Racial Profiling

Racial and Religious profiling are hotly debated issues facing law enforcement agents throughout the country. On the one hand some experts in criminality believe that racial and religious profiling is necessary for catching criminals and deterring crime. On the other hand some people believe that profiling policies are discriminatory and do nothing more than create hostility between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The purpose of this discussion is to argue that racial/religious profiling is that behavioral profiling is a more productive way to deter crime and keep society safe.

According to the American Criminal Law Review the concept of racial profiling was derived from Operation Pipeline, a program developed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This particular program was originally developed for the purpose of apprehending drug dealers. To this end the DEA trained local law enforcement agencies to pay attention to certain characteristics. For instance, "Operation Pipeline training programs suggest that the profile included indications of race, age, and gender characteristics of potential traffickers. The DEA's drug courier profile was promoted as a technique for identifying individuals or vehicles on which officers should do more investigation (Ramirez et al., 1198)." However there were early indications that race was being utilized as the primary technique for profiling. In the years since the development of profiling there have been several instances of people being wrongfully accused and even killed as a result of racial profiling.

Interestingly enough Operation Pipeline also trained law enforcement agents to notice behavioral clues such as nervousness, evidence of concealing drugs in the vehicle. This technique is an aspect of behavior profiling. Unlike racial profiling, behavior profiling actually focuses on the actions an individual is likely to exhibiting when committing a crime or before committing a crime. Many experts believe that behavioral profiling is a more accurate way of determining who is engaging in criminal behavior.

In addition to racial profiling, religious profiling has also become a significant issue in recent years. In the United States and abroad there has been an increase in the amount of religious profiling as a result of terrorist threats and events that have occurred. The primary religious group targeting for such profiling is the Muslim faith. In addition people of Arab descent who are not Muslim are often profiled simply because they look like individuals who've committed crimes (Ramirez et al.). Like racial profiling, people profiled on the basis of religion are not targeted because they are doing anything wrong but solely because of their religious background.

Racial profiling and deterring crime

One of the arguments for the use of racial and religious profiling is that such policies deter crime. However, some researchers have found that racial profiling does nothing to deter crime and in many places where such profiling is a policy, crime rates are actually increasing.

The inability of racial profiling to deter crime is due in part to the very nature of most societies that have embraced such profiling policies. An article found in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies "Police services in racially hierarchical and ethnically conflictual societies increasingly incorporate citizens from historically stigmatized groups as officers or administrators. But, paradoxically, in many of these same societies, levels of police violence and racial targeting of ethnic and caste groups are increasing just as police are implementing diversity and desegregation goals (Amar, 577-578 )." This paradox often creates a situation in which residents of a community will no longer cooperate with police because they are viewed as the enemy. Example of this can be found in inner cities across America. For instance, the city of Chicago has an experienced a great deal of violence and death in recent years, however, in many cases people who witness these crimes will not reveal what they know to police because of a code a silence which has been encouraged in part because of the existence of racial…