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How did the Civil Rights Movement affect racial disparities in the criminal justice system?

The Civil Rights Movement led to significant legal changes, but it did not fully eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

The Civil Rights Movement, which took place predominantly in the 1950s and 1960s, was a pivotal period in American history that sought to end racial discrimination and secure legal recognition and protection of the civil rights of African Americans. The movement led to the enactment of several landmark legislations such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. These laws prohibited racial discrimination in public places, voting, and housing respectively, and were instrumental in dismantling the legal framework of racial segregation, known as Jim Crow laws.

However, despite these significant legal changes, the Civil Rights Movement did not fully eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system. In fact, some argue that the movement inadvertently contributed to the expansion of the criminal justice system and the mass incarceration of African Americans. The 1960s saw a rise in crime rates, and in response, politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, began to advocate for a "law and order" approach to crime. This led to the implementation of policies that disproportionately affected African Americans, such as the War on Drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

These policies resulted in a dramatic increase in the prison population, with African Americans being disproportionately represented. According to the NAACP, African Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white Americans. Furthermore, African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US population, but they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015. This overrepresentation of racial minorities in the criminal justice system has led to what some scholars refer to as the "New Jim Crow," a system of mass incarceration that perpetuates racial caste in America.

Moreover, racial disparities in the criminal justice system are not limited to incarceration rates. Studies have shown that racial minorities are more likely to be stopped by the police, more likely to be searched during these stops, and more likely to be sentenced to longer prison terms compared to their white counterparts. These disparities persist even when controlling for relevant legal factors such as the severity of the offence and the criminal history of the defendant.

In conclusion, while the Civil Rights Movement led to significant legal changes that dismantled the legal framework of racial segregation, it did not fully eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Instead, the movement coincided with a shift towards a more

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