Disproportionate Incarceration of African Americans Essay

Disproportionate Incarceration of African Americans Essay

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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...


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...liography:

**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

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