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Summary All classes commit crime. However, the poor experience higher rates of arrest, criminal charges, convictions, long prison sentences and denial of parole. This winnowing process ensures that most rich criminals never see the inside of a prison, while overflowing them with the poor.
Is the justice system biased against the poor?
I suppose I need to clarify a bit.
The title is just that. A title.
Im not asking whether not the system is biased. Of course it is.
The question is: How did we get here as a society and how can we reverse this if at all?
reply to post by Chickensalad
Yes it is very biased. There are several reasons for this.
Crime is indeed prevalent in all social classes, but the types of crimes are significantly different. Additionally our perception of these crimes are significantly different. The fear of violence is one that is shared by the majority of humans, and hence is very relatable. But financial crimes are often so complicated that many of us struggle to grasp the direct and indirect consequences of these. Because of that, we tend to punish violent offenders much harder than non-violent offenders, regardless of the scope of damage they have inflicted upon society.
Another reason is the privatization of the American prison system, which has given a lot of people an interest in stopping pro active efforts to fight crime. There are a bunch of conspiracies linked to this - everything from gangster rap being sponsored by people who stand to gain financially from young black men committing crimes, to judges being bribed so they will give longer convictions. There's the whole thing about people being convicted differently depending on whether they sell a drug under one name or another, even though it is the same drug, but simply because one word was used by the black community. The entire war on drugs, is a war on poor people.
The answer is YES!edit on 06/06/12 by Mads1987 because: (no reason given)
reply to post by mikell
The difference is if you are poor you are more lightly to be charged with a crime than if you are rich.
Simply because the legal system is geared towards enforcing blind justice on the lower classes while condoning, turning a blind eye and even participating in what are considered "White collar crimes" perpetrated by the upper classes!
Essentially one rule for "Them" and another for the rest of us!