Racial Disparities In The United States Essay Example


The racial disparity, also referred to as racial inequalities, describes how people are treated differently depending on their color or ethnicity. These discrepancies can take many forms, such as unequal access to resources and employment opportunities, discriminatory treatment by law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and unbalanced accessibility of health care and education. The criminal justice system in America main goal is upholding public safety, preserving civil rights, and preventing and regulating crime through law enforcement and judicial processes. The system is founded on due process rules, which provide justice and equality before the law. Intricate and varied connections exist between racial injustices and the criminal justice system in the United States. According to studies, African Americans, in particular, are overrepresented among persons of color in the criminal justice system. Racial inequities in the criminal justice system result in disproportionate sentencing, higher imprisonment rates, and a greater chance of becoming violent victims or offenders. This leads to the patience of racial inequality and furthers the transmission of adverse perceptions. There are numerous contributing elements to racial disparities inside the American crook justice gadget, such as systematic racism and poverty.

Racial disparities

The disproportionate incarceration of people of races, especially African Americans and Latinx people, proves that the American criminal justice system is unfair to people of color (Painter-Davis et al., 2009). African Americans and Hispanics make up a disproportionately large amount of the country’s jail population, with the highest imprisonment rate in the world (Painter-Davis et al., 2009). According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, imprisonment rates for Hispanics and African Americans are respectively 5.1 and 2.4 times greater than for white persons (Ashley, 2022).

Additionally, there are still racial discrepancies in the sentencing system. Studies show that white criminals are less likely than African American offenders to get harsher punishment for the same act. This is true even if whites and Blacks both commit the same crimes at the same rates (Painter-Davis et al., 2009). The huge proportion of Hispanics and African Americans who are stopped, questioned and arrested by police also raises questions about racial injustice. Even after accounting for different variables like age, gender, and incident type, research has proven that African Americans are much more prevalent than white people to be told to stop, interrogated, or even jailed (Ashley, 2022). These differences are a blatant example of the racism that permeates the American criminal justice system.

The critical factors contributing to racial disparities include systemic racism, poverty, inadequate resources, and differential treatment. The outcomes of systemic racism as racial disparities within the fairness and effectiveness of the crook justice machine are a long way achieving and particularly troubling (college, 2020). From the earliest encounter among police and community contributors via the trial and sentencing of people accused of crimes, systemic racism has impacted the criminal justice machine without delay. Systemic racism has been linked to uneven law enforcement, with persons of color much more likely than whites to be detained and charged for the same acts. This is exacerbated by the reality that people of coloration are much more likely than white humans to stand obligatory minimal sentences, harsher penalties, and lengthier phrases for identical criminal motion. Furthermore, it has been located that racial inequities within the crook justice system make contributions to excellent extra costs of recidivism and imprisonment amongst people of color. Systemic racism and racial inequities in the criminal justice gadget, in the long run, extensively impair fairness and efficacy. African Americans are much more likely to be unfairly targeted and penalized for their sports, which may have disastrous results for their lives and groups. This maintains a cycle of inequity and injustice in our society, further entrenching systemic racism.

Studies show that African-American individuals are much more likely than white individuals to reside in poverty, which directly affects their likelihood of being arrested or convicted (University, 2020). Racial disparities in poverty significantly impact the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system. African American Individuals are more frequently than white people to be detained, charged with, and found guilty of crimes; they also frequently get harsher punishments and lengthier prison terms. People of color also frequently lack access to competent legal counsel and are less likely to be able to pay bail or other costs incurred by the criminal justice system (Dragomir & Tadros, 2020). This might exacerbate already-existing racial inequalities in the criminal justice system and lead to unfair or unjust outcomes. Overall, poverty as a racial inequity may significantly negatively influence the fairness and efficacy of the system of criminal justice (Dragomir & Tadros, 2020). Legal aid, alternatives to jail, and other social services that can aid in crime prevention and lessen racial inequities within the criminal justice system must get more funding to address this issue and advance a fairer system.

People of color frequently do not have access to quality legal counsel, which might increase the likelihood of being convicted University, 2020). The lack of resources, as well as the racial discrepancy in the criminal justice system, have a negative influence on the system’s fairness and performance. As a result, communities of color are less likely to have access to resources such as legal counsel, bail, and diversionary programs, which can lead to more racially biased outcomes (Dragomir & Tadros, 2020). This can also result in lengthy wait periods for trials and sentences, causing the system to become backlogged and inefficient. In addition, a lack of resources can increase mistrust in the criminal justice system among people of color because they may think their issues are not taken seriously or given the same weight as those of other racial or ethnic groups.

