Does Race Really Matter - journal of arts

Does Race Really Matter - journal of arts

Does race really matter? Career goals, perceptions of criminal justice practitioners and competence among criminal justice undergraduates Youngyol Y...

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Does race really matter? Career goals, perceptions of criminal justice practitioners and competence among criminal justice undergraduates

Youngyol Y. Schanz Associate Professor Criminology & Criminal Justice Department Slippery Rock University

ABSTRACT This study examines whether race or ethnicity affects student decision-making pertaining to career goals and choices. The career goals and choices of undergraduates in criminal justice (CJ) were surveyed in early spring of 2006. The research also investigates students’ perceptions of their own perceived competence as future CJ practitioners. Data were collected from CJ undergraduates from an urban university in the upper Midwestern part of the U.S. The results indicate that racial or ethnic minority students have significantly different career goals and choices than those of non-minority students. Some future research implications and policy implications are discussed. Key words: race, ethnicity, criminal justice, perception, career goals 1.

Introduction

According to the U.S. Department of Education (2008), the percentage of racial or ethnic (R/E, hereafter) minority college students increased from 15 percent in 1976 to 31 percent in 2005 due to the growing number of Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander students. Enrollment by race or ethnicity between 2008 and 2019 is projected to increase only by 7% for White in contrast to30% for Black, 45% for Hispanic, and 30% for Asian or Pacific Islander. The increasing enrollment of R/E minority students in higher education has resulted in an increasing number of studies on various issues related to their college experiences. This expanding literature has covered topics such as adjustment (e.g., Fischer, 2007; Hurtado et al., 2007), retention (e.g., Carter, 2006; Hudson, Henderson, & Henderson, 2002; Rodgers & Summers, 2008), campus and classroom climates(e.g. Pieterse, Carter, Evans & Walter, 2010) and interactions with faculty and mentoring issues (e.g., Wong, Seago, Keane & Grumbach, 2008). One of the research topics found in the criminal justice (CJ) literature is the career goals and choices of CJ majors. While the literature specifically focusing on the relationship between the CJ major’s race or ethnicity and his or her career choices is somewhat limited, some researchers (e.g., Gabbidon, Penn & Richards, 2003; Krimmel & Tartaro, 1999; Tartaro & Krimmel, 2003; Tontodonato, 2006; Yim, 2003, 2009) have examined CJ college students’ career goals and aspirations based on student demographics and other social variables. These studies have shown that there are in fact some significant differences in the career goals between White and R/E minority students among CJ majors. The goal of the present study is to examine career goals and choices among CJ majors. The present study specifically addresses whether R/E differences among CJ exist when it comes to their career decisions. Discussing methodological issues in assessment research with ethnic minorities, Okazaki and Sue (1995) noted that the “inclusion of ethnicity and culture related variables increases the range of human behavior variables to explore and understand” (p. 373). Unlike previous studies focusing on only demographic (race, gender, etc.) and social variables (parents’ educational level, parents’ income level, etc.), the present study not only examines the effect of student’s race or ethnicity on his or her career goals but also further examines whether a student’s race or ethnicity influences his or her perceived competence as future CJ practitioners.

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2.

