Mass Incarceration Is A Criminal Sanction Carried Out By The Justice System

773 Words Nov 15th, 2015 4 Pages
Mass Incarceration: Mass incarceration is a criminal sanction carried out by the justice system that results in nearly invisible punishment including the diminution of rights and privileges of citizenship and legal residency in the United States (Mauer & Chesney-Lind, 2002). Mass incarceration provides one of the largest and most influential examples of institutionalized racism in the contemporary U.S. because of the way that african americans are systematically singled out to be searched, tried, and convicted of drug crimes and other felony offenses. In the United States there are a disproportionate number of minorities in prison when compared to those who identify as whites, the majority of whom being African American. This is a direct result of the failed structure of the criminal justice system relying heavily on punishment to attempt to decrease crime rates. In the last forty years incarceration rates have grown measurably as the number of incarcerated people in the U.S. now tops the list of developed nations with 716 per every 100,000 people incarcerated, far above the global midpoint of about 145 per 100,000 according to World Prison Brief. The NAACP has found that over fifty percent of those incarcerated are serving drug related sentences and that there is a 10:1 ratio of African Americans to whites incarcerated for drug crime. Understanding mass incarceration is crucial to fully grasping race relations and the current racial dynamics in the United States. As a…

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