Mass incarceration is a phenomenon described by Ta Nehisi-Coates as a way to explain the increase in incarcerated people in the United States over the past 40 years. This phenomenon can be traced back most obviously to the early 70s, when Nixon started his presidential term (DRUGPOLICY.ORG). Nixon came into presidency when the rebellious 60s were starting to really pose a threat to the government of the United States. His two main enemies were the major proponents of revolution: liberals against the violence of Vietnam and black people (DRUGPOLICY.ORG). He understood that these groups, but especially the poor black communities, depended on black market drug trade for a lot of their income and therefore found an extremely effective way to quell …show more content…
It is argued that the incarcerated state of blacks is the 4th stage of racial oppression (6E p. 330). If one looks at the War on Drugs from a purely legal based level one can see a disproportionate amount of the policies being made to affect black communities and livelihoods. Statistically the amount of illegal drug users that are black versus white is not much (9.2% black versus 8.1% white) but the amount of arrests in the black community is 34% even though they only have 14% of regular drug users on average (6E p. 333). Even the sentencing laws were in favor of white citizens; in 1986 Congress passed a law that required a 100 to 1 ratio for the trafficking or possession of crack cocaine to that of powder cocaine. This law was disadvantageous for black people because they were much more likely to have crack due to economic and political factors (Elsner p. 20). This meant that having only 5 grams of crack in one 's possession meant a minimum of five years jail time while having 500 grams of powder cocaine equaled the same amount of jail time (WIKIPEDIA). This law along with pre-existing racial prejudice made it that black people are incarcerated at a rate ten times higher than whites (5D). This was observed by a sociologist Katherine Beckett and her research team in …show more content…
The education children receive in predominantly black neighborhoods is often sub-par, with high dropout rates. Subsequently 65% of state inmates have not completed high school. Another major issue is job opportunities; in major cities with a high black population the ability to obtain and keep a decent paying job is difficult and therefore crime is one of the only solutions. More than 50% of inmates earned less than $10,000 a year, were unemployed, or part time (8E p. 17). The close correlation between black Americans and crime is explained as
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
Synopsis 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. In chapter 1 of The New Jim Crow, Alexander (2010) suggests that the federal government can no longer be trusted to make any effort to enforce black civil rights legislation, especially when the Drug War is aimed at racial and ethnic minorities. In response to revolts formed between black slaves and white indentured servants, rich whites extended special privileges to their indentured servants that drove a wedge between them and the slaves that successfully stopped the revolts.
In the article, Unwinding Mass Incarceration by Stefan Lobuglio and Anne Piehl, they argue that unwinding the mass incarceration “well neither be cheap nor easy, and to be done responsibly will require a new infrastructure of coordinated community-based facilities and services that can meet evidence-based incarceration needs while also ensuring public safety.” Hence, their argument is clean-cut with evidence in the article to back up their argument of unwinding the mass incarceration. Similarly, a solid fill of a concluding statement upon the unwinding of the mass incarceration as stated in the article, “requires much more than stopping current practices or reversing course by mass commutations and early release programs.” Subsequently, from this article, there are numerous interesting key points, and perspective of unwinding the mass incarceration.
According to the article, The Drug War, Mass Incarceration, and Race “ Black people comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population,10 and are consistently documented by the U.S. government to use drugs at similar rates to people of other races.11 But black people comprise 31 percent of those arrested for drug law violations,12 and nearly 40 percent of those incarcerated”. Despite the fact that colored people are minorities in the country still, make up 1/3 of the people arrested because of the drug policy. The policy effective created to target the minorities by making the cocaine the main focus of the drug. “America of the poor, where, amid hopelessness and lack of education, people will suffer the worst consequences of cocaine”(Kerr, 1) which in many poor communities lived the colored minorities, this made it easier for the police officer to target and arrest the
However, a number of African Americans, who were convicted of a felony, are disproportionately high nowadays. Michelle Alexander considers that It has led to the creation of “a new racial undercaste” (2010). Actually, in our time, discrimination affects every aspect of political, economic, and social life of the people who was charged with a serious criminal offence. In this regard, she mentions the law “banning drug felons from public housing …and denying them basic public benefits for life” (2010). We live in a “colorblind society” that pretends the racial disparity and discrimination do not exist.
Mass incarceration is just another tool of the white men in power to suppress the lives of Black people in America, by way of the American judicial system, just like the old Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration: Transforming an Unconstitutional System. Guild Notes, 40(4), 12. Brad Broussard in his article, Mass
Furthermore, despite adjusting for poor self-control this study examined whether beliefs about racial injustices are connected to offending. Finally, while taking into account other correlates of arrests, this study explored the relationship between perceptions of racial injustices and criminal behavior as well as drug and alcohol dependence. First, the results suggest that the majority of black people have a racialized worldview. The findings show that the majority of black people think that their situation mirrors what occurs to black people in general in the United States. Additionally, according to the research, 38% of black people claim to
Alexander goes on to explain while the majority of the illegal drug users and dealers are white Americans, however, Latino and African Americans are incarcerated at a higher rate than whites (Alexander 98). Alexander accuses the police of using unlawful tactics and practices in poor neighborhoods which are predominantly black and Latin which helps incarcerate these two minority groups at a higher rate. Alexander raised some very interesting points with these two facts listed about, however, she may not be taking all factors into
This law led to people being arrested crack being sentenced to much harsher punishments than those for cocaine. The people being for crack were predominately black and for cocaine predominately white. “Crack was largely a inner-city issue and crack was largely a suburban issue”(13th). After the war on drugs Bill Clinton became president, and pasted more to crack down harder on crime. One of them being mandatory minimums this didn’t let the judges decide the crimes.
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.
There are many open wounds in the African-American community that have not healed what so ever. Disintegration of family structures in the African-American community has been a persistent problem for far too long. High out of wedlock birth rates, absent fathers, and the lack of a family support network for many young African-Americans have led to serious problems in America's urban areas. The persistence of serious social problems in inner-city areas has led to a tragic perpetuation of racial prejudice as well. African Americans still face a litany of problems in the 21st century today.
The racial disparity can be accounted for through the mass incarceration of black offenders in terms of sentencing with mention of a racial caste in place, not allowing those of color to move from their position. As such, mass incarceration has led to prisons being filled with an overpopulation of those who are black than any other race. Interesting enough, it has been proven through surveys that those who are white are more likely to engage in drug crime rather than those who are black. I found this to be an interesting point to discuss as it raises the question as to just why are more people of color incarcerated at a growing rate than
Yet another statistic found on Huffington Post stated “White Americans use drugs more than black Americans, but black people are arrested for drug possession more than three times as often as whites.” These statistics show that inequality between races is still present and
Annotated Bibliography Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York: The New Press. Alexander opens up on the history of the criminal justice system, disciplinary crime policy and race in the U.S. detailing the ways in which crime policy and mass incarceration have worked together to continue the reduction and defeat of black Americans.