September 2012 Archives

Prison Hierarchy

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The racial injustice in this country when it comes to the prison and police system was made very clear when reading The New Jim Crow. But I also wanted to get into the gender injustice/ favoritism of women. Which Michelle Alexander did not talk about but I chose to do some research on because through personal experience, I have always felt that being a woman makes you seem more "innocent" and less likely to commit a crime. And its true, "Males had an imprisonment rate of 14 times higher than the rate for females" according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. There are fewer women committing crimes, but still I do not believe this to be the explanation for the huge gap. As I suspected, I read in an article, "How Much and What Crimes do Women Commit" that when the war on drugs hit, women started to be used as drugs fronts. Before, the arrest and imprisonment gap was much lower, but since the war on drugs hit hard on men especially, they realized that women do seem less suspicious, so they began to use them. Women committing crimes are typically found with men, especially their significant other, thinking it makes them less suspicious. In my own experience, I really believe this to be true. In high school, I every single one of my guy friends either got; arrested, a ticket for possession, or a MIP. But when girlfriends and I would be in a car with them or walking down the street they wouldn't be worried at all. I felt like I never had to be concerned, knowing how the cops overlooked girls. In my suburban community they it seemed like the cops still thought it was the 50s were a young woman would never drink or do drugs or steal. I am a white young innocent looking female; when they looked at me they don't imagine me doing anything wrong. If you look at the chart below, you'll see that the number of women of color is disproportionate to the white women incarcerated. This is just like the men. "Black men have been admitted to state prison on drug charges at a rate that is more than thirteen times higher than white men"(Alexander 100). This is just made clear as discrimination when the Supreme Court ruled "that police officers are free to use minor traffic violations as an excuse to stop motorist for drug investigations" (Alexander 108). When police have that much discretion and "people of all races use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates" (Alexander 99) discrimination is the only explanation. Through personal experience, the readings and my own personal research, I have come to the conclusion that the police and prison system is a sickening hierarchy. Where the black men sadly suffering the most and the white women, like myself, are going easily unnoticed by the law enforcement. Picture 4.png

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