African Americans in Prison and the Jim Crow Laws Essay

915 Words 4 Pages
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…