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The American imprisonment rates are higher than the rest of the world. The US rates is 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents. In 2010 the rate there was 1.6 million prisoners in the United States according to the bureau of justice statistics. Men make up 90% of the population and their rate of imprisonment is 14 times higher than that of women (Guerino & Harrison, 2011).
The age bracket commonly falls between the ages 20-30. The majority of the prisoners are not very educated. According to the data available in the bureau of justice statistics, the average state prisoner has a 10th grade level of education and majorities have not completed their high school.
The incarceration rates have been significantly high for blacks and Latinos than for the whites. The blacks, Latinos and Hispanic Americans form a minority grouping in the states. Black’s particularly young blacks make a big share in the American prison population. Young blacks aged 18-34 are more incarcerated than the whites of the similar age. 37% of young blacks with no high school diploma are more likely to be in prison on any day compared to 26% of those who are working (Petit, 2012)
This incarceration rates have a huge social and economic effects to the black women, men, children and communities. The incarceration for minorities is gross and jail term for a black convict is more spelt compared to the whites (Oliver, 2005). This in effect affects the youth lives and makes the problem worse by making it hard for young to people to be rehabilitated, find jobs and become productive members of the society.
Children of incarcerated parents also find it tuff in their homes and poor up bringing pressures them to engage in drugs and criminal activities. In some cases, they find a place to share their experiences with similar age groups and end up joining street gangs and drug cartels. These are situations that lead them to land in jail in their young ages and it is very critical since it’s the age that most youths gain skills and knowledge reliable in their future and the community.
2.0 Unfair justice system
Racial disparity in the US criminal justice system is wide spread and undermines the notion that the system is fair, effective or at any stance just. In any prison in the states, it’s most likely to find that the number of the incarcerated is percentage higher comprising the blacks as the lead followed by the significant minorities such as Latinos and Hispanics (Radall, 1994). He notes that the blacks make a big share in the prisons population. The blacks specifically make up 12% of the US population but in the prisons it accounts for two fifths of those in prison.
The question is whether the justice system rigged for the population that makes majority, or for those who bend the law. Another question would be whether minorities are more likely to be incarcerated.
The fact is that disparities in justice system is live in the US, since the nonwhite gangs arrested and convicted of gross misconduct may receive heavy penalties and lengthy sentences that will see them waste away in jails denying them the essential and crucial skills they could have acquired if treated equally like their white peers.
3.0 Police injustices against the minorities
The way the cases are handled by the police raises alarm on the justice systems confidence that it aims at implanting to the American people and the world in general. The police apprehensions and punishment makes one of great pillars of American democracy and the disparity in the system lowers the confidence of the American people.
For the system to remain viable, justice needs to be followed from the initial investigations of an act of crime in the police station to prosecution by the lawyers and finally punishment awarding by the system of the justice.
The justice decisions do not follow the constitution which guarantees equal treatment to all under the land laws. The whites are more privileged than the nonwhites in the justice system. A white man currently shot a black man only to be acquitted by a racial white jury. The justice perceptions follow that every black youth is a potential criminal. The police handle the youth with brutality and harass the black youths more than the white peers (Melvin, 2013).
4.0 Biased drug wars
In this system, the decisions made against the convicted youths differs completely such that an African American convicted of being in possession of crank, the pure cocaine doesn’t compare to the jurisdiction against a native American who possess the drug. For every 5 grams of cocaine a black possess translates to 1 year in jail but for the whites it accounts for 50 grams of the same. The justice system penalizes lesser offences and drug offences with gross punishment and incarceration in cases that do not in reality need to be a jail term.
In a research done in Maryland African American youths consumes alcohol less than their white peers and yet the population of the blacks in Baltimore jail is 99% citing an over representation of African Americans. The blacks should be arrested and incarcerated regarding drugs operation according to their proportion to their involvement in drug use and the system should aim at reducing the population of the minorities in the prisons.
