The Criminal Justice System And Its Criminally Unjust Connection To Slavery

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Aleah Fitzgerald Ms. Clifford-Weiss March 15, 2023 AP Language and Composition The Criminal Justice System and its Criminally Unjust Connection to Slavery When the average person thinks of a criminal, the stereotypical image of a person of a wrongdoer: a thief, or a murderer. However, the image of a criminal became polluted by the criminal justice system. African American people are criminalized because they have become the poster face of criminal behavior because of the racism embedded in society. Racist ideologies get them put in prison or even removed from their homes. There is an ongoing problem of marginalization and discrimination of African Americans in the criminal justice system, rooted in racist attitudes and prejudices inherited …show more content…

Upon exiting prison, people that were convicted work hard to rebuild their lives and join society. However, for African Americans, rebuilding their lives comes with an extra roadblock. Most African American people that entered the prison system entered when they were in their adolescents. The criminal justice system, however, “move[d] to deny prisoners’ educational services, disadvantaging their job and career prospects when released” (Miller and Garan 95). Because they lacked the basic “educational services” needed to get a job after being incarcerated, African American people aren't able to provide for themselves immediately. They can't get a job because of their lack of education, but they need money to get such an education; without a job, they won't be able to get an education. And, thus a never-ending cycle repeats. The government is supposed to provide relief to people that have recently been released from prison. However, most programs of this sort are inaccessible. They are “few and inadequate, so those who try to return to their communities after incarceration often lack skills, counseling, training, and other necessary supports, all of which contribute to high rates of recidivism” (Miller and Garan 95). Not having access to programs that could provide support and relief to a person after they were imprisoned causes them to lack the ability to become functioning citizens and better themselves. They are willing to commit crimes in order to make ends meet, which causes their ‘high rates of recidivism”. By committing crimes to support themselves after being failed by the justice system, African American people are painted as having criminal and violent tendencies. Mass hysteria about crime arises which “invoke[s] the society-must-be-defended logic” (Brown and Baragainer 213). Therefore, people of

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