (2017). Race and policing in historical context: Dehumanization and the policing of Black people in the 21st century. Theoretical Criminology, 21(1), 23–34. Web.

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The concept of a progressive, socially aware system of criminal justice is inseparable from an unbiased model of correction. Owusu-Bempah (2017) argues that the current disparities in the criminal justice system stem from the severe demonization of black people within the sphere of law enforcement. In fact, the author states that the very conceptualization of race in criminology severely lacks coverage. At the same time, the ongoing debate regarding the introduction of social justice into the correctional and judicial systems will see a major contribution from a focused discussion on this topic. According to Owusu-Bempah (2017), one of the primary causes of the disparities is related to the historical dehumanization of people of color that has persisted through the 21st century. The portrayal of black people as dangerous, innate criminals by default has created a distorted image that has nothing to do with reality. Ultimately, these biases permeated multiple tiers of the system, affecting even the presumably unbiased bodies, such as courts of law.

The discussion within this article is highly interesting in the context of social and criminal justice. The findings by Owusu-Bempah (2017) will provide a factual foundation, reflecting the degree, to which racial biases affect the administration of justice even in the most developed communities. In spite of the recent surge in positive movements, the situation remains alarming as its residual impact persists. This evidence shows that a positive nexus of correction and justice cannot be established unless the biases are addressed and eradicated.

Pillsbury, S. (2019). Imagining a Greater Justice. Taylor & Francis.

In the chapter “Healing the American community: Race and criminal justice”, Samuel Pillsbury has provided a piece of immense interest within his broader research into the concept of justice. In fact, the author’s central idea implies that the current understanding of justice has grown obsolete in the contemporary environment. For Pillsbury (2019), the idea of justice transcends beyond the mere act of punishment. First of all, the notion is multi-faceted, comprising more than the criminal per se. Victims, relatives, and communities are to be considered by the administration of justice. In other words, the correct execution of these principles suggests that justice is to have a positive effect on society, thus exercising the ideas of social justice instead of focusing on the criminal aspect. Sentences and verdicts are to be comprehensive and clear, meeting the needs of all parties involved in the process. This way, society will be to move toward greater, better justice.

The author provides an interesting perspective on the very understanding of this fundamental concept. On a subconscious level, justice tends to be associated with court sessions and prison sentences for criminals. However, Pillsbury’s (2019) views paint a different picture of a broader context that needs to be considered. His ideas can be used to highlight the complexity of actual justice, thus laying the foundation for the necessity of its social side.

Walker, H. L., & García-Castañon, M. (2017). For love and justice: The mobilizing of race, gender, and criminal justice contact. Politics & Gender, 13(4), 541–568. Web.

The ideas of greater justice and its impact within a broader context are discussed in this article, as well. More specifically, Walker and García-Castañon (2017) argue that social injustices within the system affect much more people than initially perceived. In addition to alleged criminals, the increased incarceration tendencies have a negative impact on their families, friends, and entire communities, drawing further divisions within society. The authors present alarming statistics, showing the prevalence of ‘custodial citizenship” among ethnic minority groups. People of African American and Hispanic origins are forced to endure the many facets of social injustice under the pretense of correction. In the end, the correctional aspect of the process usually fails, creating further disparities on all levels of society. Ultimately, the lack of balance between social justice, criminal justice, and correction aggravates the profound issues that affect today’s communities of the country.

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Such research is highly necessary, as it showcases the magnitude of the problem, prompting scholars to devise new effective solutions. As a matter of fact, the damaging side of social injustices appears to be ignored by the current system of justice administration. The research by Walker and García-Castañon (2017) enables serious arguments that support the indispensable status of social justice in correction. Without it, millions of lives remain subject to unnecessary suffering, making the problem self-propelled.

References

Feigenberg, B., & Miller, C. (2021). Racial divisions and criminal justice: Evidence from Southern state courts. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 13(2), 207–240. Web.

Fernandes, A. D., & Crutchfield, R. D. (2018). Race, crime, and criminal justice. Criminology & Public Policy, 17(2), 397–417. Web.

Owusu-Bempah, A. (2017). Race and policing in historical context: Dehumanization and the policing of Black people in the 21st century. Theoretical Criminology, 21(1), 23–34. Web.

Pillsbury, S. (2019). Imagining a Greater Justice. Taylor & Francis.

Walker, H. L., & García-Castañon, M. (2017). For love and justice: The mobilizing of race, gender, and criminal justice contact. Politics & Gender, 13(4), 541–568. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2023. "Criminal and Social Justice Intersection: Annotated Bibliography." January 13, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/criminal-and-social-justice-intersection-annotated-bibliography/.

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