In her book, The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander who was a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, reveals many of America’s harsh truths regarding race within the criminal justice system. Though the Jim Crow laws have long been abolished, a new form has surfaced, a contemporary system of racial control through mass incarceration. In this book, mass incarceration not only refers to the criminal justice system, but also a bigger picture, which controls criminals both in and out of prison through laws, rules, policies and customs. The New Jim Crow that Alexander speaks of has redesigned the racial caste system, by putting millions of mainly blacks, as well as Hispanics and some whites, behind bars
The judiciary system are believed to have a high african american incarceration rate as a result of discrimination. At a presidential debate on Martin Luther King Day, President Barack Obama said that “Blacks and whites are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates, and receive very different sentences… for the same crime.” Hillary Clinton said the “disgrace of a criminal-justice system that incarcerates so many more african americans proportionately than whites.”
The author’s studies indicate that the criminal justice system choose majority of their targets and suspects predominantly by race. According to studies conducted by the U. S Department of Justice, the imprisonment rate by race per 100,000 residents over 3,000 black males were imprisoned in the year 2000 compared to white males imprisonment rate of less than 500. This shows that conviction of crime, robbery, murder, and other violence and drug related crimes has a clear discrepancy across racial groups. This information might serve as the conclusion to our presentation which supports the question of whether the criminal justice system is
There are more African Americans in prison now, than there were enslaved in 1850. These individuals are not in prison because they are committing more crimes than their white counterparts, but because of a discriminatory system that targets african americans. Blacks can commit the same crimes as whites, but are more likely to be imprisoned and or receive a steeper sentence. This disproportionate racial sentencing has been a growing issue the United States for four decades, and started with the Reagan Administration's War On Drugs. Private prison organizations lobby for harsher punishments, and profit from the influx of inmates. With more African Americans in jail, this has had a crippling effect on the black community. The children of these inmates grow up without one of their parents, they to do poorly in school and have negative view on police officers and the law.
Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New
Within that statistic, most of the imprisoned are non-violent offenders. The problem starts with Arizona’s mandatory imprisonment laws. Research highlights that, “under Arizona's mandatory sentencing system, non-violent offenders make up the majority of state prisoners” (Greene). However, the mandatory sentencing does not just affect Arizona’s population. All across America, mandatory sentencing laws are forcing people to be put into prisons without a second thought. These laws were initiated in the 1970’s and put into action in the 1980’s. Ronald Reagan made these laws after initiating a war on the production, sale, and usage of illegal drugs. These laws insist on 5 years in prison for the first drug related felony, 10 years for the next felony sentencing, and 25 to life for the third felony. A process known as the three strikes rule. This campaign for the war on drugs has dragged out into current times. The placement of so many people into prisons for general, popular, frequent non-violent crimes has lead to such an extravagant number of people inside the walls used to punish people of horrific
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
In The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in The Era of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, she begins by points out the underlying problem in our Criminal Justice system. The problem being prioritizing the control of those in this racial caste rather than focusing on reasonable punishment and efforts to deter crime. Alexander begins by speaking of her experience as a civil rights lawyer and what soon became her priority after seeing a poster that mentioned how the war on drugs is the new jim crow when it comes to the application and outcome of it. As Alexander points out the correlation between the war on drugs and it being the new jim crow, she discusses the mass incarceration that is prevalent in our society and the number of African American
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and can display a range of different colors depending on the amount of melanin, a protein produced by special skin cells, that is in the skin. The more melanin that is created, the darker the skin tone. Despite the fact skin color is such a minor physiological difference, many have decided that it is enough of a reason to hate and discriminate against the minorities who possess a little more melanin than they do. This prejudice has managed to extensively infiltrate the justice system and law enforcement, causing black men to face multiple injustices such as being more likely to be convicted and given longer prison sentences than white men for the same crimes, having higher chances of being shot
“African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population.” The majority group of this statistic are people who come from african american backgrounds. The fact that black people are to make up nearly half of the prison population alone, really conveys the rate at which they are being arrested. Black men are often victims of racial profiling by police. They are targeted by police officers, and security guards, and are accused of crimes unrelated to them, simply on the basis of their skin color. Racial profiling plays a major role in the amount of black men and boys being sent to
In the eyes of Martin Luther King Jr., Justice within a society is achieved through the implementation of just laws. Furthermore, “just laws are regulations that have been created by man that follow the laws of God for man” (“Clergymen’s Letter”). Any law that does not correspond with the ideals of God and morality are considered to be unjust or a form of injustice. King identifies that injustice is clearly evident within the justice system. This injustice can truly be seen through the misconduct imposed toward the African American community. Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S.
In the introduction, Michelle Alexander (2010) introduces herself and expresses her passion about the topic of how the criminal justice system accomplishes racial hierarchy here in the United States.
This critical reflection will focus on the piece “African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Politics of Protection” by Kali Nicole Grass. Grass currently works at the University of Texas and Gross’ research focuses on black women’s experiences in the United States criminal justice system between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In this journal, Gross uses her historical research background and her research work to explain how history in the sense of race and gender help shape mass incarceration today. In this journal, Gross’s main argument is to prove that African American women are overpopulating prisons and are treating with multiple double standards that have existed for centuries. To prove this argument, first Gross starts off by
Michelle Alexander in her book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" argues that law enforcement officials routinely racially profile minorities to deny them socially, politically, and economically as was accustomed in the Jim Crow era. She first supports her claim by chronicling America 's history of institutionalized racism and systematic disenfranchisement of African Americans. Then, she discusses America 's War on Drugs that disproportionately targets minorities and finally as she examines the hardship faced by felons she compares and contrasts Jim Crow Laws to mass incarceration. Alexander surmises that mass incarceration is designed to maintain white supremacy and sustain a racial classification system. Alexander 's book is relevant to my research paper because she provides evidence that the criminal justice system is rooted in racism and directly linked to the racist agenda of the white supremacist.
What if the world was still the same as it was back during the great depression. What if this was the truth. In To Kill a Mockingbird readers can see how prejudice affected people of color back then, and how it’s not so different from today. In the novel readers will find unfairness in court, hate crimes, and segregation. Today readers can still find these same issues, but in different forms. Prejudice towards race has changed very little from back then to now.