Furthermore, persons of color are more susceptible to being stopped, searched, and given harsh punishment than white people. The racial disparity has a wide-ranging and seriously troubling impact on the fairness and efficiency of the criminal justice system. Research has shown that racial injustices exist throughout the criminal justice system, including the police, the prosecution, and the punishment (Dragomir & Tadros, 2020). Due to this unequal treatment, a disproportionate number of persons of color are imprisoned, frequently for crimes for which white people would not be sentenced to jail time. This is unfair and unjust and seriously jeopardizes the criminal justice system’s effectiveness (Dragomir & Tadros, 2020). Furthermore, unfair treatment of one group at the expense of another can result in a lack of confidence in the legal system, which makes it harder for the police to serve and protect the community adequately.

There are various ways to support the continuing work in America to reduce racial inequities and advance equal justice for all (Hargons, 2019). People may join in legislative conversations to resolve these concerns, get involved in their local communities, and support groups that promote racial fairness. As well as helping with legal aid groups and writing to political officials to urge reform, contributing to charities that promote racial justice and equity is a terrific way to help (Hargons, 2019). A crucial component of any endeavor to advance justice and fairness is educating oneself on racism’s background and its ongoing effects on our society (Hargons, 2019).

In sum, the root causes of racial discrepancies must be addressed to ensure fairness and effectiveness in the criminal justice system. This may also be accomplished by putting systems that support fairness at all points in the criminal justice system, such as expanding access to legal counsel and non-incarceration options and ensuring that law enforcement personnel are held responsible for their conduct. If the racial disparity is not addressed, the criminal justice system will continue to be unfair and ineffective.


Ashley Nellis, P. D. (2022, December 16). The Color of Justice: Racial and ethnic disparity in state prisons. The Sentencing Project. Retrieved February 12, 2023, from https://www.sentencingproject.org/reports/the-color-of-justice-racial-and-ethnic-disparity-in-state-prisons-the-sentencing-project/

Dragomir, R. R., & Tadros, E. (2020). Exploring the impacts of racial disparity within the American juvenile justice system. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 71(2), 61-73. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfcj.12165

Harris, C. T., Steffensmeier, D., Ulmer, J. T., & Painter-Davis, N. (2009). Are Blacks and Hispanics Disproportionately Incarcerated Relative to Their Arrests? Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality Between Arrest and Incarceration. Race and social problems, 1(4), 187–199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-009-9019-x

University, S. (2020, June 9). Seven factors contributed to American racism. Stanford News. Retrieved February 12, 2023, from https://news.stanford.edu/2020/06/09/seven-factors-contributing-american-racism/

Varghese, F. P., Israel, T., Seymour, G., Becker Herbst, R., Suarez, L. G., & Hargons, C. (2019). Injustice in the justice system: Reforming inequities for true “justice for all”. The Counseling Psychologist, 47(5), 682-740. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000019892329

Reflection On Positive Psychology Writing Sample


Positive psychology has become one of the most researched fields as it focuses on an individual’s strengths and abilities that aid in their recovery from trauma and psychological issues in individuals who can function well in society (Park & Peterson, 2008). theories and research in positive psychology have identified the elements that characterize good life and have proposed and experimented with practices that contribute to the well-being and life satisfaction. According to Peterson (2008), positive psychology can be defined as a scientific study of what makes life worth living. It bases its strengths on identifying an individual’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings. Therefore, the need to build on the good comes first instead of focusing on correcting the bad. Other researchers have also suggested that positive psychology involves the application of positive principles and virtues by investing in positive experiences such as love, everyday inspiration, and happiness. It also involves the application of positive traits and states such as compassion, resilience, and gratitude (Park & Peterson, 2008). Therefore, as suggested by positive researcher Martin Seligman, positive psychology aims to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to building the best qualities in life. Normal psychology is often narrow and focuses on negative aspects such as mental abnormalities and illnesses, trauma, pain, suffering, and other abnormal psychology. However, positive psychology provides a different approach to the positive trends in handling psychological issues and problems.

Theories of positive psychology

Researchers and psychologists have discussed and tested several theories concerning psychology and positive psychology (Vo & Allen, 2022). All these theories have aimed at improving well-being and quality of life. One of the essential theories is Seligman’s theory, known as the PERMA model theory. This theory maximizes an individual’s positive emotions, engagement, relationship, meaning, and accomplishment. Seligman argues that the components are intrinsic; hence an individual would be motivated to pursue personal well-being. PERMA is a model that has informed psychologists to help their clients to identify areas in their lives that lack well-being and work on it to increase it. Although Seligma did not consider health as a component in the model, he argues that by adopting healthy lifestyles and physical fitness, individuals can regain vitality, mobility, and energy to function well. This model has also contributed to the motivation of individuals in workplaces and institutions and the general performance of individuals in society. In their study, Allen et al. (2022) note that PERMA theory has become popular because of its effectiveness in changing lives and the mode of living as individuals are becoming more engaged in the positive traits and also because it has impacted the quality of relationships such individuals initiate.