Literature Review

2.1. Student’s Race or Ethnicity, Career Choices, Goals& Occupational Expectations Research has shown that R/E minority students seem to perceive their career choices and decisions differently when compared to non-racial or ethnic minority students. Examining literature on the role of cultural values in occupational choice, Brown (2002) concluded that families and groups holding the same social values are important for racial or ethnic minority college students’ career decisions. According to Brown, minority status is one of the factors that limit the number of occupational options. It was found that family and school personnel influences differed by ethnicity among female engineering students (Trenor, Yu, Waight, Zerda, &Sah, 2008).According to Trenor et al, White students tend to carry on a family tradition; Asian students tend to pursue professional fields, such as engineering, due to their cultural expectations; and Hispanic students tend to focus on completing a degree rather than a specific career. It was discovered that R/E minority youths tend to hold lower occupational expectations when it comes to career achievement (Constantine, Erickson, Banks, & Timberlake, 1998). It seemed to be that Black students’ choice of careers was affected more by the “traditional openness of the fields to blacks than by their personal interests” (Fleming, 1981, p. 292). Relative to Whites, Blacks also chose majors that had imminent financial returns (John, Hu, Simmons, Carter & Weber, 2004). Racial minority college students were also found to rate economic success as a more important goal than did White college students in regards to the importance of success (Eskilson & Wiley, 1999). Whites and Asian college students were found to be significantly different with respect to their view of careers; Asians students were found to emphasize highly motivations such as earning money, status or prestige (Leong, 1991).Lau and his colleagues (2000) found a similar result. According to Lau et al, Chinese students believed that school should teach them “… to prepare them to earn money for respect, and luxuries and to enter high status colleges and jobs” whereas American students believe that school should teach them “to understand science, think critically, be useful to society” (Lau, Nicholls, Thorkildsen, & Patashnick, 2000, p.73). 2.2. Career Goals & Choices among CJ Undergraduates: Racial or Ethnicity Differences Although college students’ career goals and choices have been a popular research topic in the general educational field, it seems that it was not until early 1980s when some researchers (e.g., Buckley, 1986; Golden, 1982) started paying attention specifically to CJ undergraduates in regards to their career goals. These studies mainly focused on gender difference and a very few studies have been conducted on race and ethical difference in the CJ discipline. It was found that only 27 % of R/E minority students among 400 CJ students from 12 fouryear colleges and universities were interested in pursuing law enforcement (LE) careers, whereas 50% of White students were (Krimmel & Tartaro, 1999). However, it was also found from the same study that compared to their counterparts R/E minority students are significantly more likely to choose law, juvenile justice and college professorship as their primary career goals. It was also reported from the study that R/E minority students were significantly more likely than their counterparts to be influenced by family members or by someone in high school in their selection of career goals. Analyzing the data from five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), Gabbidon et al.(2003)found significant differences between HBCU and predominantly White institutions (PWI) in regards to the reasons to select CJ as student’s major. More specifically, they found that 26% of students at HBCU had an interest in LE careers, while almost 50% of students at PWI had the same interest. It was found that R/E minority students among 492 CJ undergraduates at a university in western Pennsylvania were more likely than White students to be influenced by their family members in their career choices in the CJ system (Yim, 2003). It was also found from the study that R/E minority students showed significantly higher perceived self-competence level than White students as future criminal justice employees. 2.3. Student’s Race or Ethnicity, Their Perception of Job Images of CJS & Career Choices It is important to understand how students perceive certain job images in CJ system and how they affect their career choices and goals. According to Bandura’s (1986), self-efficacy, “People act on their judgments of what they can do, as well as on their beliefs about the likely effects of various actions” (p. 231, emphasis added).Selfefficacy expectations refer to “a person’s beliefs concerning his or her ability to successfully perform a given task or behavior” (Betz & Hackett, 1981, p. 400).It was found that career self-efficacy was significantly associated with middle school adolescents’ career interests (Turner & Lapan, 2002). Surveying 312 Taiwanese college students, Larson and her associates found that“ As expected, self-efficacy contributed significant additional discrimination 161 | P a g e