The war against drugs is intensified in the urban areas where most black youths accelerating the rising number of arrest resides. Butler (1995) notes that drug users incarcerated do not account to the population of drug users. He states that 13% of nonwhites are drug users but 74% of the incarcerated for drug use and abuse are nonwhites. The criminal justice system is administered in a racially discriminated style.
5.0 Delayed justices is justice denied for minorities
The minority groups in the US awaits for their convictions and their terms are prolonged in jail before judgment is granted and once granted the sentencing is more than lengthy even for minor youthful offences. Moreover, in jails the white youths receives privileges’ and priorities than the benefits received if any by African Americans.
Once the jail term is over for the youths, the only tangible benefits for them are a criminal record that even an employer can’t risk to employ. They come out wasted and disgraced, unskilled and unacceptable nowhere in the states. The criminal record is a lump sum burden to the youths that may limit them some crucial rights as citizens of the United States.
The research done by Maryland civil rights activists reveal that 14% of the convicted and who finishes their sentences receives a call back from their employees while only 4% of African American receives a call back (Guerino & Harrison, 2011).
In Baltimore, the African American makes 64% of the population but 89% of the adults in jail are African Americans. Most of them are in jail awaiting their trials and are mere convicts. The system still operates with racial discrimination where the Natives are not treated equally as other groups which are mistreated by the justice system in general (Guerino & Harrison, 2011).
6.0 Increasing minority population & urbanization
The growing minority percentage directly correlates with increasing non-white prison populations whereas has no effect to the whites rate. This has been caused by the increased rate of urbanization where the nonwhites have been mostly segregated and where crime is intense creates a heightened sense that the minorities poses a threat to the order and norm of the community.
The effect of increased urbanization forces the law enforcing officers to concentrate their focus to the urban areas where nonwhites are dominant and segregated making spontaneous arrests. In these urban areas, violent crimes, drugs and other weird crimes are likely to occur since the larger populations of the nonwhites are unskilled and uneducated. Drug abuse and operations are their only source of revenue while others needs fee to sustain themselves in the strained economic conditions. The youths, nonwhite lives in harsh social environment with poor sanitation and survival for the fittest applies. The urbanization impacts on the violence in the streets where gangs organizes (Bridges & George, 1987) and grows to ease the survival in the hoods. The gangs engage in gross misconducts such as murder, rape and robbery in the streets. Their economic vulnerability makes them taste the bitter justice compared to the whites who commits equally compared offence.
7.0 Lack of affirmative action
The affirmative action has really succeeded in fields like education, employment and voting but completely lacks in the American justice system and this is where the real problem troubles in disparities. The past discrimination have been forgotten through traditional rationales for affirmative actions but no universality has so far been achieved.
Centuries of discrimination and slavery created a just environment has fueled high levels of African American criminal behavior. Butler (1995) notes that the affirmative action calls for equal allocation and distribution of burdens and punishments should be introduced in hope to reduce the minority incarceration. Butler proposes that affirmative action should be applied in the criminal justice system especially for the black defendants. Rehabilitation instead of retribution should be basic justification of punishment. The defendants should also be tried and sentenced by the black juries.
The blacks should share the same and similar equal benefits or burdens in the judicial system. As the constitution provides for equality of all races in all fields, this should also be introduced in the realm of criminal law where it’s substantially not there to offer equality to all citizens regardless of the race in the United States of America.
8.0 The racially based juries’ in the justice system
The black community is plagued by the menaces of unemployment, single parenting and lack of many role models and thus instead of incarcerating non-violent law breakers, the system should let them stay in the community (Butler, 1995). He insists that the non-violent law breakers are not hard to incorporate in the community since they are not a major threat to the social order.
The black and minority juries’ should acquit black law breakers in some cases. The juries’ should push for the blacks and minority rights in universality and should also help to assert the black power in the judicial system. The judges who are racially based judges as their conscience dictates denying the minorities the right to utilize evidence provided for their cases.
