African Americans in Prison and the Jim Crow Laws Essay

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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 …show more content…

Being a Criminal Justice major myself I am always looking expanded my horizon on current issues in Criminal Justice, so I decided to change my research question to reflect a more focused interest. Pilgrim (2012) was used as background information for Jim Crow laws, this article was a clear breakdown of the laws and how they were used to keep African-Americans lower than White-Americans. Keeping African-Americans lower in class is how Alexander (2010) linked the current Criminal Justice system to these laws. Forman (2010) believed that these links were of a stretch because African-Americans during the Jim Crow era did not make a choice to be African American, but criminals made the decision to commit the crime. Contrary to every other citation I have Cited, the main topic in Pilgrim (2012) is not the Criminal Justice system. It is only mentioned briefly in regards to many Jim Crow laws being settled by lynch mobs instead of police and that many police participated in these mobs.
Schrantz, McElroy and Nellis (2008), Weich and Angulo (2006) and Hartney and Vuong (2009) all are very similar in topic. They all discuss the racial disparity in the modern day criminal Justice system.

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