Another theory that has contributed a lot to positive psychology is the strength theory. This focuses on an individual’s strengths rather than weaknesses; the individual with the psychological problem is encouraged to work and manage the goals to achieve a meaningful life (Seligman, 2002). The strengths can be drawn from an individual trait or behaviors that can be used to create opportunities for more growth. According to Seligman’s study in 2002, this theory was identified to be effective at lowering anxiety and depression for a more extended period. Psychologists have also used the theory to help their clients to identify and comprehend where and when they could use their strengths to improve and promote their well-being and quality of life. Knowing their strengths also helps them increase their performance and productivity in their workplace or school. Jones smith, in his study in 2014, argues that an individual’s identity of their strengths is essential because one can act and focus on making their lives better; hence, they get a chance to control experiences and events that happen in their lives (Webb et al., 2022).

Resilience theory is another theory of positive psychology that focuses on how people react to similar challenges and how they find solutions to adapt to the changes (Southwick & Charney, 2005). Depending on their reaction, some struggle to adapt, leading to chronic health issues such as depression and stress. From research done by Southwick and Charney, 2005, 90% of individuals experience some traumatic event during their lives; however, not all individuals recover from the trauma altogether. This theory has implications for psychotherapy because an individual’s recovery depends on their resilience to challenges. It suggests that psychologists can use this theory to help their clients develop resilience which is essential for achieving a positive outcome in life (Neenan, 2017). It also builds on an individual developing coping techniques and strategies to manage trauma, stress, and other adversities in life. Therefore, this theory, as described by Neenan 2017 emphasizes the importance of positive relationships and personal resources in initiating and developing positive change and achieving well-being. Other essential theories of positive psychology include flow theory which helps individuals to achieve what they have thought impossible by immersing themselves at the moment and enjoying any task given (Neenan, 2017). Hope is another theory that focuses on instilling hope despite the situation and holding on as long as possible.

Positive psychology has contributed a lot to the development and interventions of psychologists and therapists because it has contributed to exploring an individual’s strengths, emotions, character, and other qualities important in motivating quality living that contributes to positive life outcomes. From the research, the value of life has been associated with the strengths that can be built on to bring positive outcomes. It has also been associated with improvement in the workplace. In a study by Kjerulf 2017, they found that positive psychology leads to success in the workplace, has also improved job performance, and other workers can feel the effect, which has contributed to quality relationships at the workplace (Kjerulf, 2017). The small but positive acts, such as loving others, contribute to the larger picture of productive life; hence it encourages individuals and workers to have happier and more productive hours, suppressing the negative emotions that contribute to psychological problems (Kjerulf, 2017). Positive psychology does not only lead to happiness, but it also contributes to the development of a meaningful life despite the adversities and challenges in life. Therefore, it is clear that there is a crucial connection between positive psychology and recovery; for any individual to have a functional and meaningful life, they need to identify their strengths and invest in developing them through positive engagements and relationships.

Positive psychology can be used in dealing with individuals who have undergone trauma, pain, and other difficulties to help them regain control of their lives. Although normal psychology helps, positive psychology invests in what the individual can use without going through the pain again. Intrinsic motivation is crucial as the individual needs to identify their strengths while the psychologist and therapist build a support system for the individual. Although some researchers have contrary opinions about its effectiveness, it has been proven effective in workplaces and institutions and has resulted in increased performance and productivity.

In conclusion, positive psychology is an area that has grown with the changes in the psychology and therapy field. Propagation of positive thinking and actions contributes to positive advancement in creating a meaningful life for individuals who have undergone trauma and other experiences that contribute to negative emotions. Positive psychology aims to positively impact clients’ lives and increase their experiences by embracing positive emotions. It has also enhanced goal setting and keeping as the individual controls it. The theories of positive psychology, such as PERMA theory, strength theory, and resilience theory, among others theories, have contributed to the success of psychology because of their positive impacts on the individual. The researchers have identified this field as a promising avenue for practice because it has been proven to have improved engagement and meaningful relationships that contribute to the overall quality of life. Therefore, positive psychology focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses compared to other sciences focusing on repair and pathology.


Kjerulf, A. (2017). Leading with happiness. United States: Woohoo Press.

Neenan, M. (2017). Developing resilience: A cognitive-behavioural approach. Routledge.

Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2008). Positive psychology and character strengths: Application to strengths-based school counseling. Professional school counseling12(2), 2156759X0801200214.

Seligman, M. E. (2002). Positive psychology, positive prevention, and positive therapy. Handbook of positive psychology2(2002), 3-12.

Southwick, S. M., Vythilingam, M., & Charney, D. S. (2005). The psychobiology of depression and resilience to stress: implications for prevention and treatment. Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol.1, 255-291.

