Analysis Of When A Heart Turns Solid Rock By Timothy Black

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According to Stephen B. Bright, many of the men, women, and children sent to prison in the United States everyday, are processed through courts without legal representation that is indispensable to a fair trial, a reliable verdict and a just sentence. We see many examples of this everyday. “A poor person arrested by police may languish in jail for days, weeks or months before seeing a lawyer for the first time” (Bright 6). Once convicted a poor person can face years in prison, or even be executed without ever having a lawyer present. The concepts of crime can be defined differently in different societies and can be classified according to race ethnic, gender, sexuality class, and religious identifications (Bright 6). Common targets of this “poverty-to-prison” cycle can be seen in When a Heart Turns Solid Rock by Timothy Black. The book shows how schools, jobs, the streets, and prisons have shaped the lives and choices of poor Puerto Rican boys at the turn of the twenty- first century. Rather than using a model of urban poverty that blame the poor for their poverty, Black instead focuses, through ethnography, on the social forces that affect the individual lives of three urban Puerto Rican brothers: Julio, Fausto, and Sammy. As viewed in the book, many targets for the prison system are poor African American and Latino men. People that come from poor neighborhoods are at a higher risks of being incarcerated.
There have been different outcomes for different racial and gender groups in sentencing and convicting criminals in the United States criminal justice system. Experts have debated the relative importance of different factors that have led to many of these inequalities. Minority defendants are charged with ...

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... black males. Latino men are also targets of this perception of being criminals. Most societies are built to see minorities fail. For example, “to make laws like the three-strikes-and-you’re-out laws, right, these are made for habitual criminals, but what’s a habitual criminal? …a guy that keeps on committing the same crime over and over again, why does he keep on committing the same crime over?...You never bothered teachin’ him when the first time he went into the prison system”(Black 905). Most of the lives of minorities reflected around that type of scenario when it came to the prison system. Instead of having a system to help them, they had a system that failed them and were considered “criminals”. In some cases, most of the men being arrested were arrested for drug possession or minor crimes however, they were treated like second-degree murderers.
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