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in students’ choice actions (choosing majors) and in their choice goals (career aspirations)” (Larson, Wei, Wu, Borgen & Bailey 2007, p. 404). It was argued that self-efficacy is especially important for urban R/E minority youths because of the lack of opportunities to develop self-efficacy for their careers(Constantine et al.,1998). Bandura’s self-efficacy concept was first applied to career choice by Betz and Hackett (1981) and further developed into social cognitive career theory (SCCT) by Lent, Brown, and Hackett (1994) (in Trenor et al., 2008).The idea of SCCT is that “perceptions of career barriers influence the relationship between career interest and goals” (Constantine, Wallace, & Kindaichi, 2005, p. 309, emphasis added). It was found that African American youths who perceived career barriers tended to show higher degrees of career indecision(Constantine et al.).Some researchers (e.g., Fouad, Byars & Winston, 2005) noted that R/E minority students had expected less career opportunities and more career barriers than had White students (in Metz, Fouad & Ihle-Helledy, 2009, p. 156). Compared to European-American college students, R/E minority students were found to perceive significantly greater educational barriers and lower self-efficacy for facing perceived career-related barriers (Luzzo & McWhirter, 2001). It was found that Mexican American high school students were less likely to be confident than their European American counterparts in terms of overcoming barriers related to their career goals (McWhirter, 1997). It was reported that the majority of students in a special premedical education preparatory program expected barriers such as negative stereotypes and ethnic discrimination in their future jobs (Henry, 2006). However, not all R/E minority students seem to expect the same level of barriers. It was discovered that Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants perceived fewer barriers than did African Americans or European Americans, regardless of their similar economic and community backgrounds (Hill, Ramirez, & Dumka, 2003). Studies have also shown that students’ future career choices can be influenced by their images or perceptions of those occupations. For example, it was found that compared to male college students, female students not only were less likely to enter physical/mathematical science careers but also perceived themselves as significantly less competent in physical/mathematical science careers (Morgan, Isaac & Sansone, 2001). According to Birnbaum and Somers (1986), perceived job image refers to the “ideology or shared beliefs about the meaning of occupational membership with respect to the social status, capability, and behavior patterns of individual members” (in Lim, Teo & See, 2001, p. 741). Citing Gottfredson’s theory, Glick, Wilk and Perrault (1995) wrote “images of jobs are actually images of people who hold those jobs… What we know about jobs… has more to do with what we know about people in those jobs… people organize their images of occupations in a highly stereotyped, socially learned manner” (p. 565-566). If this argument is correct, it can be assumed that CJ majors may organize their images of occupations (e.g., law enforcement) in a highly stereotyped (e.g., white maleoriented), socially learned manner from their educational experience. For example, using content analysis of introductory criminal justice textbooks, researchers found that “With regard to white-collar crimes, Black suspects/offenders were depicted far less often than arrest rates suggested they should be… Depicting Black suspects/offenders in association with white-collar crime would contradict images of the typical criminal primarily due to the perceived “status” of white-collar crimes and their limited association with violence”(Burns & Katovich, 2006,p.11). The goal of the study is threefold. First, it examines whether R/E differences exist among CJ majors when it comes to their career choices. Based on the literature review, I hypothesized that White and R/E minority students would be significantly different in regards to their career choices. Second, it examines the perceived self-confidence as future CJ practitioners among CJ majors. Based on literature review, I hypothesized that White and R/E minority students would be significantly different in regards to their perceived self-competence as future CJ practitioners. Third, in the explorative nature, using student’s demographic and social variables, CJ major’s future career goals would be predicted in the present study. 3.

Methods

3.1. Sample and Participant Selection Participants in the present study were recruited from undergraduates majoring in CJ at an urban university with 6,500 undergraduate students in the upper Midwestern part of the U.S. The majority of students in this particular university are nontraditional students who tend to be older than traditional students are, although the number of traditional students has been increasing for the past several years. In addition, it should be mentioned that this particular university is predominantly White. At the time when this study was conducted, the average age of the 162 | P a g e

Does race really matter? Career goals, perceptions of criminal justice practitioners and ...... Youngyol Y. Schanz

students in the CJ program was 28.5 years old. Approximately 33% (N=85) of the students in the study sample were already employed in CJ-related agencies such as law enforcement, corrections, etc. In order to represent the population fairly, the researcher handed out the survey questionnaire to the entire population in the spring of 2006. Approximately 70% of the study population participated in the study. Although the researcher attempted to recruit the entire population, it should be mentioned that the sample is not perfectly representative for the population. The characteristics of the study population and sampling can be found in Table 1. Table 1. Characteristics of Sample and Variables & Coding ______________________________________________________________________________ Variables (Coding) Sample Population* ______________________________________________________________________________ Gender Male (0) 133 (52.0%) 224 Female (1) 122 (47.7%) 145 Missing (999) 1 (.4%) N/A Race

White (0) Black or African American (1) Asian (2) Other** (3)

Race (Dichotomized) White (0) Non-White (1) Age

194 (75.8%) 26 (10.2%) 15 (5.9%) 21 (8.2%)

261 38 21 49***

194 (75.8%) 62 (24.2%) 28.5

Academic Standing Freshman (0) Sophomore (1) Junior (2) Senior (3) Other (4) Missing

26.5344 (mean), 6.48872 (SD) 18 (min), 50 (max) Missing: 9 (3.5%) 14 (5.5%) 13 (13.7%) 90 (35.2%) 111 (43.4%) 4 (1.6%) 2 (.8%)

(Unknown)

Career Choices Law Enforcement (0) Probation/Parole (1) Corrections (2) Court (3) Graduate/Law School (4) Undecided (5) Other (6) Missing

130 (50.8%) 40 (15.6%) 11 (4.3%) 3 (1.2%) 16 (6.3%) 24(9.4%) 21(8.2%) 11 (4.3%)

