Racial Disparity in Prisons

1457 words 6 pages
A Look at Racial Disparity in the United States Prison System
Micah O’Daniel
Institutional Corrections

Racial inequality in the American criminal justice system has a strong effect of many realms of society such as the family life, and employment. Education and race seem to be the most decisive factors when deciding who goes to jail and what age cohort has the greatest percentage chance of incarceration. Going to prison no longer affects just the individual who committed the crime. Instead, the family and community left behind gain a new burden by one individual's actions. The United States still has a large disparity between Whites and Blacks and now a growing Hispanic population. This racial disparity in the educational
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government has increased the use of incarceration for social control, which has resulted in "sharper disproportionate effects on African Americans."(Bobo, 2006) In politics, blacks are still in the minority when it comes to winning legislative seats in the state and federal government. Because of this, legislation is being formed and issued through the eyes of the white majority in congress which has led to the continued burden in black communities across the United States. Blacks have a higher chance of going to prison especially if they drop out of high school. The importance of getting a high school education is the difference between going to prison and functioning as a good citizen in society. If a Black male drops out of high school they have a 32.4% chance of going to prison while their White and Hispanic counterparts have a 6.7% and 6% chance respectively (Ayers, 2005). Bruce Western and Becky Pettit use the example of the age cohort that grew up during the Great Depression. These men had to learn to value economic security because of the mass unemployment during the 1930s. They delayed marriage and fatherhood in order to establish themselves with economic security to provide for their families and became the “Greatest Generation” in America (Ayers, 2005).
In the latter part of the 20th century, the age of cohorts born in this period never experienced a major event in their lives like the Great Depression and therefore underestimated


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