Disproportionate Incarceration of African Americans Essay

Disproportionate Incarceration of African Americans Essay

Length: 1675 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Disproportionate Incarceration of African Americans

The disproportionate numbers of African Americans in the prison system is a very serious issue, which is not usually discussed in its totality. However, it is quite important to address the matter because it ultimately will have an effect on African Americans as a whole.
Of the many tribulations that plague Americans today, the increase in the amount of African American men and women in prisons is unbelievable. It would be naïve to say that the increase is due to the fact that more African Americans are committing crimes now than before. When in actuality it has very prevalent connections to a systematic plan to incarcerate a race of people by creating harsh drug laws to imprison mostly African American, non-violent drug offenders. Since these drug laws were enforced strictly, African Americans have filled our prison systems in outstanding numbers. Consequently causing an overcrowded prison. Private companies, which contain private contracts with the prison, use the inmates as a source of free or cheap labor. One may ask themselves, "Is this ethical?" Absolutely not. They allow the public to believe that it is beneficial because has no expense to tax payers, however the only real benefit is to the company itself. The company has managed to attain free or cheap labor while simultaneously increasing their net profits.

When the values of a people and the ethics of a country are systematically broken down, one begins to ponder about why the preposterous numbers are what they are. African Americans constitute about half of the prison inmates when they only make up about 13% of the United States population. There are many speculations as to why this is so. Some...

... middle of paper ...


**Parenti, Christian, Lockdown America (London; New York: Verso, 1999) 17-19
**Lynch, Michael J. and Patterson, Britt, Race and Criminal Justice (New York: Harrow and Heinstien, 1991)
*Ranese, Celia "Todays Prison system vs. Yesterdays Slave System" USA TALK 13 March 1999
*Palmer, Louise "Numbers of Blacks in Prison nears 1 million" The Boston Globe Seattle Post Intelligencer
*United States Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics: Prison Inmate Statistics, Washington 1998
*Polowsky, Robert, "Liberal Legacy" Prison Activist Resource Center (weekly). 25 September 1998
*Smith, Phil, "Private Prisons Benefit" The Berne Collection. 1 December 1998
*Shakur, Assata, "Letter from Assata Shakur on the prison industrial complex" 25 October 1999
*Schlosser, Eric, "The Prison Industrial Complex" The Atlantic Monthly. December 1998 Vol. 282 No.6

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Mass Incarceration Of African Americans Essay

- Essay 1 Many people claim that racism no longer exists; however, the minorities’ struggle with injustice is ubiquitous. Since there is a mass incarceration of African Americans, it is believed that African Americans are the cause of the severe increase of crimes. This belief has been sent out implicitly by the ruling class through the media. The media send out coded messages that are framed in abstract neutral language that play on white resentment that targets minorities. Disproportionate arrest is the result of racial disparities in the criminal justice system rather than disproportion in offenders....   [tags: Race, Racism, Race, United States]

Better Essays
1600 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about The Civil Rights Of African Americans

- Racism, discrimination and oppression has been and still is a problem in the United States of America for a long time, dating back to early America when the Native Americans were often attacked, relocated, and forcibly assimilated into European culture. The African slave trade also helped contribute to the environment of a racist culture in America by debasing the African races and teaching Caucasian Americans that they are inferior to the African races. Although the civil rights of African Americans has improved over the last few decades and America now has an African American president racism still has a strong presence....   [tags: African American, United States, Race]

Better Essays
702 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Mass Incarceration Of Black Men

- Alexander explains to us that the mass incarceration of black men is nothing new. Biased police practices were a recurring theme of African American runaway slaves. The treating of criminals as less than dates back to ancient Greece. Racial minorities were always overrepresented. Today, the War on Drugs has given birth to a system of mass incarceration that governs not just a small fraction of a racial or ethnic minority, but entire communities of color, everyone is either directly or indirectly subject to the new caste system....   [tags: Black people, African American, Crime]

Better Essays
1070 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration

- In The New Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander introduces readers to the phenomenon of mass incarceration in the United States and challenges readers to view the crisis as the “ the most pressing racial justice issue of our time.” In the introduction, Alexander writes “what the book is intended to do and that is to stimulate much needed conversation about the role of the criminal justice system in creating and perpetuating racial hierarchy in the United States.” We come to understand, How the United States create criminal justice system and maintain racial hierarchy through mass incarceration....   [tags: Racism, African American, Race]

Better Essays
2145 words (6.1 pages)

The Effects of Incarceration Discrimination in the United States for African American Men

- Underachievement, lack of inclusion, and backward progression within society is a trend that engulfs African American men constantly in the American society. There is a continuous struggle to break the persistent mold. Although many feel that the United States has overcome its racist history, the legacies of slavery and racism still affect our policies and practices today. Of the nearly 2.1 million adult men and women imprisoned in the United States, roughly 70% are persons of color (Minton, 2012)....   [tags: Black Codes, Backwards Progression]

Better Essays
2908 words (8.3 pages)

The Inclusion Of Additional States Essay

- The inclusion of additional states contributes to a more representative national recidivism rate. A third difference is that the Pew/ASCA survey did not include individuals who were released from prison in one state and who may have been incarcerated subsequently in another state. This is a reflection of the self-report data gathering process of the Pew/ASCA study. State departments of correction reported on people who returned to one of their facilities, which would not count a former offender who was incarcerated in another state....   [tags: Prison, Recidivism, Incarceration, Criminology]

Better Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Effects Of Mass Incarceration On College Campuses

- Introduction The nightly news of the last two years has been filled with stories of racism on college campuses, police shootings of black men, prison sentence reform, and the possibility of early release for nonviolent criminals. President Obama became the first president in history to visit a federal penitentiary when he went to the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma in July of 2015. He spoke at Rutgers University in Newark on November 2, 2015, arguing for the elimination of the question on job applications on whether someone has a felony record....   [tags: Prison, United States, Recidivism, Sentence]

Better Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)

The War On Drugs And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

- According to the Oxford Index, “whether called mass incarceration, mass imprisonment, the prison boom, or hyper incarceration, this phenomenon refers to the current American experiment in incarceration, which is defined by comparatively and historically extreme rates of imprisonment and by the concentration of imprisonment among young, African American men living in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage.” It should be noted that there is much ambiguity in the scholarly definition of the newly controversial social welfare issue as well as a specific determination in regards to the causes and consequences to American society....   [tags: African American, United States, Incarceration]

Better Essays
754 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Black Americans And The Civil Rights Movement

- In the fifty years after the civil rights movement, the american population has made some important steps towards equality; the voting restrictions that were rampant in the south during the Jim Crow years have faded away (although it appears that other forms of voter restriction such as voter ID laws are taking their place), violence and suppression has been dramatically decreased, and legal segregation has faded into the past. Some people have even started to make the claim that the disparities between races have almost completely faded away and that the racial problems that are left are problems that should be addressed at the local and individual level....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Better Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Mass Incarceration as a Modern Racial Caste System Essay

- HIS In the wake of President Obama’s election, the United States seems to be progressing towards a post-racial society. However, the rates of mass incarceration of black males in America deem this to be otherwise. Understanding mass incarceration as a modern racial caste system will reveal the role of the criminal justice system in creating and perpetuating racial hierarchy America. The history of social control in the United States dates back to the first racial caste systems: slavery and the Jim Crow Laws....   [tags: young black males in US prisons]

Better Essays
1886 words (5.4 pages)