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The topic of my proposal is Prison overpopulation amongst African Americans as a result of racial biases and poverty. My question is “ what factors contribute to the overpopulation of African Americans in local and federal prisons in the United States”. The reason I choose this topic is because researchers often give bias reasons as to why African Americans make up about 13.6% of the population but thirty eight percent of those who are incarcerated (Conyers, p. 377). Many researches associate their belief for overpopulated African Americans in prison on biases used amongst law enforcement officials (i.e. Attorneys, police officers, judges, etc.) or the socioeconomic disadvantages faced by African Americans. I believe biases amongst law enforcement officials and socioeconomic disadvantages play a role in the overpopulation of African Americans in prison. Although many factors contribute to the overpopulation of African Americans in prison, my proposal will focus on four main points. The focus points of this paper will include racial biases in sentencing and arrest, differential association, and poverty (socioeconomic status/single parent homes). Sentencing structures in the United States have always been biased on account of race. As we move closer to the 21st century we find that money seems to be a way African Americans can avoid playing the race game. Unfortunately many African Americans who are tried in court come from low socioeconomic neighborhoods and cannot afford to pay their way out of the race game. America has evolved to harsher sentencing methods since the 1980’s, especially amongst crimes related to drugs. The “War On Drugs” was suppose to help deter Americans from engaging in drug use and the solicitation of illegal ... ... middle of paper ... the Data Center 35% of children in the nation live in single parent homes, and fifty-five percent of African American children live in single parent homes. Many researches believe that delinquent behavior is the result of a lack of socialization and relationships by parents (Vanassche, 2014, p. 128). Strain caused by African Americans failure to achieve societal and economic goals can also result in criminal delinquency. Unattainable goals may vary from necessities including clothing, shoes, and food to wants such as materialism. African Americans in urban neighborhoods often struggle to attain these goals because they are less well prepared for school, attend inferior schools and lack the means for advanced educations (Agnew, 2012, p.33). When urban African Americans cannot attain these goals they often result to illegal matters to satisfy their wants and needs.

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