Injustice in the Justice

America land of the free

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You can blame the structure but isn’t it easier to just blame the individuals as a whole. The reason that blacks populate these urban areas and don’t escape the lower class is because they are lazy. Seriously, these blacks and Hispanics and everyone who is depending on the government for aid is lazy. They need to get up from their couch molded behinds and go find a real job. How ungrateful can they be? So what if its considered okay for the government to poorly fund housing areas and then over populated them with minorities, then blame the individuals for living in such conditions. I mean the government provides shelter for them, food coupons, free public education and they’re all still choosing to be thugs. No wonder they’re all incarcerated because they don’t follow the American dream. They don’t want to work for it they want to rob and kill us good people who can actually hold a nine to five,work and expand. They are the lower class because they want to be the lower class. I worked for everything I have, they want it handed.

Ironically the land that grants dreams also takes them away. If you don’t fit into the white spectrum then you’re pretty much here to serve someone else dream. Those remarks that I made are the unspoken conversations held among a variety of people who don’t intake discrimination regularly, if ever. Why is it that everyone who isn’t white is a menace to society? Well the white society, the same society that had institutionalized racism and the current generations success that wouldn’t had been possible without slavery. This society that had segregated communities that held beliefs that apartheid was the best way to co-live with people who looked different from them. Blacks are the feared, dangerous individuals that you heard about from your grandparents, they look different from you so most likely they’re out to get you.Slavery never ended it brought too much revenue, the government and corporations just had to improvise on how to benefit from others labor and what other way is better than to have people that committed crimes, who at that point don’t have society to defend them, do the dirty work. Monitor them 24/7 and release them without any rehab so they can successfully disintegrate with society and end up back inside a prison.

Incarceration

In the past three decades the United States increased mass incarceration have become disproportionately focused among economically disadvantaged people of color.

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Higher arrest and incarceration rates for African Americans and Latinos are not reflective of increased drug use or sales in these communities, but rather of a law enforcement focus on urban areas, on lower-income communities and on communities of color as well as inequitable treatment by the criminal justice system. The mass criminalization of people of color, particularly young African American men, is as intense of a system of racial control as the Jim Crow laws were in this country until the mid-1960s. The added stigma of being a felon doesn’t end inside of the prison as soon as your discharged you are required to report for the next ten years in every job opportunity that interest you that you are an ex convict and you’re likely to get denied because of that which  contradicts the purpose of prison. Prison is suppose to be a place where the bad guys pay for their crime and have a change of heart, get released and become a good citizen. No reintroduction to society. Imagine you were just released from a medium security prison, were everything was regulated for you. The time you eat, sleep, play and work for the last five years, then the day you’ve been long anticipating comes, they open the doors and let you out. What now? You have to find means to get home if you have a home still. You need a source of income, but cant find a job because your a felon. Some schools don’t intake felons as students or financial aid might not cover them for the same reason, they aren’t allowed to vote or own anything. So what room is given to someone to improve when every outreach of improvement is blocked. Even public housing is limited on who they will intake. Before long the only way you can feed yourself is through illegal methods which land  you in the same predicament as before.  Mass incarceration in the U.S. disproportionately involves people of color. Now imagine being a black man in this situation. You’re already guilty before even committing the crime. United States maintains a criminal justice rather than health-oriented approach. Instead of having these people do their time and rehab so they are able to successfully reintegrate with society they are taught to not trust anyone around them, not make decisions for themselves and to work hard labor without learning any skills from them.

 

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The United States has experienced an extreme growth in incarceration over the past three decades – in part attributed to  reliance on the criminal justice system to handle a broad range of social issues including drug use and mental illness. The number of adults under the supervision of Federal, state and local correctional authorities rose from 1.8 million in 1980 to 7.1 million at the end of 2010 (1 out of every 33 U.S. adults) – including 1.5 million persons in prison, 4.9 million on probation or parole, and 749,000 in local jails. (Glaze, 2011). With the largest prison and jail population of any country in the world, the U.S. now accounts for just 5% of the world’s population but 25% of all incarcerated persons. (Pew, 2011). The burden of this mass incarceration falls disproportionately on male members of racial/ethnic minorities. Black non-Hispanic males are incarcerated at a rate more than six times that of White males and 2.6 times that of Hispanic males. (Glaze, 2011; Hartney & Vuong, 2009).

This disparity cannot be accounted for just by differences in criminal conduct, it reflects law enforcement disproportionate sentencing practices that  affect Black Americans. For example, while Blacks constitute only 13% of the U.S. population and Blacks and Whites engage in drug offenses at the same rates, Blacks constitute 33.6% of drug arrests, 44% of persons convicted of drug felonies in state court, and 37% of people sent to state prison on drug charges. (HRW, 2012). At the same time, while 93% of state and federal prison inmates are male, incarceration is growing at a faster pace among women. (Pew, 2011). Between 1995 and 2007, there was a 68% increase in the number of female incarcerations, compared to a 43% increase in male incarcerations. (West & Sabol, 2009).

