Criminal Justice System and Inequilty in America Essay

Poverty & Inequality

American life is characterized by a massive divide between the poor and the rich. It is this division that brings a lot of inequalities in the country. In essence, this justifies why those who are poor and sidelined result in crime just to sustain themselves. Reiman and Leighton (90) define criminals and crime in terms of poverty, uneven distribution of wealth, and a failed system of criminal justice. This skewed governance does not help in safeguarding the country from a threat to sustainable living and acquisition of wealth.

Ferguson and Marzilli (11) introduce yet another concept of crime; the , and note that it involves intellectuals. Therefore, poverty and inequality may not necessarily mean that the sidelined and poor in the country are the only ones indulging themselves in crime. Some well to do people are also criminals. It is only that they do this using a high level of intelligence. Ferguson and Marzilli (11) offer an example of a person taking money from investors by telling them that he or she would invest their money.

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As the title suggests, the rich continue to get rich, and the poor head to prisons. As highlighted by Reiman and Leighton (90), the resultant effect of inequality and poverty is a crime and the emergence of criminals. They are then holed in prisons, which do not help due to poor management and ineffectiveness. The criminal justice system has failed, and as such, the poor find themselves spending a lot of time in prison while the rich who also steal get away scot-free (Reiman & Leighton 328).

There is a negative notion that prisons are preserves of the poor. With an effective criminal justice system, the rich who steal in the most intelligent way should also be taken to prison. Ferguson and Marzilli (57) qualify the use of prison and write that while they may not be the ultimate resort, they help the criminals and drug addicts with potential rehabilitation of the criminal and treatment for those who use drugs.


Evidently, criminals have got a way of sustaining themselves. One way is by use of force and guns as weapons. As amplified by Reiman and Leighton (23), the failed nature of criminal justice helped the criminals access guns and other weapons at will. Boger and Welger (96) categorically note that 64% of murders committed in America are executed using firearms. Most of these are handguns to mean that there are plenty of firearms that are held illegally by people, especially those who are poor. According to Reiman and Leighton (39), the failure to control crime can be blamed on an ineffective system of justice. There are no effective measures that help in controlling poverty, which may lead to crime.


Crime and drugs are inseparable. There is a close correlation between poverty and crime and the use of drugs. Reiman and Leighton (34) note that most poor people find solace in abusing drugs before even turning into crime. Boger and Wegner (96) note that the increase of violence in American society is due to the rampant use of drugs. This implies that the use of drugs, poverty, and crime are very well related, and if the crime is to be minimized, anti-drug abuse and poverty reduction campaigns should be reinforced.

and death due to negligence from being treated as criminals

There is a division in opinion in regard to white-collar crime in the United States. While some support prosecution of or , there are others who object it. The general view is that all crimes should be prosecuted, thereby . The following are four objections to white-collar crime and subsequent counter-argument.

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