Mass incarceration has a huge impact on social justice and democratic equality in today’s society. According to The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, The United States leads the world in imprisonment with prison industrial complexes being most of all jails and prisons in United States(185). Mass incarceration targets blacks for their actions even if they’re using drugs, or even if they don’t do anything that can lead them to be in jail, According to the Sentencing Project, Black Americans constituted 30% of persons arrested for a property offense and 38% of persons arrested for a violent offense. Black youths account for 16% of all children in America yet make up 28% of juvenile arrests. What if you were accused of a crime you did not commit just because you are black? Mass incarceration is important because it gives information about politics of fear and anger with blacks tough on crime policies including the mandatory sentences from the blacks also, extraordinarily harsh and racially disparate penalties for even minor drug offenses, and the explosion in life sentences without parole that led to the unprecedented and unparalleled incarceration rate in United States Of America society. Therefore, mass incarceration should end because it’s racist as it unfairly targets black people and is a result of the drug wars which are likely to fleck blacks in prison.
Mass incarceration in the United States, has grown hand in hand with the well disguised of racialized social control that worked to the Jim Crow institutions Alexander states. According to the Sentencing Project section on racial disparity, 1 in 3 black men in their lifetime have a likelihood of imprisonment(1).This is important because it explains how black people are most likely to be in prison no matter what the reason is. According to the Sentencing Project, in 2016 Blacks were 33.4% or 486,900 black people in state and federal prisons . This means that mass incarceration targets blacks. Mass Incarceration targets black people because blacks commit crimes, and blacks sometimes make themselves the target. More than 60% of the people in prison today are people of color, Black men are six times likely to be incarcerated as white men and Hispanic men are 2.7 times as likely (1). Furthermore, according to Just Walk On By: Black Men in Public Space, I only needed to turn a corner into a dicey situation, or crowd some frightened, armed person in a foyer somewhere, or make an errant move after being pulled over by a policeman (1). Staples explains how he was accused of something just because of the color of his skin. Alexander asserts that the crisis faced by communities of color as a result of mass incarceration is immense (184). This means that to end mass incarceration, must stop accusing blacks, and stop having blacks suffer behind bars. Some people may say that blacks have committed more crimes than other races and deserve to be incarcerated in mass numbers. .
The drug wars and racial profiling are huge causes of mass incarceration. Imprisons more people in the United States having a huge impact to the war on drugs which is affecting the blacks. According to Sentencing Project, Drug laws and sentencing requirements have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for people of color. According to Sentencing Project, Although rates of drug use and sales are similar across racial and ethnic lines, black and Latino people are far more likely to be criminalized than the white people. Explaining that any other race would get sent to prison before a white person get sent to prison. Besides that racial discrimination by law enforcement and disproportion drug war sufferers by communities of color. According to Alexander, One in 13 black people of voting age are denied the right to vote because of laws that disenfranchise people with felony convictions. This means that because of racially-charged drug laws, blacks were put in prison, and after being in prison, blacks are denied a chance to vote..
Some people may say that blacks have committed more crimes than other races and deserve to be incarcerated in mass numbers. In addition to Alexander, The total population of black males in Chicago with a felony record including both current and ex-felons is equivalent to 55 percent of the black adult male population and astonishing 80 percent of the adult black male workforce in Chicago area. However, while blacks may commit crimes and are the ones likely to get in jail, we know whites and Blacks both use illegal drugs. According to the Sentencing Project, Thirty-two percent of high school students reported that they were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug by someone on school property in the past 12 months, including 33 percent for black students being 33 percent and whites being 33 percent. Blacks are having to suffer in jail for drug crimes that other races are committing but not being sentenced for. According to Alexander, Once arrested, defendants are generally denied meaningful legal representation and pressured to plead guilty whether they are or not (186). This explains why Blacks are sent to jail in such disproportionate number; they don’t have good lawyers to defend them.
In sum, mass incarceration have a higher limit for blacks to be in prison. We can end mass incarceration by reinvesting in crime prevention policies. If mass incarceration does not end there would be a high percentage of blacks who are in prison suffering. How would you feel if someone targets you just because of your race? In society today people are still being incarcerated by police and others that’s around for drug war and other serious matters. Mass Incarceration should not single other races out if there are more than one race that may commit crimes or are felons.
Alexander, Michelle Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New Jim Crow New Press, 2012.
Staples, Brent. Just Walk on by : Black Men and Public Space. Ms. Magazine
Racial Disparity The Sentencing Project. 2016. www.sentencingproject.org/issues/racial-disparity/.
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