The non-violent crimes that are victimless should have a presumption in favor of nullifying the case. Cases touching on blacks should be clearly and closely screened in presumptions of either nullification or some lighter sentences depending on the circumstances if they are non-violent crimes.
9.0 Race and crime paradox
The race and crime paradox notes that the criminal justice does not discriminate blacks as a community because it incarceration benefits law loving and abiding blacks while hurting the subset of the lost and criminal elements in the society. That enforcing law among the blacks is for public good since crime is intra racial. This statement is flaws because will lead to a conclusion that all acts of discrimination in crime would be subjected to minimal scrutiny (Cole, 1995).
This paradox is senseless since incarceration of so many black men will lead to increased single-parent families, reduced adult to children supervision, more unemployment a factor to poverty inwardly leading to more drugs, crime and violence. The paradox stereotypes that all young blacks are potential criminals leading to racially based sentencing. This paradox is misleading and forms the basis of criminal discrimination in the US.
10.0 Racial Effects on Economic inequality, black and white rates of crime
Due to enormous and unending plagues facing the non white Americans, they are economically vulnerable and total inequality drifts here. The white and blacks income inequality is a poor predictor of high crimes among the blacks.
The indicators of crime and violence among the blacks should shift away attention from inequality and poverty to other structural and society based sources. The blacks and the minorities should not be judged on basis of their economical positions rather the burden should hold depending on the weight of criminal act done.
In the US criminal justice system, African Americans have suffered discrimination on basis of race, initially arising from slavery in the past. It then follows through the process of segregation and exclusion both informal and formal in the judicial sentencing and court decisions that has been endorsed by past historical events of slavery.
Affirmative actions need to be in place to bring universality to the criminal justice system so as to endorse equality among all the citizens regardless of race, economic position or social level. In addition, the African Americans jurists should acquit the minorities when making decisions and sentences to the not genuine Americans since sending them to jail comes with foreseen situations.
The incarceration of convicts should follow scrutinized and closely investigated cases since removing people in the community in turn affects the community negatively since poverty, normlessness, single parenthoods and poor children up bringing due to lack of both parents and kids cohesion. The generation that gets incarcerated is mostly the youths. They get incarcerated in their tender young age, an age that they are supposed to be in school, working or looking for a job.
The police brutality which is racially based aims youths who are seen as potential criminals from the minority groups. The youths after arrests are not put in a rehabilitation system yet they undergo retribution and spend and serve lengthy sentences in prisons where they undergo psychological torture as well as physical degradation.
The black youths are endangered in the rising urban cultures in the United States facing a huge carnivore of the American judicial system and the big hand of the discriminative American law.
Bridges, P., & George, S. (1987). Crime, social structure and criminal punishment. whites and nonwhites rates of imprisonment. Social Problems, 34(4), 4-6.
Butler, P. (1995). Affirmative action, diversity of opinions. University of Colorado Law Review, 68(1), 506-509
Butler, P. (1995). Racially based nullification of jury in the criminal system. Yale Law Journal, 6(2), 28-30.
Cole, D. (1995). Paradox of race and crime. Georgina Law Journal, 83(7), 54-60.
Guerino, P., & Harrison, M. P. (2011). Prisoner in 2010. Washington, DC: bureau of justice statistics.kramer. (355). miimi. nai: adve.
Melvin, K. (2013). The disparities among minority inmates in the American Prison system. Baltimore: Cambridge University press.
Oliver, P. (2005). The effect of black male imprisonment on black child poverty. Baltimore: American Sociological association.
Petit, B. (2012). American prison. Baltimore: Wisconsin press.
Radall, K. (1994). The state, criminal law and racial discrimination. A comment. Harvard law Review, 107(2), 34-36.
