Source: (2012) El Paso: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.
Criminal justice systems in the United States are in crisis. Currently over 7.3 million adults in the U.S. are under some form of supervision, including probation, prison, and parole, by state, local, or federal criminal justice systems. At midyear 2009, nearly 1.6 million of these people were in prion, and nearly 800,000 were in jail. While these numbers are troubling enough to raise serious questions about our criminal justice systems, discrepancies related to race and ethnicity among prison and jail populations add greater urgency to addressing this crisis. Racial and ethnic minority populations are incarcerated at astounding rates in comparison with whites. This identity crisis suggests that addressing high rates of incarceration as well as the disparities that riddle criminal and juvenile justice systems requires reconsideration of basic ideologies and practices of justice. Among the questions that must arise in this process of reconsideration is whether justice is being realized in any meaningful sense. True, people must face the consequences of their crimes. Bu what do we understand “justice” to mean, and how can we know if it is being realized? What should the nature of our criminal and juvenile justice systems be? What consequences do our interpretations of justice entail for victims, offenders, and our communities in the wake of crime? How should our ideologies of justice be instituted in practice? (Excerpt).
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