Incarceration and Racial Disparities 2010
Download Incarceration and Racial Disparities 2010...
A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF “RACIAL” INEQUALITIES
CMTY111 M-W 3:30
“Incarceration” Defined: Incarceration is the state of being imprisoned or
confined. Incarceration can be imposed if the nature of a crime is that in which the suspect must be held against his will by the government, while they are awaiting trial. Incarceration is given, by a judge, as part of a sentence in a court of law, and its length depends on the severity and nature of the crime.
Different Facilities for Incarceration: State prisons and local jails for adults convicted in
state courts. Federal prisons for persons convicted in federal courts. Various types of residential institutions (for example, training schools) for juveniles found delinquent in juvenile courts.
Just the Facts: The United States has nearly 2,000 separate prison
facilities. The United States currently has nearly 2.6 million inmates residing in federal and state facilities. The United States leads the world in inmates per capita, at 748 per every 100,000 citizens, or nearly 1% of the total population.
Famous United States Facilities:
Louisiana State Penitentiary – 5,218 Inmates
San Quentin State Prison – 5,127 Inmates (634 on Death Row)
An overview of the U.S. Population in 2010
U.S. Prison Population:
Along Ethnic Lines: Blacks have the highest
ratio of life sentences per inmate. Blacks have the highest ratio of “three time offender” convictions per inmate. 1 in 8 Black men will spend time in prison.
Along Ethnic Lines: Hispanics are convicted
at a ratio of 2 to 1 when compared to whites. Hispanics are the largest growing ethnicity is regards to Federal convictions.
But for the White Population… Only 1 in 23 Whites will
spend any time in prison. Convictions of whites are repealed (reversed) at a rate of almost 5 to 1 compared to blacks, and almost 3 to 1 compared to Hispanics.
History of Incarceration Rates in the United States:
Changes in the trend: The 1970’s and 1980’s brought a change in political and
judicial policy. The Federal Government, in response to the growing threats of drugs, enacted two major forms of legislation that are still prevalent in today’s society.
Effects of Policy Change:
Basics of the new Policies: 1971 – The War on Drugs At a press conference, President Nixon states that he
believes drug abuse is “public enemy number one”.
Basics of the new Policies: 1973 – The Establishment of the DEA (Drug
Enforcement Agency) The DEA is a Federal agency, that works with state and local law enforcement to monitor, arrest, and assist in the conviction of persons violating drug laws.
Basics of the new Policies: 1984 – The Sentencing
Reform Act Enacted into law a set of minimum mandatory sentences for many drug related convictions. Took away federal and state judges authority to analyze mitigating and extenuating circumstances, and apply those findings into the sentences.
Basics of the new Policies: 1984 – The Sentencing
Reform Act Crack Cocaine vs. Powder Cocaine Adjusts the legality of different amounts of possession and their subsequent sentences.
Searching for an Explanation: Mounting effects of
oppression and discrimination. Lack of access to good, solid education. Vicious cycle of discrimination and lack of opportunity.
Educational Discrimination: While schools are no longer
officially segregated, injustices in the quality and location of housing predetermine the quality of inner city schools. College degrees are increasing at a rate of almost 2 to 1 when comparing between Whites and Blacks.
Occupational Over/Under Representation:
Blacks are under-
represented in regards to managerial and professional jobs. Blacks are overrepresented in lowerpaying blue collar jobs, and service labor work. The unemployment rate for blacks in 2006 was more than twice the rate of white unemployment.
Housing Discrimination: Blacks are disproportionately
confined to inner city housing. Blacks are more likely to live in sub-standard public housing than any other ethnicity. Inner city and poorly funded urban areas have higher crime rates, and subsequent targeting by police forces.
How the Cycle Works: Lack of Quality Education
Lack of Career Prospects Lower Paying Jobs
Life of Crime/Reliance on Welfare
Limited Ability to Find/Afford Adequate Housing
Other Speculations: Black Identity
Development (Tatum). Black teens attempt to create an identity within their peer group. Black teens reject things that seem “white”. Black teens search to associate with cultural stereotypes.
Reversing the Trend: A Success Story Urban Prep (Englewood
Academy) – Chicago, IL All Black male, public school. Founded in 2006, when the freshman class had 4% of its students reading at a 9th grade level. Stresses basic principles of integrity, accountability, and selflessness.
Reversing the Trend: A Success Story 2010 Urban Prep
(Englewood) graduates all of 107 of it’s seniors. All of the 107 seniors are accepted to over 72 colleges and universities around the nation.
Summary: Laws have been shaped in the United States to be in
favor of promoting the welfare of the majority. Blacks are chronically disadvantaged in nearly all aspects of valued resources within a society. Negative stereotypes of minorities in help produce unequal distribution of resources. Unequal distribution of resources cyclically leads to lack of opportunity. But….
Accountability In the eyes of the U.S. Judicial System, a person is
accountable for their individual actions. The idea that the color of your skin, or the neighborhood you grew up in, predisposed you to commit a crime…doesn’t cut it. The best way to stay out of prison or jail, no matter the color of your skin or the location of your housing or school is… Don’t commit a crime.
Bibliography: Tatum, B. (1997) Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting
Together in the Cafeteria? New York: Basic Books Aguirre A. & Turner J.(2009) American Ethnicity: The Dynamics and Consequences of Discrimination (6th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=74944
58 http://www.justice.gov/05publications/05_3_a.html http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/ http://www.urbanprep.org/about/pdf/Urban_Prep_Year_In_Rev iew_2008_to_2009.pdf http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/cron/
Bibliography: http://www.bop.gov/ http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/11/19/us-usa-prisons
idUSN1841666120071119 http://www.sgc.wa.gov/PUBS/SPR%20Report.pdf http://www.justice.gov/dea/history.htm http://newsone.com/nation/associatedpress3/congressvotes-to-change-crack-vs-cocaine-sentencing-laws/ http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm