Community mapping

Community mapping



Community mapping

Shanna Scanlan

SOC 490 Liberal Arts Capstone

Argosy University

Community mapping

The communities that will be the basis of my service project will be African Americans and the Latinos. These communities are part of the people who are considered marginalized in the society. For the longest time, the war against drugs has been considered as racist. Understanding of drug abuse in African Americans and the Latinos youth occurs at the connection of behavior, development and context. It is therefore very important to understand who the key players are in these communities, their needs, goals and possible relations to one another and how these relations will affect the designing, planning, and execution of the planned service project. How a certain population behaves and what they believe in will influence how the issue of fighting drugs using community policing will be dealt with.

Research has shown that African Americans and Latinos are considerably more likely to undergo severe depression than Whites or other populations (Cooper, 2015). African Americans and Latinos were more expected to have higher levels of severe stress and more harmful behaviors. This results to them engaging in unhealthy behaviors like drinking and smoking which ultimately leads to them being drug abusers. Understanding the behavioral and social complexities related with despair and unhealthy conducts by ethnicity or race can help us appreciate how to best increase overall health in these populations. African Americans and Latinos have always faced discrimination in many aspects in the criminal justice system. This makes it hard for the fight against drugs in these communities since they are rebellious because they think they are being discriminated against.

In its fight to eradicate the illegal drugs menace, the DEA has faced several challenges. The major forces at work in the African America and Latino community is money, rebelliousness and discrimination. Most of the discrepancy amid the handling of minority groups and other communities in the legal structure is financial. Typically, white communities make more cash than African Americans and Latinos, and due to this a lot of the whites can manage to pay for better legal representation than the minority groups. It is not just finances that lead to the uneven number of African Americans and Latinos being arrested for drugs, but there are likewise social issues that go much bottom than money.

The problem begins with the police officers and their discriminatory examinations, impeding, and pestering of these minority groups. This section of the issue doesn’t have anything to do with finances, however it has a lot to do with discriminatory police officers. Police set aside and explore the vehicles of minority groups at a much greater degree than white drivers, and mention a process called profiling which is looking at the behavioral and physical pointers that make an individual appear suspicious. The issue with profiling is that ethnicity is definitely a pointer used by the police. Racial profiling is another major force that is at work in these communities. Even though racial profiling is unlawful, police have at all times practiced it and never been held responsible.

Not merely are police discriminatory in their elucidation of certain laws, but there are also a lot of laws that are naturally racist. One of the most obvious example of a discriminatory law is the law stating that a person selling five grams of pop cocaine gets the same five years lowest fine as an individual selling a lot more grams of cocaine dust (Skolnick, 1998). Financially disadvantaged people tend to consume crack more than cocaine, whereas cocaine usage is more dominant amongst individuals in the upper and middle classes. Since majority of the minority groups are poor, crack usage for minority groups is higher than whites. Even though crack is not totally the same as cocaine, cocaine can very effortlessly be changed into crack. It is irrational for these two drugs to convey such considerably different sentences.

African Americans and Latinos have developed a rebellious nature against any efforts to try and fight drugs in their community. They believe that the police always discriminate against them when compared to other communities. This has made it hard for them to cooperate with any agencies including private and non-governmental ones in the fight against drugs. The key players in the community in this attempt to fight drugs are the people themselves and the police. The project aims to employ community policing to fight the war against drugs among the young people among the African Americans and Latino populations. It therefore becomes a main challenge to bring together these same people who feel discriminated to work together with the police in order to deal with this drugs issue.

The goal of this project is fighting against drugs in these communities. The goals of the police officers is to ensure that they develop a strong relationship with these minority groups which will help them in their operations in obtaining information from the people that they will use in fighting drugs. The police officers also have a goal of ensuring that the public has trust with them so that they can be of help to them in this proposed project. The goals of the community is to collaborating with the police so that the police can as well gain trust with the police and in this way, the high profiling and discrimination against them by the police will reduce. In addition to this, they also aim to develop strong relationships with the police in fighting drugs in their community for the sake of their future generations and build a positive image about their community which has been known for drug abuse.

The way in which the key players that is the community itself and the police relate with each other is very important to the success of this project. The way they relate with one another will definitely affect how this project is planned, designed and executed. A problem with this discriminating treatment of African Americans and Latinos in the war against drugs is that African Americans and the Latinos become withdrawn. When important sectors of a society view the system as unfair, law enforcement is conceded. People are less eager to collaborate with the system, whether by giving leads to police officers, appearing as witnesses for the trial or entering guilty judgments as jurors (Cole, 1999).The unintentional result of the unfair handling of African Americans and Latinos by the police is that the criminal justice system does not function properly. Without the full collaboration of all the parties that are involved, the war against drugs in these communities will not be successful.

However this rebelliousness and lack of trust with the police officers from these minority groups will help the project in coming with strategies that are directed towards trying to gain trust with these people so that they can work together with the police to fight drugs thus achieving an effective community policing program. This will also facilitate the development of community education campaigns in these communities hence enlightening them on the need to embrace community policing in fighting the drug menace that is a problem among them.


Cole, D. (1999). When the Reason is Race. The Nation Mar 1999. The Nation. Online. Nexis.

Cooper, L. (2015). War on drugs policing and police brutality. Substance use & misuse, 50(8-9), 1188-1194.

Cox, R., & Cunningham, P. (2017). Financing the War on Drugs: The Impact of Law Enforcement Grants on Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests.

Skolnick, J. (1999). The Color of the Law. The American Prospect Aug 1998. The American Prospect. Online. Nexis.

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