(Unknown)

________________________________________________________________________ *This is the number of students who registered for the spring of 2006. This was obtained by the department’s advisee’s report for spring 2006. ** Other includes Hispanic or Latino 4 (1.6%), American Indian or Alaska Native 5 (2.0%), Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1 (.4%) & Other 11 (4.3%). These racial groups were categorized as “other” due to small number of representation. *** This is an estimated number since the number of population for “other racial group” including bi-racial is unknown. The numbers of population for “Other” are 13, 3, 2, unknown respectively for Hispanic or Latino 4 163 | P a g e

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(1.6%), American Indian or Alaska Native 5 (2.0%), Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1 (.4%) & other racial group 11 (4.3%). Table 1 shows that 52% of the respondents (N=133) were male and 47.7% (N=122) were female. The majority of the respondents (N=194, 75.8%) were White and 62 respondents (24.2%) were non-White. 3.2. Data Collection Procedure Data were collected through self-administered surveys. The researcher-contacted instructors of all CJ classes offered in the semester to recruit potential study participants. No instructors declined to participate in the study. Once the instructor decided to participate in the study, he or she distributed the survey to the class. Instructors informed students of their right to decline participation in the study. Students were instructed to read a consent form attached to the survey before participating. Students who decided to participate in the study then completed the survey. Students who had previously participated in the survey were instructed not to fill out the survey again. Once the participants completed the questionnaires, instructors collected the survey forms and returned them to the researcher. 4.

Results

4.1. Students’ Race or Ethnicity and Their Career Choices in CJ It was found that law enforcement (LE) and probation or parole were the two most desirable career goals, whereas court administration and corrections were the least desirable career goals among the respondents. Table 2 shows that around 53% of respondents (n=130) were interested in pursuing a LE career. Table 2.Comparison of White and Non-White Students’ Career Choices ______________________________________________________________________________ 2 Career Choice Whites Non-Whites X f % f % ______________________________________________________________________________ Law Enforcement 111 57.2 19 30.6 16.010*** Non-Law Enforcement 78 40.2 37 59.7 115 Probation/parole Non-Probation/parole

23 166

11.9 85.6

17 39

27.4 62.9

15.810***

Corrections Non-Corrections

9 180

4.6 92.8

2 54

3.2 87.1

N/A

Court Non-Court

2 187

1.0 96.4

1 55

1.6 88.7

N/Aa

Graduate/Law School Non-Graduate/Law School

4 185

2.1 95.4

12 44

19.4 71.0

N/Aa

a

____________________________________________________________________________ Note: a Chi-square analysis was not performed for three career choice categories (Corrections, Courts & Graduate/Law School) due to the small frequencies. * p<.05; *** p<.001 The result of the Chi-square shows that there are statistical significant differences between race or ethnicity of students and their career goals in two areas including law enforcement (p<.001) and probation or parole(p<.001).As shown in Table 2, 57% of Whites and 31% of R/E minorities selected LE careers whereas only 12% of Whites and 27% of R/E minorities selected probation or parole as the most desirable career. Therefore, this result supports hypothesis #1 as far as the LE and probation and parole areas are concerned.

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4.2. Students’ Perceived Self-Competence as Future CJ Practitioners Research hypothesis #2 states that there would be a significant difference between White and R/E minority students in regards to their perceived self-competence as future CJ practitioners. To measure the perception of students of their own competence as potential CJ practitioners, the following four items were designed; • I am capable of being a police officer (C1) • I am capable of working in the correctional field (C2) • I am capable of being a law practitioner (e.g., judge, defense lawyer, prosecutor) (C3) • There is (will be) equal opportunity for me to be hired regardless of my race or ethnicity (C4). The response categories range from one (strongly disagree) to 10 (strongly agree).The results are summarized in Table 3. Table 3. Students’ Race or Ethnicity and Their Perceived Competence as Future CJ Practitioners _____________________________________________________________________________ DV IV Mean S. D. F t-value Sig. ______________________________________________________________________________ C1

White (n=194) Non-White (n=61)

8.6598 8.2951

2.31412 1.321 2.60988

.299

.268

C2

White (n=194) Non-White (n=61)

8.9278 9.0984

1.94881 .186 2.60988

.544

C3

White (n=194) Non-White (n=61)

