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SOC371H5 (18)

Jeffery Reiman's and the poor get prison.docx

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Philip Goodman

Jeffery Reiman’s “…and the poor get prison” Weeding out the Wealthy Prisons are “national poor house”. People think dangerous crimes are committed mainly by poor people. Seeing the population of prison reassured this belief. They think CJS gives ture fefliction of dangers that threaten community. The reality is, jails are full of poor people not because they are the ones that threaten community the most, but because CJS lets the wealthy escaple. Ultimately, only poor are left behind. Also, out definition of “crime” excludes the kids of crime wealthy people engage in. Purpose of the Paper “Justice has two transmission belts, one for the rich and one for the poor.” The healthier the accused is, the greater the change of being ignored/released/treated lightly by system. Hence the CJS functions in a way to make sure that prison is filled with “lowest social and economic groups in county”. As a result, the image of the criminal population we see in jail is distorted due to CJS’s malfunction. The poor criminal is usually black. Common methodological mistakes in research on race in CJS that hide racial bias:  Mixing racial and ethnic groups  Ignoring presentencing decisions in studies  Assembling various data from different crimes  Failure to consider impact of race of victim  Use of various types of national data  Failure to properly differentiate legal from extralegal factors There is much research on differential treatment of races, but very less on differential treatment of economic class beucse FBI omits class/income when arresting. Racism is a form of economic bias. There are five reasons for this notion: 1. Black Americans are disproportionately poor. 2. Blacks are more likely than whites to live in disorganized inner-city areas. This is becase a greater percentage of balcks than whites are poor and unemployed 3. Blacks who travel the full route of the CJS and end up in jail or prison are close in economic conditions to whites who do 4. Racism produces a kind of selective economic bias, making a certain segment of unemployed even more likelyto end up behind bars 5. There are relatively high incidence of poverty and/or unemployment among balcks, but racially bias criminal justive policies and economically biased criminal justive policies will result in poor people being disproportionately arrested and imprisoned How does CJS “weeks out wealthy”? NOTE: firstly, wealthy= middle and upper class offenders. Secondly, not all poor are innocent victims persecuted by evil rich. Poor people do commit crime. The argument is that poor are arrested and punished by the CJS much more frequently than their contribution to the crime problem would warrant. Hence, criminals who populate prisons as well as public’s imagination are disproportionately poor. ARREST AND CHARGING The problem with official records of who commits crime is that they are really statistics on who gets arrested and convicted. The police are more likely to arrest some people than others; these official statistics may tell us more about police than about criminals. The President’s Crime Commission conducted
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