Michael Tonry’s chapter titled “Drugs” from Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma argues that the War on Drugs is responsible for the “massive racial disparities in arrest, conviction, and imprisonment” and more importantly, he posited that these racial disparities are the result of how the drug war has been fought (Tonry 2011: 54). Before an individual reaches sentencing in the criminal justice system, they must first be arrested. Public policy at the height...
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...mpaign. Minorities were already disadvantaged and “socially constructed as an ‘other’ which is both lascivious and violent” so they provided an already established ideology that made them suitable for punishment and ostracization.
In order to address and attempt to resolve this problem and relieve the strain these policies have placed on the prison system, not to mention how the practices tend to destroy community relations between citizens and law enforcement, American culture must undergo a makeover. Deeply seeded racism must be confronted head on and at all levels of society and government. Racist practices within the criminal justice system such as policing methods that disproportionately target and arrest minorities, mandatory minimum sentencing that deny judges the ability to make discretionary sentences as well as the “three strikes” laws have to eliminated.
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