Mass Incarceration Analysis

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Bernie Sanders, a prominent social justice defender and U.S. presidential candidate, tweeted “Mass incarceration harms our society, pulls families apart. #JusticeNot4Sale Act will begin to turn that around,” introducing his initiative to rehabilitate America’s criminal justice system and reduce the nation’s prison population. In an interview with NBC, Sanders discussed the overwhelming disparity in the African American prison population relative to other ethnic groups. According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, African Americans make up 13% of the United States population, and account for 60% of those in prisons. One in every 15 African American men are incarcerated, compared to every one and 106 white men.…show more content…
Enacted by Congress in 1793 until the early 19th century, the Fugitive Slave Act in the U.S. Constitution effectively makes all the things normal for other Americans in that period illegal for African Americans. Slavery was enforced by the criminal justice system, and made very ordinary things like learning to read effectively a criminal act. It was illegal for African Americans to pursue their own freedom. In the eyes of the law, Fredrick Douglas is an escaped slave therefore a criminal, he has “stolen his body,” a famous quote in one of his speeches. From the perspective of the law, Harriet Tubman is running a massive criminal conspiracy, and is stealing people by helping slaves escape. Today, Martin Luther King is loved and praised, but in his time by the highest powers in the American justice system, Martin Luther was viewed as a criminal by J. Edgar Hoover and arguably by the Kennedy administration and Johnson administration. They signed off on the bugging of his home and wherever he was. The lens of the criminal justice system is the way this country has traditionally and historically regarded black people, creating a disparity between racial…show more content…
African Americans who were born in the 1970s and grew up during the American prison boom, the chances they are going to serve time in state federal prison if they dropped out of high school is about 70%, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Currently, 1.2 million (1 in 9) African American children have a parent who is incarcerated, and there’s evidence that kids who experience parental incarceration have behavioral problems and low achievement. This creates the risk that incarceration becomes an inherited trait, and recidivism induces.The underlying issue is how the U.S. criminal justice system marginalizes African Americans relative to other ethnic groups. There has been an incredible increase in arrests and incarceration over the past four decades, mostly from the war on drugs. There is no difference between whites and blacks using or dealing drugs, however blacks are four to eleven times more likely to be arrested for drug offenses, according to the Human Rights Watch. This is a repetition of history, as African American communities are yet again disproportionally
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