Prison Refroment Is Necessary, Here Is Why
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Student Life

Prison Reform Is Necessary, Here's Why

"Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages." - Angela Davis


Prison, by definition, is an institution (such as one under state jurisdiction) for the confinement of persons convicted of serious crimes.

According to the NAACP, African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites. The organization also found that if African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rate as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%. However, no one talking about this. Furthermore, the NAACP discovered that African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charge is almost 6 times that of whites. This is alarming!

Merriam-Webster defines the word injustice calling it the absence of justice, which is a violation of right or the rights of another. Compared to white drug offenders, African Americans are presented with an injustice system. A system that is in need of racial disparities in criminal justice and reentry policy and programming. Due to these charges, a white male with a criminal record is more likely to get an interview versus an African American male with no criminal record.

Is the justice system really effective? Or ethical?

A big concern of mine is the sentencing for those with drug charges. It's unbelievable that most charges in regards to drugs are sentenced to up to 10 years of prison. While those who commit fraud are most likely to get no jail time or 5 years in prison.

How do we begin reforming the injustice system? First, examining and addressing the policies and practices, conscious or not, that contribute to racial inequity at every stage of the justice system. Secondly, holding those in charge accountable. By doing so we are helping create a safer, more equitable and fairer justice system. Lastly, utilizing your voice for those who can't. It's important that as a community we recognize and acknowledge injustices within the system.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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