7.9124 8.5410

2.65212 1.645 2.46694

.102

C4

White (n=194) Black (n=26) Asian (n=14) Other (n-21)

7.3814 5.2692 6.7333 5.9000

2.71226 5.631 3.13123 2.21897 3.38573

.001**

Non-White (n=61)

5.8361

3.03414

.000***

.906 .180

______________________________________________________________________________ *** p< .001.;** p<.01; C1 (I am capable of being a police officer), C2 (I am capable of working in the correctional field, C3 (I am capable of being a law practitioner (e.g., judge, defense lawyer, prosecutor), C4 (There was (will) be equal opportunity for me to be hired regardless of my race/ethnicity As shown in Table 3, White and R/E minority are not significantly different in perceived self-competence level in the first three items. More specifically, although the mean score among White ( =8.6598) was slightly higher than R/E minority( =8.2951) for item one, a t-test shows that there was no significant difference between these two groups. In the same way, although the lightly higher mean scores were found among R/E minority than Whites for item 2 and item 3, no significant differences were found between these two groups. Therefore, hypothesis #2was not supported. However, it was found that White students ( =7.3814) were significantly more likely to believe that there would be equal opportunity for them to be hired compared to Non-White students ( =5.8361) (p< .001). More specifically, among non-White groups, Black students ( =5.2692) scored the lowest to item C4. In fact, when the Bonferroni test as a post hoc test was performed, Blacks were significantly less likely to believe that there would be equal opportunity for them to be hired in the CJ field than White students(p<.01). 4.3. Student’s Race/Ethnicity & Prediction of Students’ Careers In order to predict a student’s career, a series of multiple binary logic regression with backward method was performed. Student’s dichotomized race (0= White, 1= R/E minority), gender (0= male; 1= female), GPA, father’s educational level, mother’s educational level, and student’s competence as future CJ practitioners (C1, C2, C3, &

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C4) were used as independent variables. The probability for Stepwise was .05 for entry and .05 for removal. The result was presented in Table 4. Table 4.Binary Regression Analysis: Predicting Students Career Choice ______________________________________________________________________________ 2 p DV Predictor β S.E. Wald χ ______________________________________________________________________________ LE(0.1) C1 -.965 .281 11.790 .001** C2 .662 .268 6.093 .014* Race(D) 1.463 .476 9.432 .002** Gender 2.271 .391 33.738 .000*** Pro/Parole Race (D) -1.173 .473 6.141 .013* (0,1) Gender -2.301 .589 15.273 .000*** Father’ Ed .457 .1644 7.770 .005** _____________________________________________________________________________ Note: DV (Dependent Variables), 0 (Yes), 1 (No); Race (D: Dichotomized), 0 (White), 1 (Non-White); Gender, 0 (male), 1 (female); Father’s educational level As shown in Table 4, when a student’s career choice was dichotomized into LE and non-LE, it was found that four variables, including C1, C2, race and gender, were included in the final analysis. Omnibus tests of model coefficients show that the model is significant (p< .000). The value of the Cox & Snell R square (.413) and Nagelkerker R square (.552) indicate that these four variables are relatively good predictors of students whose goal was to become LE officers. As expected, a student’s gender was the strongest factor (for more details, see Yim, 2009) following with student’s R/E. The student’s competence level in being a future police officer was the third strongest factor of the model. This finding seems to suggest that white male students who hold high competence levels as future police officers but hold low competence levels as correction officers are significantly more likely to pursue law enforcement than their counterparts. When students’ career choice was dichotomized into probation and non-probation, it was found that three variables—a student’s gender, race, and father’s educational level—were included in the final analysis. Omnibus tests of model coefficients show that the model is significant (p< .000).Once again, it was found that a student’s gender was the strongest predictor of the model. The finding suggests that compared to their counterparts, female R/E minority students whose father’s educational level was lower are more likely to be interested in pursuing a career as a probation officer. The value of Cox & Snell R square was.172 and Nagelkerker R square was .308. 5.

