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Racism is the belief that one's worth and capabilities are solely determined by their race. Hence, this can build up a racial hierarchy and the false theories that some races are superior compared to others. Looking back, it was racist beliefs that made way for colonization and the slave trade. When synced with power, these beliefs can turn out to become systematic racism. There are written and unwritten laws that boldly discriminate against certain races, while on the other hand promoting others. How can racism best be contended with? The challenges against racism must be approached on societal, personal, and psychological levels. In this blog article, we’ll look at 9 Possible Ways Racism Can Best Be Tackled In The Justice System.


1.   Consider Or Accept That Racism Exists

Most people see racism as a figment of the imagination. Inmates who are bound to racism and were wrongly targeted based on race during arrests experienced real racism and during incarceration. There are court cases in the United States that were won by plaintiffs claiming racism and inmates experiencing racism can be met with opposition and denial. The fight against racism is challenging without accepting the fact that it truly exists to take meaningful steps that can also help inmates.


Mass incarceration is ranking the highest civil rights injustice over the past few years. Reportedly, those behind bars are and have been mostly black and Hispanic despite any unsubstantiated narratives to the contrary. Jail or prison time is usually the criminal justice corrective measure for lawbreakers. For low-level crime offenses and non-violent crimes like petty theft and drug possession, jail or prison time may not always be fair although these are corrective measures in society. Racism involving oppression, inequality, and privilege are real and exist.

2.   Challenge And Change Attitudes and Beliefs

 Do one's racist beliefs start from upbringing? Are people being told that their race is inferior or superior to others? Can you accept that all inmates are not treated equally nor deserve jail or prison time because of their race? Do you believe that primarily incarcerating black and minority men is equivalent to historical slavery?


Stay clear of racially discriminating against others and keep up with your positive actions that can discourage racism. Childhood socialization should also be looked into, and parents should teach their children about the negative effects of racism. Government policies, community cohesion, and criminal justice should all be focused on changing people's attitudes and behaviors positively towards other races.

3.   Educate Yourself

In the United States, there are over 300 million people, and the black population is less than 13% according to the United States Census Bureau. Also, according to the United States department of justice, black men make up the highest prison population in the US. However, based on these statistics, most people may believe that some things just don't add up. How can 13% of a population be considered a threat to racists or others, whereas black men are mostly incarcerated?


Being incarcerated is life-altering and makes it difficult to live a stable life in a society like getting employed and finding a safe house after release. Also, imprisonment cuts lifetime earnings and has negative impacts on the lives of the children of incarcerated parents. These are among the individual-level consequences of being locked up, but there are consequences on the societal level. Blacks and minorities who are released from jail and prison also face covert or blatant racism that can negatively affect their freedom and livelihood, prevent their progress, and hinder their stability on top of being released prisoners. Nevertheless, it is important for people who experience racism to responsibly and wisely address it, deal with it, and persevere.


4.   Attend And Promote Prison Diversity Training

Training should be mandatory for all prison staff so that they can have the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to carry out their duties while at the same time respecting the rights of inmates regardless of skin color. Working in a prison can be complex and requires staff to have the skills. Most newly recruited staff may lack the extensive knowledge and experience of prison work and can place themselves in dangerous or life-threatening situations if they take actions that seem to racially discriminate against certain prisoners. Hence, training is a way to develop and promote a committed prison staff workforce and help jail and prison staff make responsible choices and connections in an environment that is supposed to be rehabilitative and not racially or otherwise unfairly punitive. 

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5.   View Race Beyond Skin Color

Race can also be seen by the majority as a competition against minorities and others for wealth, power, and resources. In a competitive race or with a competitive mindset, it can matter who gets across the finish line first and wins the most trophies. However, when inmates are locked up, they can't compete for wealth, power, and resources in the outside world and in the incarcerated and outside worlds, incarcerated and released inmates of color and minorities are not dominating economically. Inmates are bound to a smaller environment where their top priority is to survive and thrive for freedom, fair and humane treatment, and respect.


