The disproportionate number of African-American males incarcerated within the United States is a difficult social dilemma that needs to be more fully understood and addressed. This paper will explore the mass incarceration of African-American men. The paper will look into the prevalence, causes, consequences, and offer solutions to this crisis. Specifically, seeking to find what factors have created such high levels of criminal justice control for African-American males, and explore the impact on the family and community.
Incarceration is immense in the United States. Since the 1980s, the United States has experienced a massive increase in incarceration. The overall rate has increased from 139 prisoners per hundred thousand US
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Although slavery officially ended in the United States in 1865, some have argued that slavery was eliminate, except as a punishment for an offense. This may be evident in the disproportionate number of young African-American males presently incarcerated. Leading to the belief that “businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor” (Pelaez, 2008). According to a congressional research report, The United States correction system has gone through an unprecedented expansion during the last few decades, with a more than 400% jump in the prison population and a corresponding boom in prison construction, to include about 770,000 people that worked in the corrections sector in 2008 (Kirchhoff, 2010). Many corporations, whose products we use on an everyday basis have realized that using prisoners can be as advantageous as using sweatshop labor in third world nations. A prime example is BP Oil and Gas Company, who found it beneficial to hire cheap prison labor in order to clean up the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even while the coastal residents struggle financially. Some additional corporations that utilize prison labor are: Toys “R” Us, Microsoft and Lockhart Technologies (Jean, 2007). Sadly, the exploitation by these companies is bound to continue since;