In Just Mercy, author Bryan Stevenson recounts his time as a lawyer in Alabama during a time when the reality of racism in America was being seen for what it truly is; unjust and unfair. One of the connections Stevenson draws is that of slavery and the ties it has to today’s criminal justice system. In a study by the National Academic Press, it was estimated that in 1972, 161 U.S. residents were incarcerated in prisons/jails per 100,000 population; by 2007, that rate had more than quintupled to a peak of 767 per 100,000 (Jeremy Travis, 2014, p.33). In 2014, when Stevenson’s memoir was published, the number of those incarcerated estimated around 1.56 million— 58 percent of those identified as either Latino or Black (Carson, 2014).
In America, a teenager can be easily drawn into witnessing a family member being stabbed to death, trafficked into drug/gang cults, or receive severe damages to his/her physical body. Commonly, these kinds of circumstances call the responsible leaders in our community to action, but in the forgotten part of America, they continue uninterrupted. During the late 1980’s, the United States ranked as a developed nation with a competitive capitalist economy and better living standards for the higher social class. Their promises to defend critical human rights remained unrivaled around the globe; yet the United States still possessed areas with lower class people compressed into high rise projects and who struggled to overcome poverty, violence, and prejudice. The lower class people were often given very little to no resources or the
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
Communities of color were targeted for crimes and given larger prison sentences than their white counterparts. In the Rockefeller Drug Reform of 2009, the racial disparities significantly decreased in the early periods following the reform (Parsons, Wei, Henrichson, Drucker, & Trone, 2015). Black and Hispanic individuals, in 2008 were three-times more likely than whites to receive a prison sentence; by 2010, black and Hispanic individuals were only twice as likely to be charged than whites. Although this is still an issue that needs to be addressed, it is a significant accomplishment compared to previous years. There is still said to be harmful biases in the criminal justice system (Parsons, Wei, Henrichson, Drucker, & Trone,
Childhood is generally associated with an age of innocence and a time without serious problems or worries. However, for thousands of children in America, this innocence has been taken away from them. Instead of having time to learn from their mistakes and develop naturally, they are placed in an environment that is harmful to their growth. Currently, in the United States around 60,000 children and teenagers under 18 are incarcerated and around 10,000 are in adult jails (“America’s Addiction to Juvenile Incarceration: State by State”)(Lahey). These children go through very different experiences than their peers outside jail walls, face many challenges during their time in jail, and have difficulty adapting upon release. Placing children and teenagers in jail results in negative effects rather than rehabilitation.
1. What question was the author was trying to answer or what problem was the focus of the study/research?
Juvenile detention centers are purposeful ways to assist delinquent juveniles to become law abiding proactive members of society while promoting the safety of society and themselves. Yet, the way most institutions, in particular Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC) treat juveniles in their center has violated their essential right to be treated as humans, cast them as oppressive beings, and does not adequately facilitate their re-transition into society. While I agree that there should be a degree of penalty for breaking laws, there is a clear line between punishment that is just and that which is unjust. Punishment for the sake of realigning an individual’s behavior to comply with social order is just, however punishment
Seven million, three-hundred thousand children, nationally are affected by parents being incarcerated for days, weeks, months, and even years. For ten days I was affected by my father’s incarceration at the Leavenworth County Jail. To some this is nothing, but to my family, this was a huge ordeal. Not only was he absent from our lives for ten days, which was longer than he’d ever been gone, but we had to transport him there, plus watch as he walked away from his wife, his kids, and his freedom.
