Free Essay

Patterns of Discrimination

In: Social Issues

Submitted By prutkoski
Words 1555
Pages 7
Patterns of Discrimination
Student Name

Deep in the veins of American history, discrimination is an issue that the country is still working to overcome. Throughout history, there are reports of police abusing discretion to satisfy their prejudiced beliefs. Some examples of this are the beating of Rodney King in 1991, the deaths of African American citizens during the Hurricane Katrina tragedy in 2005, detainment of Professor Gates, and, of course, the abuse of African Americans during slavery in the early days of America (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2012). It seems eliminating all discrimination in law enforcement is close to impossible. Today, institutionalized, contextual, and individual acts of discrimination keep the attainment of pure justice just out of society’s reach.
Types of Discrimination Institutionalized discrimination is not always intended, but occurs when a policy or procedure inadvertently leaves or singles out a specific group of people. In modern law enforcement practices, this form of discrimination is reflected through the war on drugs. Through research and years of enforcing drug laws, it has come to be expected that the common drug player will be an African American male. Hispanics are also commonly singled out through the war on drugs. While this discrimination is unintentional, African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to be arrested for drug related offenses than their white non-Hispanic counterparts. Because this stereotype has proven useful in the past, officers are more likely to search for drugs or signs of drug use when encountering a person that fits into the stereotype. When striving for pure justice, institutionalized discrimination hinders process. It becomes difficult to attain a system that treats all individuals as equals when policies and procedures lead to stereotypes that single a group of people out. If pure justice is to be obtained, policies and procedures need to be scrutinized and stereotypes diminished. A less global form of discrimination, contextual discrimination can hinder pure justice in certain situations. Take, for instance, cases of domestic violence. More times than not, when law enforcement becomes involved in conflicts at home, the woman is the party that is protected. Another example may be when there is a dispute involving family members or friends of officers. If an officer is called out to his sibling’s home for a dispute between their family member and a neighbor, the officer will more than likely discriminate against the neighbor to protect their family. In extreme cases of this discrimination, crimes against a particular race, such as whites, are enforced or punished with harsher guidelines. Even when discrimination is situational, how can a system of pure justice be obtained? One method of limiting contextual discrimination would be to pair officers in a way that forces them to work with a person of a different cultural background. This partnership will cause officers to take another perspective into account before taking action. Finally, perhaps the most common form of discrimination occurs when one individual discriminates against another. Most people experience at least one encounter of individual acts of discrimination in their lifetime. When one individual commits a crime that discriminates against another based on their race, ethnicity or gender, it is considered a hate crime. In most states, hate crimes are considered especially harsh and punished under more strict guidelines than crimes involving offenders and victims of the same race. One could say that these harsher sentences are a form of institutionalized discrimination as well. In a system of pure justice, the sentences for hate crimes would be inflicted using the same guidelines as any other crime. The idea of pure justice is to treat all offenders as equals and work toward the benefit of everyone. When fighting discrimination with more discrimination, the benefit is not enjoyed by everyone, and thus pure justice cannot be obtained.
Overcoming Discrimination If a system of pure justice is to be obtained at any point in the future, society must first address all obstacles standing in the way. The first obstacle that comes to mind is the policing of diverse communities. Law enforcement officers have to communicate with people of many different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Prosser (2007) observes “Police officers encounter a language barrier of some sort during 33 percent of street encounters and 24 percent in the station house.” This obstacle can make the job of law enforcement very difficult as they try to serve and protect the community. When there is a language barrier, it can be difficult for an officer to determine the needs of the victim or the goals of the offender. This miscommunication can lead to frustration from the officer and the citizen they are communicating with. The frustration does not aid in advancing officer relationships with the community. Another difficulty in policing people of varying races and ethnicities are the vast majority of cultural backgrounds that officers may encounter. Different cultures respond best to varying methods of communicating. Latino’s, for instance, relate better when the focus is on the relationship instead of the initial problem as they are very family oriented. These people also, may not respond well to a woman officer because the male is typically the head of household (“”, 2015). The values of the community can play a heavy role in their interaction with the police. If the officer’s serving a certain community do not share similar values with the citizens, the individuals in the community may see them as different and believe that the officers do not understand their way of life or priorities. Inside the police force, discrimination creates barriers between co-workers. As mentioned earlier, language plays a role on the law enforcement team as well as policing in the community. Overcoming the obstacles in the organization may be the first step toward achieving pure justice in the community. To start, recruiting more diverse officers can help to level the playing field between officers and the community. If there were enough Hispanic officers, those individuals could be assigned to Hispanic communities as a means to narrow the language barriers and cultural differences. Race and ethnicity is not the only area of discrimination, however. Recruiting more female officers can help law enforcement in varying ways. Women comprise about 13% of all law enforcement officers sworn into service (Crooke, 2013). These low numbers are disappointing because society is suffering from not enjoying the benefits that women officers have to offer. Women are thought to be calmer in high stress situations and more reluctant to use force than their male counterparts. The reluctance to use force leaves room for a more open-minded problem solving approach. In most cases, women can solve issues at a more civil approach than men (“Women in Law Enforcment”, n.d.). Recruiting officers of different races, cultural backgrounds, and genders can help to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement organizations. Diversity exists because there is a misunderstanding of the lifestyles of individuals in the in community. Introducing new officers of varying minorities can help the relationship between the community and law enforcement by assigning officers from a like culture to parts of the community they will relate most too. Increasing the diversity among officers may also help relationships between officers in the same organization because they will have the opportunity to work with a diverse amount of people. Getting to know people of a different culture, background or perspective is the first step in understanding their needs, values, and issues. Further understanding of different cultures will help minimize the frustration with language barriers and cultural differences. If a system of pure justice is to be attained, discrimination must be eliminated in every aspect of society. To minimize institutionalized discrimination, organizations should carefully review each policy and procedure used and determine if there are members of society that are being stereotyped or singled out. In instances where a stereotype does exist, particular attention should be paid and efforts made to nullify the historical perspective. Accountability programs should be put in place to diminish contextual discrimination. As most officers work in teams, each individual should be partnered with an officer of a different culture, ethnicity, race or gender. This type of partnership will help officers to see more than one perspective when approaching any situation. Finally, individual acts of discrimination are most difficult to exterminate. At the most, officers should be held accountable for their own efforts to remain fair to all individuals in the communities they are serving. Furthermore, sentencing guidelines for hate crimes should be reviewed as two wrongs do not make a right. If society is to extinguish discrimination, offenders must still be treated the same, regardless of the cultural background of the offender.

