Methodology-Discrimination in the US Criminal Justice System Gender discrimination in the criminal justice system in the US has been in the center of debates for a long time.
Bershad (1985) creates an overview of the constitutional standards and sex-based classifications. The main measurements he uses and recommends when assessing gender discrimination in the criminal justice system are: criminal liability and sentencing disparity. The below methodology review will assess the current implications of research on the measurements of gender-based discrimination in the Criminal Justice System.INSTITUTIONAL ANOMIE THEORY Institutional anomie theory is an explanatory framework that suggests that there are two main forces shaping the criminal justice system; culture and social structure. It also states that the higher the value of economic success in the given country is the higher the crime rates are. According to the institutional anomie theory, the anomie is responsible for the unequal distribution of deviant behavior and crime in the society among different groups based on class, race, sex and religion.
FEMINIST VIEWS ON GENDER DISCRIMINATION There are different liberal feminist views on discrimination in the legal system, however, the most important and prominent view is that under the law men and women should be treated equally. Feminists fight for anti-discrimination laws to be implemented in the criminal justice system. Liberal feminists focus on discrimination against female offenders, criminalization and are fighting for anti-discrimination policies to be implemented in the criminal justice system.THE PRACTICE OF ANOMIE THEORY The theory can be used for trans-national research however; so far only state comparison studies have been created. Measuring the different variables of women using crime statistical data is able to reveal and prove the validity of the institutional anomie theory. In the framework created below, the authors would like to design a methodology to measure gender discrimination and its effects on the outcomes of criminal justice court cases.
A comparative study design is needed in order to measure the outcomes of crimes and behaviors. It is true that in theory and practice, anomie theory emphasizes the presence of crime predominance and delinquency among minority groups. This applied to gender minorities (if we consider women as oppressed groups in this case) an argument can be created which confirms that deviant behavior is more present and not fully understood, according to feminist views. One of the main statements which concludes that delinquency is more prominent in lower social class groups, the oppressed, Black Americans and other minority groups.STUDY DESIGN The study would focus on the measurements of deviance and criminal behavior among women compared to men. As being a female cannot be considered as a standalone variable, some other social measurements will be added.
The study would be concluded using the statistics of urban crime agencies. The variables will be added in order to measure their effects on men`s and women's deviant behavior. Examining disadvantaged groups and comparing the results of male and female participants would be the main focus of the study. The purpose of the research is to determine how different minority groups' male and female members' deviant and criminal behavior can be compared. The variables are as follows:A, gender (main comparison) B, race C, education D, employment E, housing F, sexual orientation G, prevalence of crime and deviant behavior (conviction)The above measurements would be recorded in the study. Following the data collection, the results of male and female sample would be compared.
The main purpose of the study is to reveal how “belonging to a minority group” or “being unemployed” affects crime prevalence and deviant behavior in males and females. These steps are there designed to insure the validity of the Anomie theory according to the feminist view in the US criminal justice system.The initial hypothesis of the study is that the “class” and “minority” aspects would have a higher impact on females' crime rates than males'. This hypothesis would also suggest that – according to liberal feminist theories, the equality of genders in the legal system is not represented and adjustments need to be made to prevent gender discrimination. While female offenders of criminal crimes are often judged based on generalization (feminist theories) this means that they are discriminated against.