Incarceration and Racial Disparities 2010

Report
A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF “RACIAL” INEQUALITIES
DAVID BOIKE
CMTY111 M-W 3:30
“Incarceration” Defined:
 Incarceration is the state of being imprisoned or
confined.
 Incarceration can be imposed if the nature of a crime
is that in which the suspect must be held against his
will by the government, while they are awaiting trial.
 Incarceration is given, by a judge, as part of a sentence
in a court of law, and its length depends on the severity
and nature of the crime.
Different Facilities for Incarceration:
 State prisons and local jails for adults convicted in
state courts.
 Federal prisons for persons convicted in federal courts.
 Various types of residential institutions (for example,
training schools) for juveniles found delinquent in
juvenile courts.
Just the Facts:
 The United States has nearly 2,000 separate prison
facilities.
 The United States currently has nearly 2.6 million
inmates residing in federal and state facilities.
 The United States leads the world in inmates per
capita, at 748 per every 100,000 citizens, or nearly 1%
of the total population.
Famous United States Facilities:
Louisiana State Penitentiary – 5,218 Inmates
San Quentin State Prison – 5,127 Inmates (634 on Death Row)
An overview of the U.S. Population
in 2010
U.S. Prison Population:
Along Ethnic Lines:
 Blacks have the highest
ratio of life sentences per
inmate.
 Blacks have the highest
ratio of “three time
offender” convictions per
inmate.
 1 in 8 Black men will
spend time in prison.
Along Ethnic Lines:
 Hispanics are convicted
at a ratio of 2 to 1 when
compared to whites.
 Hispanics are the largest
growing ethnicity is
regards to Federal
convictions.
But for the White Population…
 Only 1 in 23 Whites will
spend any time in prison.
 Convictions of whites are
repealed (reversed) at a
rate of almost 5 to 1
compared to blacks, and
almost 3 to 1 compared to
Hispanics.
History of Incarceration Rates in
the United States:
Changes in the trend:
 The 1970’s and 1980’s brought a change in political and
judicial policy.
 The Federal Government, in response to the growing
threats of drugs, enacted two major forms of
legislation that are still prevalent in today’s society.
Effects of Policy Change:
Basics of the new Policies:
 1971 – The War on Drugs
 At a press conference, President Nixon states that he
believes drug abuse is “public enemy number one”.
Basics of the new Policies:
 1973 – The Establishment of the DEA (Drug
Enforcement Agency)
 The DEA is a Federal agency, that works with state and
local law enforcement to monitor, arrest, and assist in
the conviction of persons violating drug laws.
Basics of the new Policies:
 1984 – The Sentencing
Reform Act
 Enacted into law a set of
minimum mandatory
sentences for many drug
related convictions.
 Took away federal and state
judges authority to analyze
mitigating and extenuating
circumstances, and apply
those findings into the
sentences.
Basics of the new Policies:
 1984 – The Sentencing
Reform Act
 Crack Cocaine vs.
Powder Cocaine
 Adjusts the legality of
different amounts of
possession and their
subsequent sentences.
Searching for an Explanation:
 Mounting effects of
oppression and
discrimination.
 Lack of access to good,
solid education.
 Vicious cycle of
discrimination and lack
of opportunity.
Educational Discrimination:
 While schools are no longer
officially segregated,
injustices in the quality and
location of housing predetermine the quality of
inner city schools.
 College degrees are
increasing at a rate of
almost 2 to 1 when
comparing between Whites
and Blacks.
Occupational Over/Under
Representation:
 Blacks are under-
represented in regards to
managerial and
professional jobs.
 Blacks are overrepresented in lowerpaying blue collar jobs,
and service labor work.
 The unemployment rate
for blacks in 2006 was
more than twice the rate
of white unemployment.
Housing Discrimination:
 Blacks are disproportionately
confined to inner city
housing.
 Blacks are more likely to live
in sub-standard public
housing than any other
ethnicity.
 Inner city and poorly funded
urban areas have higher
crime rates, and subsequent
targeting by police forces.
How the Cycle Works:
Lack of Quality Education
Lack of Career Prospects
Lower Paying Jobs
Life of Crime/Reliance on Welfare
Limited Ability to Find/Afford Adequate Housing
Other Speculations:
 Black Identity
Development (Tatum).
 Black teens attempt to
create an identity within
their peer group.
 Black teens reject things
that seem “white”.
 Black teens search to
associate with cultural
stereotypes.
Reversing the Trend:
A Success Story
 Urban Prep (Englewood
Academy) – Chicago, IL
 All Black male, public school.
 Founded in 2006, when the
freshman class had 4% of its
students reading at a 9th grade
level.
 Stresses basic principles of
integrity, accountability, and
selflessness.
Reversing the Trend:
A Success Story
 2010
 Urban Prep
(Englewood)
graduates all of 107 of
it’s seniors.
 All of the 107 seniors
are accepted to over 72
colleges and
universities around
the nation.
Summary:
 Laws have been shaped in the United States to be in
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favor of promoting the welfare of the majority.
Blacks are chronically disadvantaged in nearly all
aspects of valued resources within a society.
Negative stereotypes of minorities in help produce
unequal distribution of resources.
Unequal distribution of resources cyclically leads to
lack of opportunity.
But….
Accountability
 In the eyes of the U.S. Judicial System, a person is
accountable for their individual actions.
 The idea that the color of your skin, or the
neighborhood you grew up in, predisposed you to
commit a crime…doesn’t cut it.
 The best way to stay out of prison or jail, no matter the
color of your skin or the location of your housing or
school is…
 Don’t commit a crime.
Bibliography:
 Tatum, B. (1997) Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting
Together in the Cafeteria? New York: Basic Books
 Aguirre A. & Turner J.(2009) American Ethnicity: The
Dynamics and Consequences of Discrimination (6th Ed.).
New York: McGraw-Hill.
 http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=74944
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58
http://www.justice.gov/05publications/05_3_a.html
http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/
http://www.urbanprep.org/about/pdf/Urban_Prep_Year_In_Rev
iew_2008_to_2009.pdf
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/cron/
Bibliography:
 http://www.bop.gov/
 http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/11/19/us-usa-prisons
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idUSN1841666120071119
http://www.sgc.wa.gov/PUBS/SPR%20Report.pdf
http://www.justice.gov/dea/history.htm
http://newsone.com/nation/associatedpress3/congressvotes-to-change-crack-vs-cocaine-sentencing-laws/
http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm

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