Saturday, October 12, 2019

Blacks, Prison, Prejudice, and Institutional Racism :: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays

Blacks, Prison, and Institutional Racism    Introduction Criminal justice and security is one of the largest industries in the United States. Such a statistic is (and rightly so) of great concern to Afro-Americans because a disproportionate percentage of individuals under the control of the US Criminal Justice System are from the Black community. This paper will look at the alarming statistics and attempt to trace the roots of the disparity. It will then consider the affects and explore possible solutions to the expanding problem.    The Imprisoned Black Youth Black communities throughout the U.S. are witnessing the institutionalization of their youth. Of course institutionalization is nothing new to Afro-Americans, it is something Blacks have faced since their existence in this country. In the beginning Blacks were forced into the institution of slavery. After the abolition of slavery Blacks faced institutional racism, that is, racism legitimated by the whole of society directed against the few of society. As a facet of that institutional racism Blacks are now forced to persevere the increasing trend of control by the US Criminal Justice System. Control by the USCJS includes the probation, parole, imprisonment, and death of Blacks. A study conducted by the Sentencing Project in 1989 found tat more than one-fourth of all Blacks between the age of 20 and 29 are under the control of the USCJS . This alarming figure becomes more so when you consider their are more Blacks in prison in this age group than their are all Blacks in college . This clearly reveals what is meant by the institutionalization of our Black youth. Black communities are being legally robbed of their youth by a system that locks up those who pose a threat to the status quo of institutional racism. The consequences of this are detrimental indeed. The children are the future, but what future does a community have whose children are all locked up. By virtue of robbing the Black community of their youth, the USCJS robs Black communities of their future leaders and role models . With such a condition at hand entire communities are lost and the ills of the urban ghettos are augmented. To help explain why Blacks are being locked up, and what part of imprisonment plays in institutional racism it would be helpful to first look at the roots of institutional racism.    Institutional Racism And It's Roots Institutional racism was a term first coined by Stokley Carmichael in his book Black Power. Concerning racism, Carmichael and co-author Charles V. Hamilton made the following observation:    Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms; individual

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