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
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.
Coker, D. (2003). Addressing the real world of racial injustice in the criminal justice system. The
Is our justice system corrupted, racist or is it perfect? Did you know African Americans now constitute for nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population? This is probably the case because Blacks are incarcerated six times the rate of whites. African Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people. I believe race, ethnicity and gender disparities play a large role in how our system is executed. To support my claims I will be talking about incarceration, pullover rates & situations and police training in great detail.
Due to several injustices within the American justice system, society has become more divided. The criminal justice system in the United States has been criticized for being a race-based establishment Institutions where minorities are subjected to more strenuous punishments than their white counterparts. Nonetheless, it goes without any debate that racism exists in the justice system. Are these realities the errors of a moral justice system, or does it prove that the criminal bias organization is working as expected? Is the criminal justice system utilized to regulate and manage the minority population?
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).
She points out that in some states, 80-90% of those sent to prison on drug charges are African American. This enormous discrepancy cannot be blamed either on black culture or “old-fashioned,” deliberate racism. Rather, much of the racial injustice of mass incarceration can in fact be attributed to unconscious bias. This is made worse by laws that may appear to be race-neutral on the surface, but in fact operate in deeply racist ways; this includes the one hundred-to-one ratio in sentencing recommendations for crack versus powder cocaine. Whereas there is little substantial difference between the two forms of cocaine, crack is more closely associated with black people—and carries sentences a hundred times longer than powder cocaine, which is generally associated with wealthy whites. Meanwhile, black people are often barred from serving on juries as a result of bizarre (yet ostensibly race-neutral) rules, meaning that many African Americans are tried by all-white juries.The deep racism of mass incarceration has been instituted through two broad steps: first, by giving law enforcement “extraordinary discretion” in who and how they approach, and second, by refusing to accept any charges of racism that do not identify a particular racist individual as the source of the problem. Alexander points out that anti-drug policy is particularly likely to be racially discriminatory because drugs are handled in a manner unlike any other crime. When an ordinary crime takes place, the victim (or someone acting on the victim’s behalf) alerts the authorities—the first step in the process of achieving justice. In the case of drugs, there isn’t a victim as such; both the buyer and seller of drugs have no incentive to call the police. Furthermore, most Americans of all races have violated drug laws at least once in their lives, and it would clearly be undesirable to put the majority of
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.
Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow is a truly thought provoking book attempting to show the enduring issues of racial inequalities in our Criminal Justice system. Racial inequality in America is a huge and controversial topic, especially in reference to America’s system of Criminal justice. In “The New Jim Crow” Alexander focuses on the racial undertones of America’s “War on drugs”. Alexander uses the chapters of her book to take us on a journey through America’s racial history and argues that the federal drug policy unjustly targets black communities.
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.
Kamalu, Ngozi Caleb, Margery Coulson-Clark, and Nkechi Margaret Kamalu. "Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African American Community." African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies: AJCJS 4.1 (2010): 1-31. ProQuest. 6 Nov. 2017
Racial profiling, poverty and high crime rates are the major contributors to high incarceration rates for African Americans compared to their percent of the general population. Besides social and economic isolation, African Americans have been marked as inherently criminal with the war on drugs and crime targeting them even when the statics shows they are less likely to be in possession of cocaine for example (Walker, Spohn, DeLone, 2012).
According to a statistic by the U.S. Department of Justice and their collaborators, the number of prisoners in the U.S. has grown by over 700 percent since the 1970s. This extreme increase in incarcerations means that people disregard the law and constantly commit crimes. But these crimes are not all equal. Crimes range everywhere from murder to simple drug use. Law enforcement punishes almost all of them equally. This can be seen as unjustified and something should be done about it, but that does not stop the crimes from happening. The only way to do that is to deal with the people behind the crimes, either by doing more to support them or remove the cause altogether.
The United States has historically had its fair share of race-related issues throughout its short existence, with slavery being the first issue that jumps to everyone’s minds when the topic is broached, but another lesser known area that deserves light shed on it are the drug and alcohol laws that have been passed specifically targeting every race except white Americans.
the criminal justice system is the biggest source of unequal treatment and injustice, where people get punished based on their race. African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people. In New York City, Latinos and Blacks get stopped at a higher rate than whites. Blacks are more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than whites (Quigley). According to New York City Police Department, “NY police 80% stops were of blacks and Latinos, when whites were stopped, only 8%” (Quigley). Blacks and Latinos aren’t treating equally in NY City. Also, in California, American Civil Liberties Union found blacks are three times more likely to be stopped than whites. This shows institutional discrimination, mainly against Blacks, Latinos and they treated based on their race