 

BLACK COMMODITY

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In July 2010, three dangerous inmates escaped from an Arizona private prison, which prompted officials to stop sending new inmates to that specific facility . They were demanding better performance from Management & Training Corp., the company that runs the prison. Unfortunately, a line in the company’s contract with the state guarantees that the prison is at least 97% full at all times.  The prison sued on grounds that the breach of contract caused a dramatic loss in revenue. This private prison in Arizona sued the state for having a lack of prisoners, i thought that was a good thing ! They sued in order to  save over $16 million in back pay, the state settled by paying the private prison $3 million. In simpler form the Arizona state essentially payed a company $3 million because not enough people are committing crimes. Now i can argue that the state would do anything necessary to avoid paying private prisons repeatedly. I can even push it as far that the state would prefer to incarcerate innocent men in order to meet this quota and avoid paying these fees. Who else is better to incarcerate than someone who is already labeled as a violent criminal in societies eyes.16

Surprisingly, these type of contractual agreement is the norm. A review from In the Public Interest revealed that out of 60 analyzed contracts between state/local governments and private prisons, 65% mentioned prisoner quotas. This means that state officials have absolutely guaranteed private prisons a profit. And who finances that guarantee…The taxpayers, of course! This is a loss for everyone, for the taxpayers who are keeping these private prisons functioning and for the public who is being targeted as a commodity. This is a modern day slaver. No longer do you need people to work on plantations and keep all the profit but now you have innocent people paying for the crimes or victims who are incarcerated because the private prisons are only concerned about getting richer, not the American public and not the American safety that they try to portray on the media. Is jail really for the bad guys? or is just a system that make law offenders worst and brings in more money to those who own these facilities? I don’t want my argument to seem like I’m opposing prisons, I’m opposing the corruption of them and the justice system.

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The 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, also maintains a legal exception for continued slavery in prisons. It states “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”. The prison bed guarantees range between minimums of 70 percent occupancy in a California prison to 100% occupancy requirements at some Arizona prisons. Most of the contracts had language mandating that at least 90 percent of prison beds be filled. This means 90% of prisoners with 1 out of 3 being black, its a new servitude. These inmates are assigned jobs which pay as much as 33 cents per hour and are expected to buy any additional self maintenance items like deodorant while producing labor at a 94% less than minimum wage. However this is acceptable because they are convicted felons and at this point society discards them as damaged goods.

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HIV

Evidence indicates that action to remove post-incarceration barriers to housing and to increase the availability of housing assistance for low-income persons would improve outcomes for individuals involved with the correctional system, lower community viral load, and reduce the burden of illness in disparately impacted communities of color.Criminal justice involvement, HIV infection and housing instability are strongly linked risk factors that disproportionately impact minority and low-income Americans and have a cumulative and compounding effect on HIV vulnerability and health outcomes for affected individuals, their families and their communities.Disparities in HIV and incarceration overlap for individuals and communities of color As a result of the intersection of HIV and mass incarceration among marginalized populations, a significant proportion of all people living with HIV infection in the U.S. have become incarcerated. Each year some 155,000 HIV-positive persons – 14% (1 in 7) of all people living with HIV in the U.S. – are released from U.S. prisons and jails. Among HIV-infected Black men, an estimated 22% – 28% pass through a correctional facility each year. At the end of 2010, state and federal prison authorities reported that 1.4% of male inmates and 1.9% of female inmates were known to have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS – rates that are 3 to 5 times higher than in the general U.S. population.What’s more, people living with HIV/AIDS recently released from incarceration face unbelievable challenges. This time is often “characterized by limited access to medical care, interruption of antiviral therapy, poor vireo-logical and immunological outcomes, and behaviors that can transmit HIV infection.

 

Studies show that as many as half of HIV-positive inmates leave prison or jail with no place to call home and no income to meet basic subsistence needs.”20

In conclusion there is a war between the individual and his beliefs and the individual and societies beliefs about him. When a minority is growing up with these labels they learn how to play the part and have a self fulfilling prophecy where they internalize these criminals views, society as a whole has to stop benefiting from other peoples miseries and there first step into controlling all these limitations and discrimination towards minorities is by accepting that they are in fact real and are experienced every day. Once we are able to spot the faults not only on the individuals but on the system on the society structure and on the portrayal of minorities we can learn how to stop this oppression and blossom as a whole. Not all blacks and Hispanics are criminals. There is no reason for a person to grab their purse tighter when someone from a different ethnicity enters the room. These labels are dangerous and with constant treatments of this sort one learns how to behave accordingly. Prisons shouldn’t be privately own because someones liberty is not a business opportunity. If it were to be continued to be privately own the prisons need to meet a quota of rehabilitation and reintroduction to society. They need to have the inmates contribute back to the community and learn the joy of helping the roots of where they came from. Instead of having them work on assembly lines and releasing them back into the wilderness without any social skills after dealing with convicts for a previous amount of years, The ex convicts also need to be given the opportunity to better themselves. Or enforced to at least take some classes that help them communicate themselves, understand different backgrounds and beliefs and to appreciate their self worth.

 

Bibliography

Chapter One: Race and the Police. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2016, from http://www.civilrights.org/publications/justice-on-trial/race.html

Flatow, N. (2013). How Private Prison Firms Use Quotas To Fill Cells And Coffers. Retrieved May 22, 2016, from http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/20/2658701/private-prison-firms-quotas-cells-coffers/

Private Prison Sues State for Not Having Enough Prisoners – Wondergressive. (2013). Retrieved May 22, 2016, from http://wondergressive.com/private-prison-sues-state-wins-more-prisoners/

Shubert, G. (n.d.). Mass Incarceration, Housing Instability and HIV/AIDS: Research Findings and Policy Recommendations. Retrieved February, 2013, from http://nmac.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Incarceration-Report-FINAL_2-6-13.pdf

Wang, E. A. (2016, May). High Incarceration Rates Among Black Men Enrolled In Clinical Studies May Compromise Ability To Identify Disparities. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/5/848.full.pdf html

 

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