Crooke, C. (July 2013). "Women in Law Enforcement." Community Policing Dispatch 6(7).
COPS, Retrieved on 18 Sept. 2015 from 2013/women_in_law_enforcement.asp (2015). Retrieved from
Prosser, M. A. (2007, January). Policing a Diverse Community. The Police Chief, 74(1), .
Retrieved from
Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2012). The color of justice: race, ethnicity, and crime in america (5th ed.). Bellmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Women in Law Enforcement. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Patterns of Discrimination

...Patterns of Discrimination in Police Agencies Paper Danielle Hill CJS/221 June 20, 2016 Ebony Pullins-Govantes Patterns of Discrimination in Police Agencies Paper Discrimination is the act of treating an individual different based on the way you perceive them to be, instead if their individual behavior and qualifications. The criminal justice system has multiple example of the discrimination that will assist me in illustrating my point. It wasn't until the 1960's that blacks were hired as officers because southern states didn't think to hire African Americans. The other police departments that decided to hire black officers made sure they had strict restrictions and stipulations. One restriction was that if you were an African American officer you were not allowed to arrest Caucasians. In most of the Northern police departments, blacks were required to only police the black neighborhoods instead of where the whites resided. This example are the types of discrimination that occurred within employment of the criminal discrimination also involved airlines. Female ma were only hired to be flight attendants because this wasn't a job for a man. Men were hired mainly to be managers and leaders of a company and woman were hired to do more office like duties, such as being a secretary. They didn't view the résumé of an individual first and their treatment was solely based on someone's personal beliefs and opinion. Currently, in the police agencies and...

Words: 1324 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Patterns of Discrimination

...know discrimination has been around for a while now. So what really is the true meaning of discrimination? Discrimination is when an individual or even a group of people are treated differently due to race, national origin, age, gender, etc. Never once will the person doing the discriminating shed light on what that person’s qualifications and individual behavior are, nor have they ever cared. To illustrate the point, here are a few examples of employment discrimination. Up until the 1960s, almost all police departments, especially the southern ones, never would hire officers that were African American. If you were lucky enough to be hired as an African American officer, there were many restrictions that came with it. For example African American officers could not arrest Caucasians, and were not allowed to work in Caucasian neighborhoods. As an African American you were kept in minority neighborhoods. These are the types of work practices that show what discrimination is. Just because of an individual’s race you were treated much differently with many restrictions. Lastly around the same time frame, males were not allowed to be flight attendants. Only females were allowed to work this position. This is an example of gender type discrimination. Never were qualifications and experience reviewed about an individual first. In today’s day and age, police agencies and our criminal justice system as a whole still show many patterns of discrimination. Some of those discrimination......

