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Related Categories: California | Racial Justice
Let's talk about prison reform
by Danielle Franks
Wednesday Dec 11th, 2019 12:14 PM
Prison reform.
Danielle Franks
Sonoma State University
Professor Phillips- Sociology 336

Let’s talk about a social injustice that has yet to be justified. Let’s talk about why the United States is home to about 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners. That’s a prison population of roughly 2.3 million people. Let’s talk about the racial inequality in our prisons and why 1 in 3 African American men will be incarcerated in their lifetime compared to 1 in 17 white males. Let’s talk about the 13th amendment and how it grants freedom, or how it’s unconstitutional for someone to be held as a slave. However, there’s a loophole within the 13th amendment. If someone is a criminal or perceived as a criminal, the 13th amendment can be used as a tool for whoever wants to use it. Let’s talk about how this amendment also exploits African Americans instead of helping them. Remember, this amendment doesn’t apply to whoever is incarcerated. It allows people of color to be arrested for very minor crimes, like loitering or nowadays, simply driving a car.

This goes all the way back to the civil war and is something black people are still experiencing today. Along with the myth that people of color are more violent and more likely to commit a crime is false yet is something that still follows them around today. From the very beginning; African Americans, Latinos, and anyone else who doesn’t have the white skin, is highly targeted in our criminal justice system. The system is a vicious cycle and is hard to get out of. People everywhere need to fight for a fair and equal justice system. This includes abolishing the 3-strike law, ALEC, and end the war on drugs once and for all. Because we all know, it’s ongoing, and all it does is target and incarcerate African Americans and give them harsher and unfair sentences compared to whites.
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