Prejudice, Discrimination and Aggression
According to Kite and Whitley (2016), prejudice is defined as a preconceived opinion that is not based on actual experience or reason. Discrimination is the prejudicial or unjust treatment of diverse categories of persons, especially on the grounds of disability, sex, age, or race. Aggression, on the other hand, refers to the feelings of antipathy or anger that result in behavior that is violent or hostile; it is the readiness of a person (in this case) to confront or attack. Discrimination coupled with prejudice are precipitators of human conflict and can boil into aggression by the offended party or the perpetrator of the two acts. Discrimination and prejudice can cause people to hate each other and, in some cases, cause one to cause grievous harm to another (Kite & Whitley, 2016). These two also can be linked to murder, war, and criminal acts, which in turn leads to the incarceration of perpetrators. The question that arises, however, is whether an offender’s prejudicial attitude results in a negative attitude or is the ineffectively designed criminal justice system aspects that fail to address the issues of discrimination and prejudice. That said, discussing four areas in reference to this quagmire specifically, issues related to aggression, discrimination, and prejudice; theories of aggression; possible effects of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression on offenders and their social relationships; potential organizational issues that may arise due to prejudice, discrimination, or aggression; and possible methods to prevent issues related to these concepts from recurring is a necessity.
Determine possible causes of aggressive behavior in this setting, according to the theories of aggression. There must be a discussion of at least two of The Theories of Aggression.
Every person has the capability to become aggressive; it is the way that people express aggression that differs from one person to another (Berkowitz, 1993). Several factors, including a relationship with others, family structure, mental health, physical health, life experiences, individual traits, socioeconomic or societal factors, and school or work environment, can cause aggression. Brain damage can cause a person to lose control over aggressive behavior. Brain damage may be due to head injury, stroke, and other illnesses of the brain, such as a brain tumor (Berkowitz, 1993).
There are three theories of aggression (Staemmler, 2016). The first is the frustration-aggression theory, which asserts that a person gets aggravated through frustration. When such a person is prohibited from reaching their goals, frustration builds up, which results in aggression when triggered. The second theory is Social Learning Theory by Bandura, which opines that a behavior can be learned through observation. A child, for example, can learn how to be aggressive by watching an aggressive parent or guardian, and as the child grows, it becomes aggressive as well. The third theory is aggression as an instinct, which asserts that aggression is innate in all human beings and that it needs to be controlled. Those who are unable to control their inherent aggression end up portraying the same publicly and thus become outwardly aggressive (Staemmler, 2016).
Describe possible effects of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression on offenders and their social relationships.
The psychological response of offenders toward discrimination, prejudice, and aggression is often negative, as would for any other person. The stigma that comes with the label of being an offender after release from prison plays an important part in understanding ex-convict’s reintegration into their communities. The decision on parole release is impacted by the aggressive behavior that a convict displays while in prison. When a convict is released from prison, they are faced with stigma from a society that is averted to criminals and which does not trust that the person has been reformed by the criminal justice system (Gilbert et al., 2013). Distrust and fear accompany ex-convicts even as the public holds on to the stereotype that ex-offenders ought not to be a part of society. Ex-convicts are well too aware of this prejudice even as they try to reintegrate into society; most will find it very difficult to get a decent job, while others will have their family and friends avoid them and refuse to be associated with them. These prejudices and discrimination are despite the ex-convict having been fully reformed, whether the conviction was wrongfully convicted or not, and whether or not the ex-convict makes a complete turnaround and lives an honest life (Amali et al., 2021).
When an ex-convict is faced with barriers to moving on with their life, such as getting a good job or any source of income, discrimination by family and friends, among others, then such a person may become frustrated and opt to go back to their old ways of life. Frustration, barriers, and stigma can push an ex-convict to become aggressive, as with the theory mentioned earlier, and the aggression can land the ex-convict back in prison if such an act of aggression results in a criminal act.
Describe potential organizational issues that may arise due to prejudice, discrimination, or aggression.