Words: 1418 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Patterns of Discrimination in Police Agencies

...Patterns of Discrimination in Police Agencies George Phillip CJS/221 October 13, 2015 LaTishia Wheaton Introduction Purpose Different Forms of Discrimination Patterns Discrimination refers to the arbitrary denial of opportunities, rights and privileges on the basis race, gender, sex and other aspects. Discrimination can be both legal and illegal depending on the situation. In a real-estate contract, for example, a land lord can legally discriminate against someone depending on the applicant’s situation. If the rent contract mentioned “NO PETS”, the landlord can deny the applicant and then turn around and accept an applicant with no pets. If the landlord on the other hand, refused rent to a female applicant because of her gender and gives rent to a male applicant, this type of discrimination is illegal. Discrimination is classified into individual discrimination, institutional discrimination and structural discrimination. In this paper, we will define each form of discrimination and compare them to see differences and similarities they have. In this paper, we will talk mainly about racial discrimination however, keep in mind all three forms of discrimination apply not only to race but also to gender, ethnicity, sexual preferences, religion marital status and other things. Institutional Discrimination Institutional Discrimination is defined as unjust and discriminatory mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals by society and its institutions as a......

Words: 1130 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Police Discrimination Paper

...Patterns of Discrimination in Police Agencies Lauren Raven CJS/221 Alan Hazel 3-15-2015 Patterns of Discrimination in Police Agencies Experiences with social institutions and law enforcement agencies shape the worldview by influencing community-police relations through individual and group perception. The patterns and existence of institutionalized discrimination, contextual discrimination, and individual discriminatory behaviors within the criminal justice system carry considerable influence on public perception of police departments. The effects of social class, race, and ethnicity on citizen opinions of how law enforcement agencies operate include instances of corruption, systematic discrimination, and general misunderstandings of cultural diversities. Institutionalized discrimination describes a wider pattern of events regarding discriminatory practices incorporated into processes, procedures, and organizational structure (Walker, Spone, Delone, 2012). An example may include policies that permit judges to consider employment or domestic history in their decision making process.Whether these occurrences are due to prejudice or racism, or are the result of a general lack of consideration for the needs of various social identities, they essentially indicate a problematic system. Pure justice provides restorative justice for victims and their rights, yet attains an unbiased,......

Words: 1276 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Compare Social Groups: (Example: Differences Between Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, Along with Their Comparison to Whites). Does Race and Sex Play a Role in Shaping the Life Chances of People Entering Into and Working

...ethnicity has always been and will always be a matter of debate. It is commonly claimed that differences exist among people belonging to different minority groups and when it come to gender, men are considered more privileged than women. In reality, statistics do support such assumptions; however, they do not explain the factors driving such preferential behaviors. In this essay, besides displaying some statistical data, I would go a bit further into analyzing the reasons of such patterns. The hiring process, although seemingly easy, is very complicated and entails several complex relationships. There are several perceived disadvantages of women or minority groups when it comes to employment. In the past 20 years, through affirmative action policies, men and women have been encouraged to enter non-traditional areas. However, the removal of legal barriers has not eliminated all obstacles faced by them. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were 28,372 charges of sex-based discrimination in 2008. Also, data collected from the American Community Survey in 2008 indicate that women in even the most economically advantaged race groups, white and Asian, earn less than men in the most economically disadvantaged race and ethnic group such as African Americans and Hispanic. The same study reveals that white and Asian men earn much more than African American or Hispanic men. This gap widens at the lowest levels of educations and narrows at...

