Over the last thirty years, the prison population in the United States has increased more than seven-fold to over two million people, including vastly disproportionate numbers of minorities and people with little education. For some racial and educational groups, incarceration has become a depressingly regular experience, and prison culture and influence pervade their communities. Almost 60 percent of black male high school drop-outs in their early thirties have spent time in prison. In Punishment and Inequality in America, sociologist Bruce Western explores the recent era of mass incarceration and the serious social and economic consequences it has wrought.
“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 Northern California Hispanic gangs graffiti is distinct in the fact they are known to tag the number “14” which in the alphabet is the letter “N” for norteno or northerner. These gangs fall under the geographic area opposite of that of Surrenos which is the area just north of Bakersfield up to the state border of Oregon. The nortenos also pledge allegiance to a prison gang but not the Mexican Mafia. The nortenos pledge allegiance to their own prison gang called “Nuestra Familia” or in English “Our Family”. Similar to southern gangs they pledge allegiance by following order from within the prison by the Nuestra Familia shot callers and paying “taxes” from their drug sales. In exchange for the gangs allegiance once within prison walls will have the protection of the Nuestra Familia prison gang. Although not as powerful as the Mexican Mafia, the Nuestra Familia is not any less violent within prisons.
The historical monograph, City of Inmates, by Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernández, let’s us dive into the beginnings of Los Angeles and lets us discover on how the city transformed into what is now the capital of incarceration in the United States. Hernandez criticizes how instead of prisons being utilized as tools to keep society save from criminals, they have also been instances of it being used to keep middle to high class white American ideals safe from the poor working class, implying how even though one of Los Angeles first accomplishments was to eliminate the spanish casta system, it never truly got rid of the casta system since there is still a force continuing to enforce the social hierarchy, but modified throughout the years to racially target
The Texas prison system is a very cruel cutthroat system that has many problems And racial issues. The system is deeply embedded in the state’s budget, but also in its political, cultural, and social fabric and impacts the lives of millions of people. From the wrong the accused, actual criminal and racial profiled African Americans and hispanics to the wardens, prison guards, judges and politicians who work on or for the prisons. Through his Book “Texas Tough” Robert Perkinson shows an effective argument against how Texas is using the prison system as a way to control and unethically treat African Americans and other minorities just like they did from 1870-1965 with the jim crows laws through the criminal system by using statistical evidence, Historical evidence, and Historical pictures of african american prisoners being treated like slaves by the Texas prison system.
In America, the private prison industry was made for necessary profit based off of the management of prisons by large, private companies. In David Shapiro’s insightful report “Banking on Bondage”, he discusses the logistics of the United States prison system, saying “In America, our criminal justice system should keep us safe, operate fairly, and be cost-effective”. Today, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran. Alongside the issues of private prisons, the increasingly apparent problem of mass incarceration has stripped record numbers of American citizens of their freedom, has a minimal effect on public
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 amount of mass incarceration in the United States as reached an all time high over the years. Mass Incarceration is the incarceration of a person or race based off of them being different and can be identified as a trend among law enforcements.These tensions have reached a certain extent and has received the attention of American citizens and the nation’s government. The laws of the United States seems fair, however with the enforcement of these laws, specific groups are targeted and abused by them daily.
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.
People of all different races and ethnicities are locked behind bars because they have been convicted of committing a crime and they are paying for the consequences. When looking at the racial composition of a prison in the United States, it does not mimic the population. This is because some races and ethnicities are over represented in the correctional system in the U.S. (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018). According Walker et al. (2018), African-Americans/Blacks make up less than fifteen percent of the U.S. population, while this race has around thirty-seven percent of the population in the correctional system today. Along with African-American/Blacks, the Hispanic population is underrepresented at both the state and federal levels while the Caucasian/White population are underrepresented (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018).
Where I reside, Silver Spring Maryland (Montgomery County), there are no gang related activities. I live in a suburban area and the law enforcement are very strict and the area is safe. However, gang crimes exist in Prince George's County and Baltimore City, Maryland. Maryland had passed ordinances prohibiting loitering, and many forms of aggressive public behavior, such as, consuming alcohol in public, throwing up gang signs and disturbing the peace by playing music too loud. Law enforcement police attempted to discourage gang membership by prohibiting behavior that relates to gang activities. Such as, wearing gang colors or using gestures that communicate gang affiliation. Prince George’s County (PG) and Baltimore, prohibits individuals from wearing gang related colors and more in public or from making any utterances or gestures that communicate gang membership or insult to other street gangs.
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.
Despite the odds being against him, Robin Woods broke free of a cyclical prison system run on neglect and prejudice. He used books and self-education to rise above the expectations he and the people around him had placed on his life. Robin Woods was set up for failure, as both a child and adult, by the education and justice systems. Robin’s story is one of resilience, determination, and self-reliance.
Gang violence, it is tearing apart families as well as entire cities. Gang violence has affected a plethora of people as well as whole cities. Some people may even be afraid to leave their home in fear of being attacked or robbed. Police forces are trying to prevent it to the best of their ability, but there are many other solutions as to handling this issue. Recently there was a movie that depicted the issue of gang violence and their response was quarantining certain parts of the city. Another solution would be to leave gang members to fight amongst themselves. Gang violence could also be helped by teaching the youth that joining a gang is not their only outlet as well as rehabilitation centers in prisons.