Discussion & Conclusion

5.1. Discussion Law enforcement was found to be the most popular career choice in the present study. Courtright and Mackey (2004) found a similar finding in their study. It was also found in the present study that White students were more intent on pursuing LE careers than R/E minority students. This particular finding is consistent with previous research (e.g.,Krimmel & Tartaro, 1999; Tartaro & Krimmel, 2003). Although Krimmel and Tartaro (1999, 2003) did not offer clear explanations why R/E minority CJ majors were less likely to be interested in LE than their white counterparts in their studies (1999, 2003), they reported that R/E minority students preferred not to wear a uniform and were not concerned with arresting perpetrators, unlike their White counterpart. Finding similar results regarding the lack of interest in LE careers among R/E minority CJ undergraduates, Gabbidon et al. (2003) wrote that“…the difference in the level of interest in law enforcement between whites and African-Americans is a product of ‘petit apartheid’ (i.e., covert/informal discriminatory practices by law enforcement personnel) in the criminal justice system… ” (p. 240). In fact, it was found that R/E minority students among 365 college students were significantly more likely to believe that police unfairly target racial minorities and police are too harsh on crime suspects (Mbuba, 2010). It was also found in the same study that racial

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minority students were significantly less likely to recommend that their child or close family member become a police officer. No significant difference was found between White students and R/E minority students with respect to their perceived self-competence level. However, it was found that R/E minority students, especially Black students, were significantly less likely to believe that there would be equal opportunity for them and their future jobs. Although there is no particular literature on CJ majors’ perception of their own perceived competence level as future CJ practitioners, some research showed that anticipation of barriers in future careers was strongly associated with CJ major’s race. For example, Krimmel and Tartaro (1999) found that R/E minority students were more likely than White students to believe that finding a job would not be easy for them. Similar research findings also were found in previous research (e.g., Fouad, et al., 2005; Henry, 2006; Luzzo & McWhirter, 2001; McWhirter, 1997). 5.2. Limitations of the Present Study& Future Research Implications The conclusions in this study might be challenged on the grounds that they were obtained from a non-traditional college population. However, in terms of the findings about students’ career options it appears that the present findings are in line with the results of studies on students recruited from a traditional university body. However, the findings from this study may still be limited by the fact that the university in which the subjects were enrolled can be characterized as predominantly White. Future researchers should strive to recruit samples from more racially and ethnically diverse campuses. It should also be mentioned that although the sample size is good at over 250 participants, the current study findings should not be over-generalized for several reasons. First, the sample in the current study has the lack of representativeness of the sample with regard to gender. Second, the lack of variability among racial groups prohibits the author from performing certain types of statistical analyses. For example, a Chi-square was performed to test for significant differences only between Whites and non-Whites due to the small number of racial minority students. Third, the current study findings may be limited to the fact that the data were collected from one institution in the Midwest. To examine further students’ career goals and their perceptions of careers in future studies, data should be collected from several different geographical locations and from samples more representative of populations in terms of gender and race or ethnicity. 5.3. Conclusions and Future Prospects The main goal of the study was to examine CJ majors’ career goals and choices among different R/E groups. It was found that student’s race and ethnicity was a powerful predictor of career decision among CJ majors. More specifically, it was found that R/E students are less inclined to pursue careers in law enforcement than non-R/E minority students are. It was also found that R/E minority students were more likely to expect barriers to equal opportunity in their future jobs than their counterparts were. These findings are of concern to me as a CJ college educator because CJ undergraduates today will eventually become CJ practitioners in the future. In the near future, as the U.S. Census Bureau (2008) has projected, our nation will be more racially and ethnically diverse. According to the same source, R/E minorities currently comprise about one-third of the U.S. population, and are projected to become the majority by 2042.As Justiz (1994) predicted, the “term minority group is beginning to lose its meaning… [and] its applicability”(p. 2). There is no question that the projected diverse population will have a dramatic impact on the American criminal justice system. As it was pointed out, because of the increase in the R/E minority population, American law enforcement will have to deal with not the issue of “either – or” (either White or Black) but the issue of a “multidimensional environment (White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian)” (Enter, 1991,p. 68- 69).Because of these demographic trends, it will be essential for criminal justice personnel to educate themselves about cultural differences in order to work effectively with the R/E minority communities. In that sense, CJ agencies, especially police departments at both state and local levels, should actively recruit people from racial or ethnic minority groups. This may bring many advantages to the American criminal justice system. For example, it was pointed out that R/E minority police officers “may have an advantage when it comes to dealing with problems in predominantly minority neighborhoods, both because of a greater understanding of cultural norms and because of increased community acceptance” (Donohue & Levitt, 2001,p. 368).More importantly, educators teaching CJ undergraduates should be actively involved in career advising to R/E minority 167 | P a g e

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