Words: 946 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Women and Discrimination

...thoughts on the Review Questions Q3 in Schafer’s textbook (p. 368) (one paragraph) I feel very strongly against the patterns of women in the workplace differing from those of men. Women have historically been viewed as caretakers and or as worthy only of dead-end jobs (Schaefer, 2012). The pattern of pay inequity between employed women and men has been a continuing problem. To this day there is pay inequity and women struggle with the glass ceiling barrier. The patterns of discrimination, sexual harassment, and lack of opportunities still plague a women’s future in the workplace. In addition, there is a pattern that has been established by the societal roles women are assigned. Women are expected to clean the house, take care of the children, and work. While the man typically works and does occasional yard work on the weekends. After discussing this observation from my own relationship, my fiancé agreed that he could do more chores in the house and help with the children. This week my son has been battling a bacterial infection in his throat and I took two days off from work to take him to the appointments and hospital. I asked my fiancé why I always have to take time off for the children and why he does not believe in sharing this responsibility. He just looked at me and said, “Because that is how it has always been.” I am happy to announce that this pattern will be changing in my home. Furthermore, we as a society need to become more accepting of both men and women......

Words: 622 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Week 6 You Decide

...spanked by a fellow employee. Third she was subject to verbal harassment by being told to "grow some balls" and also by harassment from male employees putting sings up saying bras optional. Lastly, she was discriminated against by being fired for negligent behavior when there were no repercussions for men acting in similar poor behavior. Since these facts show that Teddy's Supplies' is a culture of hostile working conditions it would be difficult for you, Mr. Moore to show that the company acted prudent to prevent said behavior despite the policies in place and the circumstances. As case law of Teresa Harris v Forklift Systems, Inc. points out a pattern of insulting behavior is a form of sexual discrimination so the fact that a pattern of insulting behavior towards Mrs. Pollard exists does provide evidence that discrimination is present. Given that Mrs. Pollard was the only female in the main warehouse and such an environment was present it is clear Mrs. Pollard was receiving disparate treatment due to the fact she was a female. My best advice on what to offer for settlement would be two times her salary. Offering two times her salary would pay for the time she had to endure the criticism and harassment she suffered while in the workplace. It would also provide her front pay to make her whole for the time it takes to find another similar job while displaced from the current one. I would also ask her to sign a NDA and also agree that she will not apply for any jobs......

Words: 1337 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Eth 125 Appendix a

...both, forming a new creation, a new cultural entity. | |Minority group |A subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own | | |lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group. | |Emigration |Leaving a country to settle in another. | |Immigration |Immigration coming into a new country as a permanent resident. | |Culture |The shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective | | |understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns | | |identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group. | Part II Answer each question in 250 to 350 words: 1. What are some of the ways groups of people are identified? There are four main ways groups of...

Words: 796 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Rjdt Task 1

... In partial fulfillment of the requirements of Human Resources JDT2 Memorandum to Chief Executive Officer WGU Toy Company TO: WGU Toy Company, Chief Executive Officer FROM: Elementary Division Manager DATE: June 18, 2013 SUBJECT: Constructive Discharge Claim As a result of a work schedule policy change at WGU Toy Company, a constructive discharge was filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 related to religious discrimination by a former employee. This is due to a policy change that required toy company employees to work rotating shifts to accommodate the demands of production. In this former employee’s claim, rotation would fall on a religious holy day. The rotating schedule change is required for all production employees but would not affect office staff members who will maintain 0800 to 1700 Monday through Friday work schedules. This memorandum will provide information to assist WGU Toy Company with recommendations in handling this claim. The nature of discrimination charges were best explained through review of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which identifies definitions specific to this claim against WGU Toy Company. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states, “it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2013). Specific to religion, all aspects of religious observance and practice are to be reasonably......

Words: 1726 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Discrimination in the Workplace

...DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE Discrimination in the workplace has been present throughout history and has branched into various forms in the past and existing time periods. Individuals suffer losses and are jobless because of discrimination. Discrimination happens when an employee is treated unfavorably because of their race, skin color, gender, disability, religion, or age. There are four discrimination types that can be identified, they are disparate treatment, disparate impact, pattern or practice, and retaliation. Disparate treatment discrimination exists when individuals in similar situations are treated differently and when the differential treatment is based on the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability status (Giffin, 2008). An employee with the same skills of other employees may not get to benefit like others because the victim may have a different religion, is an example of disparate treatment discrimination. If this employee tries to file a charge, they must prove that there was a discriminatory motive. Some companies can treat a member differently when bona fide occupational qualification exists for performing a particular job. Disparate impact discrimination is when an employment practice is neural and non-discriminatory in its intention but, disproportionately affects individuals having a disability or belonging to a particular group. An example of this discrimination is if the job requires a person to be......

