An estimated 5.1% of all persons in
the United States will be confined in a
State or Federal prison during their
lifetime, if incarceration rates recorded
in 1991 remain unchanged in the fu-
ture. The lifetime chances of a person
going to prison are higher for men
(9.0%) than for women (1.1%) and
higher for blacks (16.2%) and Hispan-
ics (9.4%) than for whites (2.5%). At
current levels of incarceration a black
male in the United States today has
greater than a 1 in 4 chance of going
to prison during his lifetime, while a
Hispanic male has a 1 in 6 chance and
a white male has a 1 in 23 chance of
30 years ago really began the “boogerman” tough on crime, from ALL politicians, and elected law enforcement.
Correctional, facilities really started to become private business owned.
Many laws have been created, to incarcerate, because of tough on crime promises.
Private business have turned jails into cash cows.
They need more people rolling through their doors, it’s good for their bottom line.
Yes too many laws.
When the heck did lying to a cop become resisting arrest anyway?
In all the black oppression discussions and calls for justice, this is one overarching facet that compounds the problem. Clearly blacks are over-represented in these stats. The question is whether it’s a matter of personal behavior or of laws skewed to impact blacks more. (Or some mixture of both.)
In my opinion, this is an area of black experience that could be addressed from both sides.
And I realize I may be hijacking the thread with this. Apologies if so. I can say that simply reducing laws won’t address the imbalance. Just the magnitude of incarceration overall.
Maybe we need to look at which laws protect someone else from my behavior, and which merely try to protect me from my own behavior. Cull laws heavily from the latter.
I don’t know what’s worse; the fact that the U.S totals less than 5% of the world’s population yet houses almost 25% of the world’s prisoners, or the fact that some radio guy had to tell you that.
And yes, for at least the last 100 years, black people have been saying they are more likely to go to jail than anyone else; not because they are more prone to be criminals, but because the system is not fair to them. How many studies have been reported that blacks are more likely to receive prison sentences for the same crimes that a white person commits, who received a fine and probation? Try watching the documentary on The Central Park Five, you might learn something.
But as an extreme example, many Jim Crow laws (past era) were specifically targeted at blacks.
I have heard it say that certain drug laws today are harsher on drugs more often used by the poor (and thereby, more likely to be used by blacks.) As you point out, laws are laws. Drug laws are drug laws. If a poor white guy gets caught breaking a law allegedly targeted at poor blacks, he will face the same penalty, of course. So yes, skin color has nothing to do with breaking the law on that accord.
But are they written (as I have heard claimed) in a way that drugs more likely to be used by blacks have harsher penalties? (I really don’t know. I’m just asking for the sake of discussion.)
It’s why I said that things like this can be (and should be) addressed from both sides. And drug laws aren’t the only laws blacks break, so it’s just one facet of the whole question.