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.
The Baldus study itself was a combination of two studies. Both studies reviewed over 2,000 cases in the state of Georgia during the 1970’s. The study’s main focus was to evaluate the influence of racial factors in the death sentencing phase. In most aspects of the study, the findings were not surprising except for one outcome. The study concluded that there was a racial disparity in the sentencing process.
Incarceration rates in the United States are extremely higher than other countries. According to Schlesinger in her article “The Failure of Race Neutral Policies: How Mandatory Terms and Sentencing Enhancements Contribute to Mass Racialized Incarceration” there are, “Currently, one and a half million people are incarcerated in either state or federal prisons” (Schlesinger). This number is very high compared to other countries. A large majority of the people incarcerated are African Americans.
Working closely with people placed on death row, incarcerated children and many others; Bryan Stevenson is able to provide some clarity as to how unjust the criminal justice system truly is. Mr. Stevenson graduated from Harvard University Law School and is currently a Professor of Law at the New York University of Law. He is the founder and Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative, with the help of his team he has been able to successfully “relief or release over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row.” As well as establishing “life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are constitutional” through various cases handled by the United States Supreme Court. The cruelest of acts are those committed under the false
African Americans have faced injustice and discrimination for centuries. One major problem blacks had to overcome was the institution of slavery. Slavery in the United States began in 1619 and ended in 1865 with the ratification of the 13th amendment. This declared that all forms of slavery or servitude be outlawed. Yet even after the conclusion of slavery, blacks had to face discrimination and prejudice until they were viewed as equal.
The year is 1965, one year after the Civil Rights act of 1964. The African American civil rights movement is shaking the United States out of its white supremacist comatose that has strategically disregarded and oppressed the rights of an entire race for centuries. No matter your race, color, gender, religious views, or origin, minorities have been granted ‘equal rights’. But what are “equal rights”? Can rights ever be truly equal when one race has kept all others below them for hundreds, if not thousands of years?
Sentencing disparity within the American Judicial system is a problem that exists across the nation. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, disparity means the markedly distinct in quality or character. Many times, disparity is used in conjunction with discrimination as if the two words mean the same, but they do not. Disparity will include a difference in treatment or outcome but is not based on an opinion, bias or prejudice.
Today I called the Illinois Representative Michael J. Madigan office and received his answering machine. I left him a message asking him to please consider passing bills for sentencing reform legislation, such as the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA), S.2123. I told him that I am a registered voter and it has come to my attention that the federal prison population has skyrocketed dramatically over the past 35 years and most of the people in the prisons are in for minimum drug sentences. I told him that while people are in prison they are losing income, job skills, and are typically unable to attend rehabilitation programs. All of these aspects make it extremely difficult for the people to obtain jobs or get on the right path once
To start with, it can be shown that imposed during the sentencing process are 2 of them effective and ineffective in protecting the rights. For example, the case of R. v. Fernando set a record for the next generation sentencing of Aboriginal offenders. It was thought that Fernando was guilty of wounding his de facto wife. An implication of this case is massive, as it established the principles , which take reduced economic circumstances and a big loss of customer law into account when sentencing indigenous offenders. This, testifying to the of the law, in protecting the own belief of offenders.
The most known punishment for crime is being sentenced to prison or incarcerated. If a person is in jail, he or she cannot commit further crimes by being removed from society. Incarceration is a forceful way to end crimes by reproducing and reinforcing social inequalities. Sociological research has shown current experiments with mass incarceration in the United States and proof of understanding the effects on social stratiﬁcation. Punishment has increased too big to ignore, by stating incarceration as a powerful “engine of social inequality” (Western 2006, p.198).
Taking all of the studies, background knowledge, and statistics into consideration, I do believe that there is an unproportionate amount of black men serving time in the criminal justice system. It has been proven that men of color are particularly likely to be imprisoned, in comparison to their non black counterparts. “African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)” The sentencing of black men is commonly dealt with in a harsher manner, than with other races.
I am interested in mass incarceration due to the fact the USA is a leading county of mass imprisonment. In my opinion, the most important social fact of mass imprisonment is the inequality in penal confinement. This inequality produces tremendous social problem in the USA with extraordinary mass imprisonment rates among racial minorities with no more than a high school education.