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
When I hear the words judicial system I think of people age 18 or older and committed a heinous crime. However, in the U.S. that is not the case. The U.S. is known for having the highest rate of children imprisonment. The system force children to become what the system identify them as which is another statistic. In my opinion, the judicial system is slavery just in a different form because the U.S. is making money off of them, stripping them of their humanity, and giving them no type of hope for the future.
Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, summarizes the justice and prison systems as an unfair institutions that push low-level offenders into detention centers with harsh sentences due to the “tough on crime” stance of major politicians on both sides of the aisle. Alexander brings up the case of Florida vs Bostick, where stop-and-frisk procedures have somewhat violated the fourth amendment. In Bostick’s case the US Supreme Court believed that if he were a “reasonable person”, he could have refused the search, but most do not realize that arrests can still take place, even in a reasonable situation, when someone does not comply with an officer. As crazy at it may seem, the innocent in some cases often go unheard because of the fear, power, and lack of resources to fight back. Many succumb to pleading guilty and never have the opportunity to speak with a lawyer or public defender.
Linda Laidlaw and Suzanna So-har Wong wrote an article which addressed the difficulties found on the personal writing assignments. By using interviews and focus-groups date, Linda and Suzanna got to the conclusion that such assignments are challenging for students that come from diverse cultural background, families or life history. Many elementary teachers ask their students to share information about themselves or their lives. By using personal narrative, teachers assign her/his students to do projects such as “write about yourself”, “All about me”, “When I was born”, etc, which have created a problem for those parents and students that do not share the same cultural background or family’s composition. In the article, Suzanna shares a difficult writing experiences that she had to face in one of her graduate courses.
Prisons are meant to detain those that are deemed unjust by society, based on legislation enacted by all in order to maintain order. Due to this, the average person regards prisoners as dangerous people unfit to live freely amongst others. This stereotyping of prisoners makes frequent appearances in Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, a title that recounts his journey as a lawyer over the past few decades. A Harvard Law School graduate, he finds himself intrigued with defending those wrongly facing the strictest punishments allowed: prison for life or even the death sentence. Initially at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee, Stevenson eventually manages to move to Montgomery where he establishes the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), in an attempt
The inequality is that minorities like African Americans are simply discriminated against. This documentary is pointing out social issues that has a lot of agitating moments for me. The film tackles police shootings, mandatory minimum sentences, The Birth of a Nation (film by Nate Parker), and lots other related topics. One example for me is, how can our country be the number one incarcerator in the world? The rich people get to go to rehabilitation but poor get to go to prison.
As life goes on you continue to see a lot of stuff from the past and how life repeats itself. I was reading a book about Emmet Till called “Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of The Emmet Till Case.” I really feel like college students should read this book. This book teaches us stuff about or past that we just do not know. I truly feel like this book would have a great impact on my students in my class. We are at the day and age where you still see racism every day.
The experience and effects of solitary confinement on US inmates are frighteningly similar to the experiences of many prisoners of war, who’ve been tortured abroad. These similarities should be enough to convince us of the inhumanity of prolonged isolation. Additionally, the only real argument for solitary confinement (that its necessary in combating prison violence) is proven largely irrelevant by evidence suggesting that widespread use of solitary confinement does not make prisons less violent, but can increase violence in individual prisoners, and make them less capable of reintegrating into larger communities. Many prison systems have begun to experiment with safer alternatives to solitary, often with excellent results. In Mississippi, for example, prisons began incentivizing solitary inmates with time out of their cell to play basketball or interact with others in exchange for good behavior (Walters & Maine, 2014).
I got to see a side of the criminal justice system that I have never seen before. After writing multiple papers on the War on Drugs, I am completely aware of the injustices it entails. Federal lawmakers impact lower-level, nonviolent drug defendants with their enactment of mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, even though they are attempting to target high-level distributors. Incarceration of these people destroys their lives because a criminal conviction makes it harder to live a productive life as you are not eligible for certain jobs, loans, etc. All things considered, my experience at the King County Drug Diversion Court opened my eyes to some of the changes occurring in our justice system in regards to the War on Drugs.
By killing felons, the death penalty removes the burden of housing them within the penitentiary system. Prison overcrowding and overstretched resources are key issues in prisons in many countries. Due to the severity of prisoners’ crimes on death row, it costs much more to feed, house, and seclude these often dangerous inmates than if they were simply put to death. And if they were paroled, there is always the chance they could re-offend, which is completely eliminated with the death penalty. The concept of retribution, that the perpetrator is punished in a manner fitting to the crime, is also used to support the death penalty.