One of the most pending questions in philosophy is whether the state should punish those who break the law. The law is created to ensure that people can leave with each other in peace and harmony. If the laws that govern states and nations were not in place, then most states and nations would be a wreck with law and order missing out. Therefore, if laws are put in a position to make sure that law and order is maintained, then the law offenders should be punished. Failure of the state to punish the law offenders will encourage more and more people to break the law since there are no repercussions. In the long run, the laws will be rendered unsuccessful and irrelevant since there are no longer effective. Therefore, in a general view, it is important for the law breakers to be punished (Banks 78). In this essay, the advantages and significance of punishing the law breakers are discussed fully.
One fundamental question, when it comes to the social institution of punishment is whether it is warranted.A major contributor to the behavior of breaking laws is the knowledge that there are no consequences of such acts. A law breaker has a higher chance of breaking the law if the risk of being successful in the crime is higher than the punishment they might receive when caught in the act. Therefore, the punishment of breaking a certain law acts as either an encouragement or discouragement for the individual to break the law. History proves that punishment has always been successful in reducing the occurrence of ill behavior. The punishment of law breakers ensures that a society can achieve social norms that are acceptable by the larger population. In ancient times, fear effectively helped the reduction in crime. However, over time law breakers were able to overcome the fear of breaking laws, which consecutively led to an increase in such activities.
Punishment theories over the years have grown to reduce the rate of laws being broken. The type of punishment differs according to the kind of law broken, and it is also different from one region to another. Every law is created in a way that there is a punishment that follows after the law is broken. The effectiveness of punishment is that one cannot be punished for a law that they did not break. Therefore, the law ensures that according to the level of crime that one has committed, they receive an equal punishment. The kind of punishment is also influenced by other factors like society, religion and the different laws. In some nations, capital punishment is preferred to life imprisonment while in others; life imprisonment is preferred to capital punishment. The difference is because, in some societies, capital punishment is considered as an inhumane way of punishment. However, in other societies, it considered as a method of deterring criminal activities.
Punishment is not focused at the individual but at the guilty mind that led the individual to break the law. Therefore, the different forms of punishment work in a way that if the guilty mind of the individual does not push one to break the law; then there is no reason for punishment (Duff 46). However, if the guilty mind of the individual pushes them far enough to commit a crime, then punishment is needed to ensure that the law breaker learns their lesson. Punishment also adds up as a form of social protection. Ensuring that the community is safe from a few individuals who are out there to cause harm to unsuspecting members of the community (Banks 256). Punishment is also made in such a way that it is flexible enough to serve all the law breakers. The inclusion of new laws ensures that a corresponding punishment for the law if broken.
The state should punish law breakers so that they can serve as a lesson to anyone else with such intentions. Therefore, in a great way there is a reduction in activities of law breaking, since most individuals will not be bold enough to take the risk of breaking law. This is after seeing what happened to an individual who had gone down the same path. When an individual is facing punishment for breaking the law, then they are denied some rights and liberties as well as the intentional infliction of pain in some cases. Therefore, punishment is in a way psychological method aimed at causing the law offenders to look upon their wrongdoings. During the time that the law offender is facing punishment, then they ought to reflect upon their actions and change their evil ways.
In conclusion, it is important for the state to effectively punish those who are engaged in activities that break the law. Failure to implement the different kinds of punishment can cause laws to be rendered irrelevant. Punishment in a great way ensures that individuals who have the habit of breaking laws are punished due fully (Kleinig 59). Punishment is implemented through the judicial system and other institutions responsible for keeping law and order. Despite there being concerns on the effectiveness of punishment in reducing crime rates, it is evident that over time punishment has successfully reduced crime levels. Despite there being opposition from different critics on the use of punishment, it is commonly used in most nations. The main argument against punishment is that it does not offer law breakers with the required rehabilitation. All in all, punishment should be served by the state by all who break the law.
Banks, Cyndi. Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.
Duff, Antony. Restoration and Retribution In, Andrew von Hirsch, et. al., eds., Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice: Competing or Reconcilable Paradigms? Oxford and Portland, Orgeon: Hart Publishing. 2003. Pp. 43-60.
Kleinig, John. Ethics and Criminal Justice: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.
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