CRIMINAL JUSTICE 5
Thecriminal justice system has made significant progress in advancingthe administration of justice for all people. However, thestakeholders in the judicial system face numerous challenges that areassociated with the existence of the multicultural society. Thispaper will focus on changes that have occurred on issues ofStereotype, prejudice, and discrimination white collar crimes anddifferent intersections of privilege.
Stereotype,Prejudice, and Discrimination
Theissues of stereotype, discrimination, and prejudice are common inmulticultural societies. Stereotype occurs when the society holdsoversimplified ideas or image of a particular group of people.Prejudice, on the other hand, refers to preconceived ideas or opinionthat is not founded on actual reason or experience. Discriminationoccurs when the society treats a given group of people based on itsclass, race, or other demographic features.
Theincrease in measures put in place to reduce discrimination is theonly major thing that has changed with time. According to Jeanne(2010) a claim that the U.S. is in its post-racial era is anexaggeration. The U.S. has put in place many measures that areintended to reduce cases of discriminating, prejudice and stereotype.For example, the election of Obama as the president was not anindication of the end of prejudice and stereotype, but a sign ofexistence of legal processes that allow the people of color to accessdemocratic rights.
Racialdiscrimination has persisted in the administration of justice. Thisis confirmed by a high prevalence of racial profiling andoverrepresentation of individuals from the minority groups (such asLatinos and African Americans) in the prisons (Jeanne, 2010). Inaddition, the issue of gendered racism is common, where women arediscriminated against because of their gender and race. However,cases of discrimination against women have declined over time.
Nonviolentcrimes that are committed by the government officials and businessexecutives are put into a special category known as the white collarcrimes. In most cases, white collar crimes are motivated by financialgains, where the perpetrators decide to violate the laws, with theobjectives of increasing earnings on their own behalf or for theircompanies. For example, companies that are listed in the stock marketin Canada have been violating laws that regulate the securitiesmarket over the years (Hagan & Parker, 1985). Managers in thesecompanies are prosecuted under criminal statutes, instead of the lawsused to assess cases of other crimes. These statutes defineimprisonment and fines as penalties.
Thedescription of the concept of white collar offenses suggests that thewhite crime offenders are respected and highly qualifiedprofessionals who take advantage of their job positions as well asthe trust that other people have in them to commit fraud (Hagan &Parker, 1985). They include the top members of the corporatemanagement teams. White collar crimes are associated with two typesof victims. The first category is comprised of voluntary victims, whoare exploited by criminals by promising them huge and quickly earnedmoney. The second category is comprised of involuntary victims.Involuntary victims lose their assets through routine transactionsthat involve professional and economic activities. In the case studyof Canadian stock market Hagan & Parker (1985) identified thatthe shareholders lost their money without knowing and the crime wasonly discovered after engaging an investor. This was an example ofinvoluntary victims of white collar crime, where the management tookadvantage of the fact that they existed in a large number and spreadout in different geographical locations.
Themain difference between white collar and other categories of crime isthe motive behind the offense as well as the individuals involved.For example, the perpetrators of the blue collar crimes are mostlymotivated by range, emotions, and passion and they are committed bypeople in the working or the lower social status. White collarcriminals, on the other hand, are motivated by financial gains andthey are committed by individuals or groups of people from highersocial status. In addition, white collar crimes do not involve anyform of violence, while other types of offense (such as the bluecollar crimes) are committed by aggressive offenders.
Socialrelations that exist in the society can be described as being complexin nature because they occur in different dynamics that overlap witheach other. The concept of privilege in this context refers tobenefits that some members of the society get when the disadvantagedpeople are discriminated against on the basis of their demographiccharacteristics, such as race, gender, and class. According to Jeanne(2010) the concept of privilege can be illustrated using the exampleof men who benefit from the increase in the discrimination againstwomen and the white who stand to gain when the people of color aresegregated in the society. For example, the discrimination againstwomen in the labor market implies that men will be privileged becausethey will have an easier access to employment opportunities.
Theidea of privilege intersects with race, gender, and class because itmakes them appear natural. It also reduces the capacity of theprivileged members of society to see the structural barriers thatdeny the disadvantaged members to make progress and become advantagedas well. For example, the rich people fail to see the structuralbarriers that exist in the society and limit the capacity of the poorcitizens to accumulate wealth and achieve upward class mobility.Similarly, the white people are more privileged than the people ofcolor, which exacerbates the issue of racism (Jeanne, 2010). In mostcases, men are more privileged than women, which give them an easyaccess to opportunities, such as jobs. This type of privilege resultsin gender-based form of discrimination.
Theabove analysis of the issue of privilege and its intersectionsreveals that men, rich, and the white people benefit more from theconcept of privilege. For example, the white students are twice morelikely to be admitted to law school than the black, which has beenattributed to the issue of alumni preference (Jeanne, 2010). Thepeople of color (such as the black Americans, women, and individualsin the low-income social class) have suffered more from the conceptof privilege. For example, students from the back community find itdifficult to access academic opportunities because their counterpartsfrom the white race are more privileged. However, whites who are poormay also suffer when they live in the neighborhood occupies by therich people, which is an indication of overlapping of the factorsthat result in the occurrence of privilege in the society.
Thegovernment has put in place numerous measures to reduce prejudice,stereotype, and discrimination, but the minority groups are stillaffected. White collar crimes are perpetrated by professionals andthey do not involve violence. The rich, white, and men are moreprivileged than the people of color, poor, and women.
Hagan,J. & Parker, P. (1985). White-collar crime and punishment: Theclass structure and legal sanctioning of securities violations. AmericanSociological Review,50, 302-316.
Jeanne,F. (2010). Class,race, and crime: the social realities of justice in America.Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.