Summary : ' It 's A War Going On '

1215 WordsDec 7, 20145 Pages
Alec Hoines Punished Option 1 Sarah Whetstone “It’s a war going on. The ghetto is a cage. They only give you two choices, be a rebel or a slave” Dead Prez, ‘Turn off the Radio’, 2002. It’s an epidemic that’s happening in major cities across America; racialized black and latino youth are pipelined directly into the criminal justice system through different institutions starting at a young age. These boys are marked for illegitimate gang activity at an early age, initiating the ongoing process where they are stigmatized in every aspect of their life for their negative credentials before they even have the opportunity to prove themselves. Victor Rios, author of Punished, names this phenomenon the Youth Control Complex and shadows several youth in the Oakland area, in hopes of bringing light to these injustices. Rios, having grown up in the ghetto himself, knows firsthand what it takes to escape this inevitable incarceration; mentorship from adults who care and opportunity fueled by the individual. The Youth Control Complex effectively criminalizes these boys at a young age, however through the sociological imagination one can see that the conditions are part of larger structural and societal processes. The continual hyper-criminalization and racialization exhibited by various institutions against young black and latino boys has run rampant in the last decade. Youth in underprivileged communities across America today are subject to an inevitable web of punishment
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