The Mass Incarceration in the United States is a major topic of discussion in our society and has raised many questions about our criminal justice system. There are few topics disputed as much in criminal justice as the relationship between race, ethnicity, and criminal outcomes. Specifically, the large disparities that minorities face regarding incarceration in our country. Minorities such as Hispanics and African Americans are sentenced at far higher rates than their white counterparts. There are multiple factors that influence this such as the judicial system, racial profiling by law enforcement, and historical biases (Kamula, Clark-Coulson, Kamula, 2010). Additionally, the defendants race was found to be highly associated with either a jail or prison sentence; with the “odds increasing 29 percent for black defendants, and 44 percent for Hispanic defendants” (King, Johnson, McGeever, 2010).
The incarceration rates of minorities are much higher than that of white Americans within the United States. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics minorities make up 37% of the general population but nearly 70% of the prison population. The high number of minorities in the prison system can be directly attributed to the fact that minorities often face harsher sentencing more specifically the African American population tends to receive the harshest of sentences. “At the federal level, black drug offenders received harsher punishments than similarly situated whites, even while taking socioeconomic status, offense severity, criminal history, plea agreements, and
In the prison system today, there has been an explosion of minorities being incarcerated for offenses that may not have gotten jail time if they had not been of a certain race. Although the overall numbers of incarcerations may have dropped just slightly for the first time in over 35 years, the amount of inmates
In today’s society, discrimination is an issue that is considered to be a thing of the past. In a country with such diversity it is hard to believe that people living in the “land of the free” face issues of racism. This paper will focus specifically on the social problem of mass incarceration of minority groups and how the criminal justice system targets these groups. Although this social problem can be linked to specifically African Americans, the impacts of mass incarceration can be felt by almost everyone. I have chosen three articles that focus on how the criminal justice system is masking mass imprisonment a major problem in minority communities.
Although we would like to believe the world is not as racially charged in 2013 as it was in the 1960s, a look in our penal system would show that minorities are still arrested and incarcerated at a higher rate than whites. The United States has experienced a rise in its prison population over the last 40 years and our incarceration rate is nearly 5 times higher than any other country. Even though 13% of the US population are African American males, they make up 38% of the prison population. Contributing factors to these numbers are mandatory minimum sentences, high crime and poverty areas, and lack of rehabilitative resources within our system (p.77-78).
Minorities remain overrepresented in crime, offending, victimization, and all stages of the criminal justice process especially confinement. Overrepresentation alludes to a situation in which a greater part of a particular group is present at various stages within the justice system than would be expected based on its part in the general population (Rosich, 2007). Minorities have always had a larger population in the prison system and after the Civil War they were overrepresented in American prison. There are a few reasons as to why races are disproportionately which are denial of jobs, poverty, and it is felt that police have bias and
Minorities are being sentence to jail for harsher punishment more than whites in the United States. In this disparity of the justice system, young white males between the ages of 18-29 were 38% less likely to be sentences to prison than black men of the same age group (Kansal, 2005). According to Kansal (2005) “ Young uneducated or unemployed African American and Hispanic males are more likely to serve longer sentences and, have a
Racial inequality is growing. Our criminal laws, while facially neutral, are enforced in a manner that is massively and pervasively biased. My research will examine the U.S. criminal justice policies and how it has the most adverse effect on minorities. According to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, out of a total population of 1,976,019 incarcerated in adult facilities, 1,239,946 or 63 percent are
The trend of African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 has seen a dramatic increase of incarceration. Attention has been focusing on areas of housing, education, and healthcare but the most prominent problem for African American males is the increase in the incarceration rate. African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 incarceration rate has been thought, by many, to be caused by economic factors such as under employment or unemployment, poor housing, lack of education, and lack of healthcare. Yet, others believe it is due to the imbalance of minorities within the criminal justice system, such as judges, lawyers, and lawmakers.
The U.S. prison system is one of many great controversies when compared to other correctional systems. America’s prison population has increased by 700% (2.4 million current inmates) since the start of the war on drugs in 1971. As a result of this “war”, people that fall into the racial minority have suffered as a direct consequence of unjust legislation. Our prison system is known for its overrepresentation of minorities such as Blacks and Hispanics. This unfortunately gives these groups of people a perennial negative stigma as a result. I argue that the U.S. prison industrial-complex emphatically displays signs of prejudice and racism and disproportionately incarcerates people of color at a rate higher than whites. Yes, there are skeptics who think “the left’s prison-complex” is wrong about their theory of mass incarceration but the statistical data and concrete facts in support of my argument are very compelling.
While African American males have been affected the most more than other demographic group within the criminal justice system, other minorities have also been unequally affected. Hispanics only account for 17% of the prison population nationally, even though they are only 12% of the total population in the United States. The statistics for these inequalities for African Americans can be identified
There are large racial disparities in incarceration and related detainments for African Americans. They are more likely to be under the supervision of the Department of Corrections than any other racial or ethnic group (H.West, Sabol, & Greenman, 2010). Institutional racism is believed to be the reason why African Americans, especially males, are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. On balance, the public believes that discrimination against black people is based on the prejudice of the individual person, correlates to the discrimination built into the nation’s laws and institutions (Pew’s Research Center, 2017). This belief is actually supported through several experimental studies that provide evidence that African Americans are to be seen as more criminal and threatening than others thus more likely to be arrested or even shot (Greenwald, Oakes, & Hoffman, 2003). Racism within the criminal justice system very much exists and is still relevant.
It has been proven across this country that the ratio of minorities to whites in jails and prisons is overwhelming. In 2010, African-American males were 6 times more likely than white males to be in jails and prisons as there were 678 white male inmates per 100,000 and 4,347 black male males per 100,000 locked away (Drake, 2013). This is up from 1960, when black males were 5 times more likely to be incarcerated (Drake, 2013). The ratio in the juvenile criminal justice system is not any better as in 2011, “African-American youths were 160% more likely to have been referred to juvenile court for a delinquent offense, 13% more likely to have been petitioned for formal case processing, 8% less likely to have been adjudicated, and 11% more likely to have had their petitioned cases waived to the adult system for criminal prosecution” (Howell & Hutto, 2012). These high ratios have caused a blame game across this country.
In the U.S. many people may argue that racial disparity is non-existent in today’s time. Those people usually are ignorant to the fact that even though america has come a long way they still have so far to go. From the slavery days, to segregation, to now, a time where a white and black person can sit down together in the same setting and be civilized is great, but if the two get into an illegal situation and both have to be put on trial, who will be the one that is cruelly convicted? Who sentencing will have more time? The Black man, in all cases this may not be true, but in most cases it is. So therefore, even though america came a long way there still needs to be an improvement in their legal system because African-Americans
Incarceration rates are a definite proof that racial discrimination occurs. “Incarceration rates in the United States have risen sharply since 1980”, stated Filip Spagnoli, “the racial distribution of inmates in the U.S. is highly negative for black Americans. Whereas they only make up 12% of the total U.S. population, they represent more than 40% of inmates”