Vo, D. T., & Allen, K. A. (2022). A systematic review of school-based positive psychology interventions to foster teacher well-being. Teachers and Teaching28(8), 964-999.

Webb, C., Smith, A., Orrell, M., & Jones, K. A. (2022). Positive psychology and attitudes to ageing in people aged 50 and over in the United Kingdom. Aging & Mental Health, 1-7.

Girl Before A Mirror Vs. Starry Night Free Writing Sample

My Selection and Impression of Two Pieces of Art

In this essay, I will discuss my observations while analyzing two pieces of artwork: “Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night” and “Girl Before a Mirror Painting” by Pablo Picasso. I will look at the compositional and stylistic aspects of each piece that caught my attention, talk about its impact on me, and look at the environment in which I discovered them and how it affected my view. Ultimately, I want to show how these two pieces of art influenced my learning and how they will influence how I think about visual art going forward.

Stary Night
(White, 2021)

Girl Before a Miror
(Pablo Picasso | Girl before Mirror (1972) | Artsy, 2016)

What Aspects of Composition and Style Attracted Me?

Picasso employed a blend of geometric and biomorphic shapes to express the Girl’s figure in his painting “Girl before a Mirror,” which I felt to be fascinating in terms of composition and style. This intrigued me since it questioned how the human body has always been portrayed. Picasso also drew a scenario that featured an intriguing interaction between the three-dimensional space and the two-dimensional panel; this gave the artwork a level of intricacy I had never seen before.

The picture Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh, also had several other features that drew me in. I found it artistically attractive how he painted the stars in the night sky with big, dramatic brushstrokes of color. In order to give the painting an exhilarating sensation of movement, Van Gogh also utilized an innovative use of warm and cool hues. His vivid color choices and inventive depiction of the night sky were alluring and lovely.

What I Learned from Studying Them

I was able to develop a greater grasp of the creation of visual images via the study of these two works of art. For instance, the Girl before the Mirror painting taught me the value of structuring a composition with balance. The interactions between the shapes, colors, and volumes in this painting contributed to its beautiful composition. The Starry Night painting also taught me the value of texture, color, and contrast in a masterfully designed painting.

My understanding of the different compositional and stylistic components, including line, shape, color, texture, and contrast, has improved due to my research of these two works of art. Although I was already familiar with these aspects, studying the works of Picasso and Van Gogh helped me to better comprehend how to employ them to produce an engaging, visually beautiful painting.

How It Met My Expectations

Before starting this research, I had ideas about what I hoped to learn from studying these two works of art. I anticipated learning more about the compositional and stylistic components and expanding my knowledge of the various ways visual art may be used to express ideas or feelings.

I’m happy to report that my goals for this study endeavor were achieved. My study of the works of Picasso and Van Gogh helped me to understand how visual art can add significance and feeling to a painting. I also learned the value of composing an artwork with a feeling of harmony and balance and the influence of color, texture, and contrast.

Relating the Works to My WorldView

I could find hints of my experience and worldview in both works of art. For instance, Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror Painting” spoke to me because I, too, have struggled to feel a part of something in a world full of laws and beliefs that seem to be arbitrary. I can relate to Van Gogh’s passion for the night sky and its beauty. Therefore his painting Starry Night called to me.

These pieces helped me better understand the various kinds of art, especially visual art. I went into this project believing that all types of art were the same, but I’ve since learned that there are many distinct kinds of art and that each may have a special and deep impact on the audience.

How My Learning Will Affect My View of Visual Art in the Future

I now have a newfound appreciation for visual art as a result of studying these two works of art. I was able to get insight into the different compositional and stylistic components that can be employed to produce a successful and compelling artwork through the analysis of the works of Picasso and Van Gogh. In addition, I now appreciate the significance of structuring a unified and balanced composition.

Future-wise, this newly discovered respect for visual art will help me see the beauty in art that I had previously missed. Additionally, this knowledge and expertise will help me when I’m doing my artwork since I’ll know better how to combine various parts to get something that looks good.


In conclusion, studying the artwork of Picasso and Van Gogh has helped me better grasp the different compositional and stylistic components employed to produce an artistically beautiful piece of art. My encounter with these pieces has also given me a fresh respect and regard for visual art and its ability to give a painting meaning and emotion. Lastly, this information has helped me understand the significance of producing a harmonious and balanced composition, which will surely serve as a guide for me going forward as I create my works of art.


Pablo Picasso | Girl before Mirror (1972) | Artsy. (2016). Pablo Picasso | Girl Before Mirror (1972) | Artsy. Www.artsy.net. https://www.artsy.net/artwork/pablo-picasso-girl-before-mirror

White, K. (2021, October 15). Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” Has Captivated the Public for Over a Century—Here Are 3 Things You Might Not Know About It. Artnet News. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/3-things-about-vincent-van-goghs-starry-night-2020713