In a globalized world, organizations are finding that they have to be culturally sensitive and diversified in their workforce. Gone are the days when color determined one’s ability to perform a task or to achieve a goal. However, there may be cases where, within an organization, discrimination and prejudice prevail. When employees discriminate against each other based on whichever demographic difference, the net effect will be an unhealthy work environment. An unhealthy work environment will cause a reduction in productivity, miscommunication, delays in the completion of projects, and a high employee turnover, which all inadvertently impact the profitability of the organization (Jones et al., 2017)
In the criminal justice system, when people of a particular race or gender are discriminated against and where prejudice exists in the way such people are prosecuted and convicted, aggression is bound to result. Human rights activists have, for years, fought for the reformation of the justice system to stop its disproportional conviction of people of color in comparison to Whites (Saccomano, 2019). Most recently, the death of George Floyd, which was largely blamed on discrimination, prejudice, and a flawed police system, resulted in aggressive behavior in the form of the global Black Lives Matter crusades. The aggression of protesters and retaliation by the police caused chaos in the streets, with people looting and causing damage to property. This is an example of how prejudice and discrimination within an organization that serves the public can result in massive aggression from the very people it claims to serve and protect.
Describe possible methods to prevent issues related to these concepts from recurring.
One of the ways to help reduce discrimination, prejudice, and subsequent aggression is to advocate for public education on the need to be more accepting of ex-convicts. The public needs to be aware that criminals are people who, at one time or another, lost their way either because of socioeconomic pushes, lack of stability in homes, or wrong choices. The public also needs to be educated on what the prisons do to rehabilitate and reform a person so that when such a person is released into society, they get a fair chance at starting all over again, on a clean slate, and without stigma and discrimination.
The second strategy would be to make reforms in the law enforcement and criminal justice system where the disproportionate incarceration and convictions of people of color are investigated keenly and fairness introduced. Black Lives Matter was an effective way of making law enforcement aware of the dissatisfaction that the world had with its systemic racism, prejudice and discrimination. The public should be assertive in ensuring all rights of every person are upheld.
Aggression is a by-product of a push effect. All persons are aggressive in nature, but the difference lies in how well one is able to control their aggression. Discrimination and prejudice against people on whatever grounds can precipitate aggression. Aggression can cause one to commit a crime that would see them incarcerated. When such a person is released from prison and is confronted by stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, it may result in frustration and build into aggression and a possible second conviction. The public needs to be educated on how to help ex-convicts remain out of prison, while the criminal justice system and law enforcement need to be fair in arrests and convictions of persons and not discriminate against persons of color.
Amali, S. E., Sibanyoni, E. K., & Tshivhase, T. (2021). Incarceration for Reformation or Deformation? International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 10, 562-571.
Berkowitz, L. (1993). Aggression: Its causes, consequences, and control. McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Gilbert, F., Daffern, M., Talevski, D., & Ogloff, J. R. (2013). The role of aggression-related cognition in the aggressive behavior of offenders: A general aggression model perspective. Criminal justice and behavior, 40(2), 119-138.
Jones, K. P., Arena, D. F., Nittrouer, C. L., Alonso, N. M., & Lindsey, A. P. (2017). Subtle discrimination in the workplace: A vicious cycle. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 10(1), 51-76.
Kite, M. E., & Whitley Jr, B. E. (2016). Psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Psychology Press.
Saccomano, L. M. (2019). Defining the Proper Role of Offender Characteristics in Sentencing Decisions: A Critical Race Theory Perspective. Am. Crim. L. Rev., 56, 1693.
Staemmler, F. M. (2016). Aggression, time, and understanding: Contributions to the evolution of Gestalt therapy. CRC Press.
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Analysis of Prejudice, Discrimination, and Aggression During Offender Rehabilitation
Issues related prejudice, discrimination, and aggression are present in many different aspects of offender behavior and interactions. Sometimes it could be an offender’s prejudicial attitude that produces a negative consequence, but it could also be aspects of the criminal justice system that have been ineffectively designed to address these issues. This assignment asks you to analyze the issues that relate to the concepts during offender rehabilitation.
Review the APA resources in the Center for Writing Excellence.
Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word analysis of the occurrence of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression among offenders while receiving correctional program support services for rehabilitation. Include the following:
- Determine possible causes of aggressive behavior in this setting, according to the theories of aggression. There must be a discussion of at least two of The Theories of Aggression.
- Describe possible effects of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression on offenders and their social relationships.
- Describe potential organizational issues that may arise due to prejudice, discrimination, or aggression.
- Describe possible methods to prevent issues related to these concepts from recurring.
Include a minimum of three sources.
Format your paper according to APA guidelines.
Submit your analysis.
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Remember, your paper must include a Title Page, an introduction and a conclusion. The introduction must provide a sufficient background on the topic and must preview the major points to be made in the paper. The conclusion must flow logically from the body of the paper and must review the major points made in the paper.
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