African American Prison System Essay

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In the United States, almost every citizen can point to a flaw in the U.S. prison system. While, like most things in a democracy, no one will agree with every system. However, regardless of political views or ideals, citizens have strong opinions on this topic. So if the prison system is so unliked, how can we change that? Unlike the glorified scenes in movies and shows, prison is a dank facility that lacks healthy food and natural light. Many people may believe that this is how prison should be; criminals deserve to be treated like criminals. With this mentality, shouldn’t Americans still be treated like Americans? Nowhere in the constitution does it say ‘all men are created equal (except for the incarcerated).’ In fact, the 8th Amendment …show more content…

prison system was created after the Civil War as an alternate way to enlave African American citizens. Regardless of your opinions, there are an endless number of studies that show black men are much more likely to be incarcerate than a white man who commited the same crime. The book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander, says that “the American penal system has emerged as a system of social control unparalleled in world history” (Page 8). Unfortunately, the prison system was built as an extension of past ideals and believes rather than justice, compromising certain races at a higher rate than …show more content…

penal system, however, many are unsure how to reform it. How can we equally make prisons more humane and effective? In order to answer this, we need to look at the successful prison systems in other countries. In the article Prison 'not for punishment' in Sweden, Nils Oberg claims that “Our role is not to punish. The punishment is the prison sentence: they have been deprived of their freedom. The punishment is that they are with us” (Paragraph 2). Instead, prisons focus on rehabilitation. Most citizens understand that in order to have long term effects, it take long processes that take a while to get used to. “The country’s well-education population [appreciate] that almost all prisoners will return to society. They understand [...] that the more the penal system can do within the small window of opportunity during a prisoner’s incarceration, the better it will be in the long run” (Paragraph 15). Data shows that this reform has already proven effective, lower recidivism rate and the number of prisoner’s overall. The biggest argument against this system is that the terms are extremely short for people convicted of capital crimes such as murder. However, countries like Sweden still have life sentences, but they only resort to that when an individual is past any rehabilitation. In addition, inmates are concealed before their sentence ends to decide if the rehabilitation was successful or if the individual needs more

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