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African Americans in Prison and the Jim Crow Laws

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The United States has the biggest prison and jail population in the world not only by population, but also by sheer numbers. Many of these offenders are behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes and statistically more of those non-violent offenders are African American. African Americans are 13% of the United States Population but make up over 40% of the current jail and prison population. A black man is five times more likely to be convicted of a crime than a white man in the United States. How far have we really come sinse the Jim Crow laws? During the Jim Crow Era African-Americans in some states were treated as second-class citizens in every aspect of life from how they interact with White Americans to not having the right to vote. Many people would say we as a nation are far passed those times but many African-Americans convicted of nonviolent drug crimes lose their right to vote, lose their chances for jobs and lose any social welfare programs that may have otherwise been given to them for their economic situation. The easy argument here is that a white man convicted of the same crime would lose these rights as well however, why is it that African-Americans are locked up so much more than non-African-Americans. As a country we must ask ourselves has race played a role in the high incarceration of African Americans, and can we compare it to the era of the Jim Crow laws?
My original topic focused solely on the Criminal Justice system of Jim Crow era and excluded any modern day reference or articles, but as more websites began to cite the “new Jim Crow laws” I was naturally interested. Once I began to research the “new Jim Crow laws” , they spiked my attention. I initially found it hard to believe that any current laws could co...

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...o this Criminal Justice System there kids are much more likely to drop out of school, experiment with recreational substances and unfortunately end up in the Justice system just like their parents. This cycle could be part of the reason African-Americans are poorer nationally than caucasians.
This cycle truly began with slavery and then Jim Crow laws, African-Americans were oppressed and treated as less so they never got the chance to start on the same level as whites. We personally have family members that lived in a time when it was regular for and African American man to get lynched, tortured and killed for simply looking at a white girl wrong. We as a culture often forget how recent this really was, and that many social institutions have not fully adjusted. One of those institutions is our criminal justice system that is not as color blind as it claims to be.
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