American criminal justice rigged against Blacks

By Sinclere Lee

Washington, DC (BNW) —
As more and more young Black men get orientated to America’s criminal justice, it has become clear that the whole system is rigged against Black men. Consider this; while Black men makeup less that 7% of the US population, in some cases, they makeup over 60% of the inmates in prisons and jails in this country.

The trick this country plays on Black men is beyond rotten, and let me tell you how the trick works.

This country creates every obstacle it can to keep Black men from making it. While for some in this country, America is a land of dreams, but for Black men, it’s a nightmare of deceit, denial, rejection, refusal, and outright racism that keeps the Black man down.

As result of the mistreatment of Black men in this country, no matter how hard he works, he can never reach the American dream. Unfortunately, some of our people turn to crime to reach that American dream. Usually, the crime is selling drugs to their own communities. The same man that is discriminating against Black men everyday to deny them the American dream is the same man giving him drugs to sell to break the law.

The same man that is discriminating against Black men and giving drugs to sell to break the law is the same man running around in a police uniform looking for Black men for breaking the law. They’re the same man!

The same man that is discriminating against Black men and giving them drugs to sell to break the law is the same man looking for him for breaking the law. And, when the Black man gets caught for breaking the law, the same man who started it off by discriminating against Blacks in the first place is sitting behind that bench in court with a black rob on ready to judge you for a crime that he forced you into in the first place. It’s the same rotten man!

He will let you sell his drugs! He’ll let you sell your body as a prostitute! But, he won’t let you sell new cars! He won’t let you sell real estate! He won’t let sell boats. He won’t let Blacks sell anything in this country that is worth anything.

As a result, prisons and jails in this country have added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer. The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.

Of particular note was the gain of 33,539 inmates in jails, the largest increase since 1997, researcher Allen J. Beck said. That was a 4.7 percent growth rate, compared with a 1.6 percent increase in people held in state and federal prisons.

Prisons accounted for about two-thirds of all inmates, or 1.4 million, while the other third, nearly 750,000, were in local jails, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Beck, the bureau's chief of corrections statistics, said the increase in the number of people in the 3,365 local jails is due partly to their changing role. Jails often hold inmates for state or federal systems, as well as people who have yet to begin serving a sentence.

"The jail population is increasingly unconvicted," Beck said. "Judges are perhaps more reluctant to release people pretrial."

The report by the Justice Department agency found that 62 percent of people in jails have not been convicted, meaning many of them are awaiting trial.

The racist South is the worse of the worse. In the South overall, 738 people were locked up for every 100,000 residents, compared with a rate of 725 at mid-2004. The states with the highest rates were Louisiana and Georgia, with more than 1 percent of their populations in prison or jail. Rounding out the top five were Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The states with the lowest rates were Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Men were 10 times to 11 times more likely than women to be in prison or jail, but the number of women behind bars was growing at a faster rate, said Paige M. Harrison, the report's other author.

The racial makeup of inmates changed little in recent years, Beck said. In the 25-29 age group, an estimated 11.9 percent of black men were in prison or jails, compared with 3.9 percent of Hispanic males and 1.7 percent of white males.

Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, which supports alternatives to prison, said the incarceration rates for blacks were troubling.

"It's not a sign of a healthy community when we've come to use incarceration at such rates," he said.

Mauer also criticized sentencing guidelines, which he said remove judges' discretion, and said arrests for drug and parole violations swell prisons.

"If we want to see the prison population reduced, we need a much more comprehensive approach to sentencing and drug policy," he said.

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