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Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African American Community

Ngozi Caleb Kamalu, Margery Coulson-Clark, Nkechi Margaret Kamalu


This paper analyzes the consequences of discriminatory sentencing on the African American community. The intent is to review factors that contribute to the over-representation of African Americans in the prison system and to analyze the way that the judicial system maintains these disparate numbers through practices and procedures, racial profiling, historical biases and quasi legal procedures sanctioned by the mainstream process under the guise of law and order. Review of the literature, extensive meta- analysis and statistics confirms and support the statistics presented and the finding provided. The results of these harsh and disparate sentencing are resulting in the weakening and destruction of the already fragile African American community. Without a complete overhaul of the judicial system and sensitizing of the decision-makers in the legal and political community, these negative impacts will continue to have adverse effect on a large number of Americans who would otherwise become productive citizens. The conclusion presents remedies and alternatives to the disparate sentencing and incarceration practices perpetrated on members of the African American population.

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Editors: Africa Knowledge Project.

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