Racial justice or equity goes far beyond anti-racism. It isn't just about the absence of racial disparities and inequities, but also the availability of deliberate support and resources to maintain racial equity through proactive measures. There are criminals of many races and backgrounds in prison so it’s naïve to believe that one race is all good or superior.


6.   Use Social Media For Good

Don't always block or unfriend racists or racists who have all negative stereotypes and views about people and inmates of color. Rather, you should publicly, tactfully, and respectfully challenge the biased statements and opinions they make.  And you should keep doing while using verifiable and trusted facts and evidence because changing negative attitudes and perspectives can take time, and your online engagement on anti-racism could enlighten a lot of silent bystanders. Even if you don’t set out to change someone’s racist beliefs, you may positively affect someone’s outlook in positive ways. You should know that people who experience racism may react emotionally because racism is real and harmful. If you choose, continue patiently, tactfully, and respectfully, and keep using social media to motivate others to join actions to challenge racism.


7.   Don't Provoke Situations To Involve Police For Unnecessary Issues

When it comes to matters involving black people, avoid maliciously launching or provoking attacks against (other) black people and creating unnecessary issues for malicious reasons. Consider avoiding involving police unless it becomes harassing and escalating issues or threats to your safety, health, family, and/or life. This is because, from the recent news headlines, the presence of police increases the chances of lethal force on black people involved. Therefore, if you’re angry that someone broke up with you and no longer wishes to deal with you, consider finding positive and non-harmful ways to move on rather than instigate malicious attacks, provoke unnecessary interactions, pull others into retaliatory issues you decided to unnecessarily create out of anger, and risk police involvement. Incarcerated minorities and inmates of color can face additional problems if a corrections officer (CO) or prison staff member is covertly racist and makes false reports against them. While this can happen to any inmate, it is important to stay connected and up-to-date with your incarcerated family member or loved one to know what’s going on. Also, many released inmates of color who need to disclose their parole or probation status can also face (racial) mistreatment on the job and when others threaten to call the police on them for invalid or pretextual reasons. It’s important for released inmates to know about the realities of on-the-job racism and have lawful backup plans in place to address and manage it. In prison, each race tends to stick with their own race in the recreation yard or chow hall. For many incarcerated people (of color), reducing or eliminating conflict between other incarcerated people (of color) can reduce or prevent any CO involvement and potentially harsher and racially-motivated disciplinary measures.

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8.   Pressure Leaders To Stop Race-Based Police Brutality

Find and join any trusted, black and minority-led organizations within your area, get to know their concerns, and keep up with their actions and suggestions. Reach out to government representatives regularly, encouraging them to increase accountability for police brutality, demilitarize the police, and channel funds fairly towards education, accountability, health care, fair housing, etc., that help communities for people of color and impoverished minorities who may have socioeconomic challenges defending themselves in the criminal justice system.


9.   Consider Safely Recording Interactions That Appear Racist  

Your camera and social media are very powerful tools to contend with racism or what may appear to be racism during traffic stops and arrests. When you come across what appears to be a racist interaction, consider recording it, but only from a safe distance. This may help someone in civil or criminal court to be exonerated. If it is safe, you can approach calmly and work on resolving the issue with a gentle disposition and tone keeping in mind that you can still be perceived as a threat by police. At peaceful and non-violent protests, converse with those who are physically and unlawfully harmed by the police. Some people eventually decide to record a racist situation and share it across social media with the consent of the victim, if possible. 

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay



If you should come across someone being racist towards another man or woman, you may decide to deliberately support the victim. Simply asking if they are okay, need help, and/or telling them that what you just saw was wrong can go a long way in helping. You can offer to report the issue with their consent and offer to provide supporting statements.


Joining in the fight against oppression, denial of rights, and racism in America and positively can help to improve the justice system and for incarcerated and released inmates. The civil rights movement is still active today where you can participate all in with your commitment and actions for inmates and others. 

Read more about racism and incarcerated individuals by clicking on the link below: (Disclaimer: Affiliate Advertising. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)

The School-To-Prison Pipeline: Education, Discipline, And Racialized Double Standards (Racism In American Institutions) By Nancy A. Heitzig