Words: 1574 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

...Ethnic Groups and Discrimination xxx xxxx Axia College * * Ethnic Groups and Discrimination Mexican, a word that has so much meaning to it but yet is still not recognize like it should be. Hi, my name is Hector Sanchez, and I am a Mexican, born and raised in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the World. Being a Mexican has its ups as well as its down. When it comes to the United States and Mexico there is a whole lot to say. People in Mexico see this country as where their dreams can come true, but I see it as a great opportunity, but all while trying to make a better life for you and your family, we are being criticized and stereotype from Americans. The one thing that Americans might not know is that behind all the criticizing, we have so much to offer and so much history to learn about. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen or heard people from the United States talk about Mexican people, they talk about us like we are slaves or placed on this earth to do jobs who not too much people will do. The one thing that the United States fell to realize, well most, is that the word America doesn’t just belong to Americans but Mexico and other countries is America too. So, doesn’t that make us all Americans? Mexican history starts from hundreds of years ago; we had many different civilizations even before the Spanish conquerors arrived in 1500, after that we became the New Spain, named by the Spanish King. After almost......

Words: 902 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Appendix F

... or detain, except where these | | |characteristics are part of a specific suspect description. It is a degrading practice and continues | | |largely unchecked, violating the human and civil rights of those targeted | |Racism |Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is | | |divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain| | |attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior or superior | |Reverse discrimination |Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group or in favor | | |of members of a minority or historically...

Words: 1215 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...HOMOSEXUALITYIntroductory Psychology4/26/2012Charnae ClayBreanna DavisBrandon Telfair| HOMOSEXUALITY| Introductory Psychology| | [Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.]| | | 4/26/2012| | Brandon Telfair April 22, 2012 Homosexuality Homosexuality is becoming more common in today's society, whether it be gays or lesbians homosexuals are among us. According to science 8 to 15 percent of males and slightly less females today are of the homosexual race. In comparison, there are as many gay and lesbian citizens the world as there are unemployed citizens. Being homosexual is an ongoing fight for whom ever is dealing with it. The constant reminders of society and the way your lifestyle is supposed to be can be a burden on them. Until recently homosexuality was thought to be a psychiatric disorder, but research has proved that theory to be false. We as Americans don’t completely know how to properly cope with homosexuals in our society. Although we have gotten a lot better, there are still some of us that look at homosexuals as outcasts. This is one of the main reasons that homosexuality is very secretive and not embraced. They draw the conclusion that the less people know the less they have to be ashamed of their sexuality. Spiritual beliefs are also another......

Words: 1690 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Race Discrimination

...RACE DISCRIMINATION Discrimination is treating people differently because they are members of a certain group. Discrimination is an action that makes a distinction between people on the basis of class category without regard to individual merit. Even though federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based upon Religion, disability and sexual orientation there is still a lot of discrimination occurring, where workers face persistent patterns of employment discrimination. The case that I would like to describe concerns the unfair treatment at one of the Companies whose name I would not like to mention. The Company hires about 1500 employees and has about 45 departments. In one of those departments there is a group of 15 employees that are managed by one departmental manager. The problem is that three of the employees, who are Indians, are treated unfairly at work by the manager. There is a lot of favoritism, towards the rest of the team, where positions are created to accommodate certain people. These three employees are facing a lot of discrimination in access to job opportunities or promotions. They are constantly turned down for various positions even though they are well qualified to be promoted. Just three of them are not given opportunities to learn, are always working nights and weekends, and are never informed about the company news. The manager keeps those employees aside and shows them all the time that they do not belong to her team. There is a...

Words: 683 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Associate Program Material Discrimination Worksheet Write a 100- to 200-word response to each of the following questions. Provide citations for all the sources you use. • What is discrimination? How is discrimination different from prejudice and stereotyping? the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex. The terms stereotype, prejudice, discrimination, and racism are often used interchangeably in everyday conversation. But when discussing these terms from a sociological perspective, it is important to define them: stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about groups of people, prejudicerefers to thoughts and feelings about those groups, while discrimination refers to actions toward them. Racism is a type of prejudice that involves set beliefs about a specific racial group. stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about groups of people. Stereotypes can be based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation—almost any characteristic. They may be positive (usually about one’s own group, such as when women suggest they are less likely to complain about physical pain) but are often negative (usually toward other groups, such as when members of a dominant racial group suggest that a subordinate racial group is stupid or lazy). In either case, the stereotype is a generalization that doesn’t take individual differences into account. stereotypes are rarely created; rather, they......

Words: 568 - Pages: 3