Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on why black men between the ages of 25 to 29 are more likely to be in jail. With a permanent blotch on their criminal records, they are barred from colleges and job market.
Mass arrests and incarceration of people of color largely due to drug law violations have hobbled families and communities by stigmatizing and removing substantial numbers of men and women… Today, 1 in 15 African-American children and 1 in 42 Latino children have a parent in prison, compared to 1 in 111 white children… 55 percent [blacks] in Chicago, for example are labeled felons for life, and, as a result, may be prevented from voting and accessing public housing, student loans and other public assistance. (Drug Policy alliance, 2011)
The general conception and definition of crimes are predominantly inclined against blacks. For some strange reason, street crimes of blacks carry more weight than the refined crimes of the people in the corporate world or with white-collar jobs. “In contrast, the illegal activities of Whites (as well as white-collar, corporate, and other forms of non-street crime) become invisible regardless of the harms incurred.” (Peterson & Krivo, 2006, p.359)
According to the Center on Disease Controls annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, African Americans report being in a physical fight at a similar rate (36.5%, versus 32.5% for whites), but were arrested for aggravated assault at a rate nearly three times that of whites (137 per 100,000, versus 48 per 100,000). (Jones, 2005) According to a report by Human Rights Watch:
The burden of incarceration falls disproportionately on members of racial and ethnic minorities, a disparity which cannot be accounted for solely by differences in criminal conduct: black non-Hispanic males are incarcerated at a rate more than six times that of white non-Hispanic males and 2.6 times that of Hispanic males. One in 10 black males aged 25-29 were in prison or jail in 2009. for Hispanic males the figure was 1 in 25.
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