Have you ever imagined what it was like for an African American person back in the 1800’s when they were considered “free”? Back then, black people were used as slaves, and they didn’t gain their absolute freedom from slavery until 1865 when it was completely abolished. They gave Africans certain rights that weren’t completely fair. It really makes you question whether black people were really free in that time. When all blacks were released from slavery, what rights did they really have? During that time, African Americans were not entirely free with all of their desired rights, as they still did not have complete political, economic, and social rights.
The United States holds the title as the highest prisoner population in the world. With African Americans account for less than 12% of the United States, they still make up a large portion of the U.S prison population. Black people are incarcerated at higher rates than whites, despite being equally susceptible to committing crimes as whites. The American prison and criminal justice system has a long history of racial discrimination towards African Americans which can be supported through examples of unjust laws, disproportionate incarceration rates among different races, the and cases of African Americans being unfairly persecuted for crimes they didn’t commit.
Something will always need to be fixed in society because society is a reflection of us, and we are not perfect. Recently, there’s been many issues that have caught the attention of people living all across the world. Things such as police brutality, sexual assault in the workplace, and immigration law, just to name a few, but there’s also been an underlying issue that people are becoming more informed about, and that I believe matters - prison reform. Prison reform matters because in many instances, prisoners are treated inhumanely when they are locked up, and aren’t treated as humans when they have served their time. I believe we can bring about change in the prison system by changing the way we punish people who do commit crimes and focusing more on actual rehabilitation.
What are your thoughts about the prison system? Today 's prisons are so bad that prisons in the United States hold 5 percent of the US population. Many people get sent to jail cause of the 3 law strike because a lot of minorities are caught with drugs. Plus the government is wasting 75 billion dollars on these facilities instead of using the money in a better way like making programs for the prisoners that need help with mental health or other stuff.
King uses a variety of religious and historical allusions in “ Letter from Birmingham Jail.” On the day of April 16, 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in downtown Birmingham on a good Friday, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter “A Letter From Birmingham Jail” due to the criticism demonstrated by prominent white clergyman.
In the early years of Reconstruction, whites found ways to control black labor using Black codes sanctioned in Mississippi. The Black codes did not give complete freedom to African Americans, instead it made them work extensive hours in labor economy. This document, “Black Codes Enacted in the South”, is written by A.H. Clark in 1865. The author explains the obstacles the African Americans faced to achieve their freedom.
Once slavery ended, black incrimination started. Incarceration of people helped fill the void in the economy. Following the civil war African-Americans were arrested and imprisoned in masses; when imprisoned they were forced to work, as the south needed to improve their economy after the abolishment of slavery. Unfortunately, this effectively made them “slaves” once again. In this post civil war world, African-Americans were frequently arrested for very minor type crimes, or sometimes wrongfully arrested by corrupt officers and government officials who wanted to keep african-americans oppressed. Of course, this was not the goal of every single police officer, but it was a widespread issue. Starting in this era, and I would arguing continuing into today’s times, African-Americans were wrongly arrested, incarcerated, beaten, and
The Jim Crow laws were meant to strip African American of their rights, to oppress them, to restrict them from ever gaining their rights; Incarceration is essentially doing the same. According to Alexander, many prisons have disenfranchised the felons, and Kentucky has made it legal to disenfranchise them for the rest of their lives. The discrimination, however, does not end there. Once branded a criminal many opportunities that the average american citizens are so privileged to receive are revoked no matter the type of felony. When applying for a job, one must check off the little box that questions if the applicator has ever been convicted of a felony. From there, the employer is able to refuse to hire them if they have checked yes. If the “felon” needs a place to stay, they can also be discriminated against by public housing. Additionally, in some states, being branded a criminal results in the ineligibility of receiving food stamps. Just as Nixon intended, the so-called “war on drugs” has also disrupted black communities. In cities of extreme incarceration, communities find it hard to reconstruct their economy as people are more than likely working low-paying jobs due to being refused again and again by higher paying jobs for being a criminal. Just as the Jim Crow laws segregated blacks from white, extensive incarceration segregates the socioeconomic classes and it is no
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).
The Jail and The New Jim Crow both describe how our justice system is generally based on people’s conceptions of things, and how our own justice system is creating a new way of discriminating people by labeling, incarcerating the same disreputables and lower class that have come to be labeled as the rabble class.
First, Harriet Tubman helped bring about change in the civil rights movement by being involved in the abolitionist movements. Harriet Tubman took a large step in joining movements to stop slavery, oppression, and segregation. Abolitionist movements work to help give all races, genders, and religions equal rights. Harriet Tubman’s speeches and actions were one of the building blocks for civil rights in the U.S. Harriet’s devotion and determination resulted in a stronger and more well-rounded country. “In the late 1850’s she spoke at anti-slavery gatherings and a women’s rights meeting in 1860” (Harriet Tubman). This means that not only did she fight for racial equality, but for women’s rights also. She was a help to multiple movements in a matter of years. To sum up, being a part of the abolitionist movements was one of the most important
Those who find themselves sentenced to time in a penitentiary, jail, or prison are at risk of either being broken or strengthened by the time they spend behind bars. There is a great debate of whether or not the prison system in the United States is positive or negative. The following will briefly highlight the positives, negatives, and possible alternatives for our nation's prison system.
Women of color are the most targeted, prosecuted, and imprisoned women in the country and rapidly increasing their population within the prison systems. According to Nicholas Freudenberg, 11 out of every 1000 women will end up incarcerated in their lifetime, the average age being 35, while only five of them are white, 15 are Latinas, and 36 are black. These two groups alone make up 70 percent of women in prison, an astonishing rate compared to the low percentage comprise of within the entire female population in the country (1895). Most of their offenses are non-violent, but drug related, and often these women come from oppressive and violent backgrounds, where many of their struggles occurred directly within the home and from their own family.
When discussing prison reform, success is often difficult to measure. One measure of success that the government uses is the recidivism rate. If the rate is lower it means that more inmates are adjusting to life outside of prison. If the rate is higher, like it is now, then prisoners are struggling to gain a footing in society and are going back to prison. As a current measure of success, a recidivism rate that is upwards of fifty percent in most states shows that prison reform and the prison system is failing. There are some proven ways to lower the recidivism rate by properly preparing inmates for reentry. One of these ways is through educational or job training programs.