Ethical management in the administration of justice is an integral aspect of all law enforcement agencies. The criminal justice systems in America, which includes the police, the adjudication systems and the correctional facilities, are entrusted with dealing with crime in the country. The system is expected to administrator justice in the land for the satisfaction of the majority. This is by ensuring that the criminals get punished for their wrong doing while protecting the rights and freedoms of both the victim and the offender.
Moreover, the system is expected to ensure that innocent citizens are not punished for crimes they have not committed by carrying out proper and unbiased investigations, interpreting the law correctly and ensuring that systems sends back into the society better individuals after they have served their sentences. The systems should therefore be guided by the principles of justice for all and integrity. However, it is disturbing to note that there are some malpractices and unethical practices in the systems that are expected to ensure that there is justice in the society.
There are several issues and concerns that have emerged in the recent past over the injustices and other malpractice that have permeated the law enforcement American justices systems. Questions have been raised on what happened to justice in the United States due to the flaws that are very evident in institutions that are supposed to promote justice in the society. There is no doubt that all aspects of the criminal justice systems from being suspected as a criminal to incarceration, unethical practices are evident.
These malpractices in the law enforcement agencies have attracted a lot of attention from policy makers, the general public and criminologist who are split fairly at the middle over the issue. Some research have indicated that the American justice system is flawed favoring the social elites while being unjust to the marginalized individuals based on their race or social status. This has resulted into public dissatisfaction and animosity against law enforcement officers (Roberts, 2006). One of the most published unethical practices in the law administrations of justice in the United States is racial based discriminations.
It is unethical to even think that being black or being a Latino is a crime. Racial profiling and discrimination has been very evident in the law enforcement especially in enforcing the war on drugs laws. Since the war on drugs was introduced by Reagan’s administration in the 1980s, it has brought about some significant changes in management of law enforcement agencies which to some level translate into unethical practices against some targeted members of the society. The Drug Enforcement Agencies and other law enforcement agencies started developing profiles on how illegal drugs circulated in the United States.
Consequently, the law enforcement agencies have concluded that the drug markets in the United States were controlled by African Americans and Latino Americans creating the misconception that all members of these minority races are drug crimes suspects. These racial profiles escalated after a short time and extended to other crimes. The result has been over representation of African Americans and Latino Americans in the criminal justice systems due to the self fulfilling prophecy and increased racial discrimination in the criminal justice systems (DPA, 2010).
There is no doubt that drug use across the racial divide is not consistent and some races have been found to abuse illegal drugs more than other races. However, the punitive anti drug laws that have existed in the United States for over three decades are based on racial prejudice where people of color are presumed by the law enforcers to be drug abusers. This does not make sense and amounts to racial injustices in the criminal justice systems. These laws have in no doubt deepened the racial divide in the United States. The African Americans and Latino Americans have suffered most due to the discriminative application of anti drugs law.
For this reason, the war on drug laws has been considered by many people opposed to institutional racial discrimination as the new Jim Crow’s laws (DPA, 2010). The criminal justice system has continuously enforced unjust and discriminative Jim Crow’s laws until the second half of the 20th century when the courts started protecting the rights of African Americans. Other minority races such as the Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Indian Americans have also received similar discriminations by the criminal justice systems.
It is also important to note that the law enforcement agencies have over the years collaborated with the general society in promoting discrimination and stereotypes of Latino Americans. This is unethical considering the fact that these agencies are expected to protect the minorities from such practices in the society. Overrepresentation of the Native Americans in the correctional facilities is also evident in the American criminal justice systems due to the negative effects of the changes in the American society on the marginalized natives (American criminal Justice, 2010).
Some of the areas that have been dominated by unacceptable and unethical racial discrimination include encounters of the law enforcement agents with the public. In many cases, the police and other law enforcement agents have been influenced by racial prejudice and stereotypes while making important decisions leading to discriminative racial profiling, arrests, shootings and police discretion. Bailing has also been considered to be another aspect of the criminal justice where racial discrimination is evident. The law gives guidelines on discretion by the judge or the offender.
There are various factors that have to be considered before an offender can be released on bail. Although studies indicate that race is not a major factor in bailing, there is no doubt that it affects the decision of the officials in criminal justices systems in many ways. For example, the level of education or income influences the decision which gives members of the minority races a disadvantage since they are less educated (American criminal justice, 2010). The American law enforcement agencies and systems have been accused of being flawed.
However, the unethical practices in the law enforcement are not limited to racial profiling and discrimination but also include unacceptable behaviors by the law enforcement agencies and court officials’ misconduct. This has resulted into animosity between the law enforcement agencies and the general public resulting into deteriorating public relations in the police force, the judiciary and other arms of law enforcement. It is important to note some of the issues that have been raised in the administration of justices such as racial discrimination and racial profiling are not only legal institutional problems but also ethical problems.
Reference American Criminal Justice, (2010). If being black is a crime: Why does racial discrimination exist in the criminal justice system? Retrieved on August 12th 2010 from, http://www. americancriminaljustice. com/2010/04/10/if-being-black-is-not-a-crime-why-does-racial-discrimination-exist-in-the-criminal-justice-system. html. I Drug Policy Alliance. (2010). Race and the Drug War, retrieved on August 12th 2010 from; http://www. drugpolicy. org/communities/race/. Roberts, P. C. (2006), American’s injustice system is criminal, retrieved on August 12th 2010 from, http://www. lewrockwell. com/roberts/roberts187. html.