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Related Categories: U.S. | Government & Elections
No true justice for the poor
by Yesica Cruz (cruzgonz [at] sonoma.edu)
Wednesday Dec 11th, 2019 7:16 AM
The Justice system no longer serves to protect the poor but instead criminalized them for being poor.
No true justice for the poor The Justice system no longer serves to protect the poor but instead criminalized them for being poor. Somehow the United States is accomplishing to become one of the highest incarceration rate in the world and not enough is being done to stop this, let alone be given enough attention to question why this is happening. One issue about the Justice system that is being overlooked is the misdemeanor criminal justice system, “ [t]he misdemeanor system is four times the size of the felony system. With so many gradations of minor crimes-many involving fines in a very informal process-prejudice and inequality shapes prosecution” (bostonreview.net). Clearly there is a problem with the Justice system and certain individuals working for the system have become desensitized to the long term effect they are doing to the individuals they are criminalizing. How the system is running is very disturbing and alarming, “‘[The misdemeanor system] punishes people because they can’t pay fines and fees. It punishes people because they can’t pay to register their car. It punishes people, often incarcerates them, often we incarcerate people, not because of the underlying offense, but just because they couldn’t come up with the money that was supposed to be the low-level punishment” ( washingtonpost.com). Being poor is not ones’ fault when the system works against them and punishes them for trying to get out of their given situation. Yet, policy makers create laws in favor of the rich and rewards them for having money, obvious money bring in more opportunities but what about the rest of the people who are struggling. “In many ways those fines and fees, that wealth stripping of the poor, is funding the system itself. It’s funding court. It’s finding probation offices. It’s funding public defender offices. It’s funding prosecution offices” (washingtonpost.com). There needs to be more awareness and demand from society that there needs to be change, so far “[i]n recent years, a handful of federal courts have found constitutional violations in court fee systems, cash bail practices, and driver’s license suspension schemes” (bostonreview.net). This discovery has changed the court systems of certain states to treat people a little bit better but it is not enough. The state should be working to help change policies by discriminate less, finding alternatives rather punishing people for cases that can spark change. Money should be invested into people so the can build themselves up and against. ~Yesica Cruz Cite Capehart, Jonathan. “How the Justice System Criminalizes the Poor — and Funds Itself in the Process.” The Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/29/how-justice-system-criminalizes-poor-funds-itself-process/. Accessed 15 Nov. 2019. ‌ Garrett, Brandon L. “The Metastasis of the Misdemeanor System.” Boston Review, 15 Aug. 2019, bostonreview.net/law-justice/brandon-l-garrett-metastasis-misdemeanor-system. Accessed 16 Nov. 2019. ‌
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