Why the Criminal Justice System Targets POC and the Lower Class

It isn’t surprising that the criminal justice system is profoundly flawed, and there is little being done to change the system in a way that is beneficial to society. Some of the many flaws of the criminal justice system is that the appeals process takes very long, the amount of wrongly convicted people in prison is astounding, the way so many police abuse their power, and one of the biggest problems is the way police target minorities, mainly black people. The reason why the criminal justice system is a flawed system that treats races unequally is due to policies and historical events.
In 1865 when the 13th amendment was enacted to end slavery, discrimination and segregation still progressed. Black codes and Jim crow laws further divided and separated blacks and whites. During this time black were targeted by police for any reason (like not having an ID or loitering), and they were jailed and forced into shattle slavery. In the 1970’s mass incarceration began. Nixon called it a “war on drugs”. During this time the criminalization of black activism was also pushed. When the civil right movement helped end Jim Crow the government had to find a way to keep minorities from progressing. In 1994 Clinton passed a crime bill that made the “war on drugs” a reality. Clinton’s bill lead to mass hyper incarceration of minorities who were charged with drug crimes. Crack is a drug predominately used in poor minority communities, so they targeted crack more than cocaine. The fact that minorities can get a minimum of 5 years for possessing crack and whites who use cocaine get less years for a more pure form the drug shows you that the system is flawed and inherently racist.
The criminal justice system does not only target POC because it is a racist system, but also because the prison industrial system makes about 4.8 billion a year profiting off of extremely cheap prison labor. The criminal justice system targets minorities because we are easy targets and because stereotypes perpetuated on the news help society believe that blacks are more violent. An article by Michelle (2010) titled “The New Jim Crow” discussed that Raegan’s major theme in his election was welfare and crime. Michelle states “At the time he declared war on drugs, less than 2 percent of the American public viewed drugs as the most important issue…for the drug war from the outset had little to do with public concern about drugs and much to do with public concern about race”. Reagan knew what he was doing because the rhetoric used in his campaign was sugarcoated, but it was definitely about imprisoning poor minorities. If the war on drugs was a real issue, Reagan’s main focus would of been about treating drugs as an illness instead of a crime. This is one of the many reasons why the criminal justice system targets poor minorities.



Assignment 4-8, Criminal Justice, , ,

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