titutionalized racism in the US is a form of structural racism where government and private institutions seem to afford, systematically, White Americans social, economic, and political privileges while failing to do so for Africa Americans and ethnic minorities. Institutionalized racism traces back to American slavery and although its prevalence in both government and private institution has since reduced; it remains prevalent in the US criminal justice system as evidenced by the high number of African Americans in prisons and jails (Green, Christian, & Sears 437).
The three dominate factors in the US criminal justice system; police, prosecutors and courts present an institutionally racist justice system that has over time inherited discriminatory crime hunting strategies. Coretta (176) notes that in a country where everyone is equal before the law, it is practically impossible for one race to be six times more likely than another race to be jailed for drug related crimes. According to the author, young African Americans are six times more likely to be apprehended and judged with drug related crimes compared to young White Americans.
The white privilege has also over time contributed to the mass incarceration of people of color. The white privilege tends to provide unfair opportunities to White Americans such as job opportunities and housing. Studies indicate that while convicted White Americans are easily accepted back to the society upon completing their jail terms, African Americans find it hard to get employment due to their criminal record. This increases the chances for such individuals to indulge in criminal activities.
Interpersonal racism can also be seen to have contributed to mass incarceration of people of color. Prejudicial attitudes among staff working in the criminal justice system can lead to such staff overlooking important information regarding a suspect’s case. African Americans have for a long time been associated with drug related crimes.