Mass Incarceration : The United States

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Mass Incarceration is a huge problem in United States culture. No other country in the world incarcerates its population the way that America does. “The U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world – both per capita and in terms of total people behind bars. The U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it has almost 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.” Worse yet the majority of the incarcerated individuals belong to a minority group despite not participating in illegal activity any more frequently than their white counterparts. Is the United States criminal justice system racist and if so what is the cause behind this racism. After the end of slavery, many southern black Americans traveled to the north to escape endless violence and discrimination. In the south they could only find low paying field jobs whereas in the northern cities there were steady factory jobs promised as well as the hope that discrimination could be escaped. The northerners while against slavery were not egalitarian and were not in favor of hoards of black Americans surging into their cities and taking jobs away from the white working poor. The need for social control by white Americans only grew with the population of black Americans living in the cities and working in the factories. The rhetoric of “law and order” first came about in the late 1950s as white opposition to the Civil Rights Movement was encouraged by southern governors and law enforcement.
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