One in three black men is imprisoned compared to the white relative, with one in seventeen. Latino men double black men, with 1 in six men incarcerated. On average, one in fifty six women are put in jail. One in one hundred and eleven white women are incarcerated. One in eighteen black women are imprisoned. With latinas, one in forty five and put in jail. Racial bias, and socioeconomic inequity are main contributors to racial disparities in the criminal justice system. African Americans have the highest chance of being arrested and convicted in the system. They also receive stricter sentences than Latino and White men. The minority dynamics show the likelihood and pattern of the growing prison
A study conducted by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services undertaking claims of sentencing disparities studies the felony sentencing outcomes particularly in New York courts between the years 1990 and 1992. Astonishingly, the study concluded that approximately one-third of minorities sentenced to prison would have received a shorter sentence with the possibility of a non-incarcerative penalty if they had been treated similarly to their white counterparts. Consequently, other sentencing data is consistent with the results of this study’s findings. On a national scale, black males specifically, who were convicted of drug felonies in state courts 52 percent of the time, while white males typically receive prison sentencing approximately 34 percent of the time. In addition, these figures are not constrained to gender given the similar ratio among black and white women as well. To explain, 41 percent of black female felony drug offenders on average are sentenced to prison, as compared to 24 percent of white females. Similar to drug offenses, violent crimes typically boast a 74 percentile of black male convicted felons serve prison time, whereas approximately 60 percent of white male convicted felons do time. And finally, with respect to all
You brought up a subject that does not get enough attention as it deserves- the affect of incarceration on families. There is always lots of discussion and debate in the media about crime, victims of crime, police, and prisons. I do not think we hear nearly enough about the detrimental affect that incarceration has on families and communities. These effects can be great and long-lasting. Like you mentioned, one negative result is the loss of income from a missing, incarcerated parent. This must, in many cases, have a large, negative affect on families and their economic stability. It is difficult to be a single parent and if a parent is suddenly forced in this position when the other parent gets incarcerated, the family may have to move or drastically change their lifestyle to compensate for the lower income. This loss of income can be extremely damaging to
1. As I engaged in watching the video "Young, Black and Male in New Orleans” several social issues was addressed. First, one of the issues is the significant gap in poverty among minorities and whites, specifically African Americans. African American is two to three times more likely to be poor then white children. Furthermore, black children are more than seven times more likely to spend more than half of their childhood years in poverty. Secondly, the issues around 52% African American men are unemployed in New Orleans. The lack of job skilled and education opportunities is two issues contributed to the high Black male unemployment rate. In addition, the rehabilitation process for convicted felons is dreadfully weak. Finding a job with a felony status is extremely difficult.
The outrageous number of prisons has caused Economic and social consequences. According to the National Institute of Justice, the government spend about 22,000 per year per inmate and the federal prison budget is just over 1 billion which excludes budgets per state. In addition, the money spent that should go to education, social concerns and facilities go towards prisons. In terms of social consequences, this extraordinary increase in prisoners has had detrimental effects on African Americans as children’s fathers are being locked up because of drug related crimes. This in turn impacts the child’s development because they do not have a parent figure around. Additionally, these families that are fatherless or motherless face financial difficulties because both parent are not there to work to make money. Children then, can not grown up to excel and eventually stabilize themselves financially so they fall back into the same patterns as their parents. The writer explains that high recidivism rates exist as of result of a lack of rehabilitation programs for drug offenders. Plus, they are not taught any integrative skills so they do not know how to go back into society. In addition, ex prisoners cannot get a job because of the question: “Have you committed a felony?” that they have to answer yes to. The author
African Americans are no longer held in shackles, but are undermined because of their living conditions and race. There are a lot of things that influence African Americans lives, but poverty and jail incarceration seems to be at the root. According to the State of Working America in a 2013 study, African Americans poverty rates is the highest at 27%, compared to White people and Hispanic people. The study also shows that families with only mothers are the highest in poverty at 39.6%; families with both parents ' poverty rate are 16.9%. The absence of a male figure is critical in poverty; it is a 22.7% difference. The ETS, Center for Research on Human Capital and Education, states that poverty affects many areas of children’s lives, including
The traits of a average juvenile offender are very up front in what you may expect, some traits are when they live in poverty that can cause a lot of damage when they are young or at almost any age because they might have to steal or do bad things to get what they want or need. Other poverty problems are when they have younger siblings or someone they are taking care of at home and they are probably the older sibling they might have to go to a store and steal. What they might steal can vary from anything to clothes or all the way up to high priced drugs. “Several studies have identified poverty as a crucial cause of crime among children in the US. Secureteen 2014”.