CJ201-Introduction to Criminal Justice
Essay 3: Discrimination and Disparities
The criminal justice system serves to prevent criminal acts, identify and apprehend those who
commit criminal acts when prevention has failed, and ensure justice to all parties involved
through fair court processes that result in adjudication. Schmalleger sums all this up in a theme
of maintaining public order while protecting individual rights of all citizens—to include the
accused and guilty. The system is deemed a consensus model in which each facet of the system
functions with the understanding that the others strive to attain the same goal as it. That goal is
ultimately the deterrence and prevention of crime through the effectiveness of the system. A key
element to the effectiveness of this system in those scenarios where criminal acts have occurred
is criminal sentencing. Modern Sentencing practices are said to both rehabilitate offenders and
deter offenses by others, while also ensuring that all parties are treated equally and fairly to the
end of justice. Over time, though, it has become apparent that sentencing does not always give
the appearance of fairness and equity. Disparities in sentencing practices and outcomes have
been noted amongst various socioeconomic classes, genders, and races.
Disparities, while noted across the same lines as those seen in discriminatory acts, are not always
the result of discrimination. In this essay, you are to address the differences between disparity in
outcome and overt discriminatory practices. In turn, you will need to address how disparities
might arise out of means other than discrimination. Then you must discuss the various
sentencing structures used in the United States (mandatory, determinate, indeterminate, and
presumptive) as well as the various political, cultural, and policy-based impetuses for these. You
will also need to address any disparities in sentencing practices and outcomes that may come
from each of these structures and why they may be inherent in that structure. Finally, you must
address how these structures may or may not ensure fairness and equity in justice despite noted
Take note that this is not an essay of emotion or agenda. This is an opportunity to academically
and critically evaluate a criminal justice process. You must logically, competently, and validly
justify your assertions using sources other than your own perception, media and social media,
and the course text. In this assignment you must answer four questions.
1. What is the difference between disparities and overt discrimination?
2. How do disparities in justice treatmentu arise and occur?
3. What are the various sentencing structures employed in United States sentencing
4. How might these structures inherently lend to disparities by means other than discrimination
5. How do each of these structures lend to or not lend to, fairness and equity in justice?
This essay must be at least two pages in length but there is no maximum length. The essay must
be typed in accordance with standards outlined in the course syllabus, to include all APA
formatting guidelines. You should have at least three academic sources, and the textbook may
be one.
All essays must be submitted to Canvas by 12:30 PM on April 28, 2022. The link for Canvas
submission will close at 8am on the due date and you will not be able to submit it late. If it is not
submitted on time, you will be subject to the penalties noted in the syllabus without fail.
Essays will be scored according to the rubric noted in Canvas. This rubric will further guide you in what is expected of the content of your essay

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