For decades there has been a silent war being waged against poor & disenfranchised in America and the war is called Mass incarceration. Before the war on drugs and after the same war. The population of prisons & jails has boomed. From the 1960’s to the 1980’s the crime rate has been said to double for murder, Rape,& other violent crimes. That was a profound shift during that era. Then in the 1980’s the crime rate stayed the at a steady pace. However, the incarceration rate continued to climb filling the prison system with Black* Brown men at an alarming rate. Then came another boom from the early 1990’s entering the new millennium.
Professors of many colleges are beginning to study and do more and more research about this epidemic. Is it that 1 million men of today’s society just so happen to disappear from everyday society or is it that 1.1million Black children have a parent incarcerated. These men aren’t missing they have been kidnapped and placed into institutional slavery the same way the slaves where snatched up and put on boats or in a cage. Most of these men have been sent away for decades at at time and some are sent away never to see society again. Most recidivate with in two years of being released due to the lack of opportunities that exist for them in society. For the one that has never been incarcerated imagine being stuck on a desolate Island then being rescued 10yrs later and placed back into society to only start from scratch. The only difference from you and an incarcerated person is that maybe one day upon your arrival you nay find some type of employment. People coming out of prison automatically have one strike against them .And that is being a convicted felon. Being a felon and applying for a job above a janitorial service or in a fast food restaurant requires for a more extensive questionare.And you may not get hired for the sole purpose of one box on the application and that is : If you are a convicted felon please check yes or no. Regardless of your skills do you think that these people will hire you of not even call you back. Thats what many Men & Women leaving out of the prison system’s of America have to deal with.
Incarceration is exploited by two major factors Economics & Politics. Most prisons are built in Rural Communities close to a wooded area where the occupants have little to no revenue to keep the town moving. So the prison industrial complex make a proposal to build a state or federal prison in that area. So that the occupants can have revenue. These prisons’s also build jobs and a work force for these people. So that they can complete with society as a whole and won’t be left behind. So the government blow a how in the middle of a mountain and place a umber of 1,000 to 1,500 inmate’s in it. Before these prison’s comes to these types of places the occupants live in sort of a third world country. Many may not have had running water. And still use the facilities of an out house for a restroom.
These type’s of moves help politicians gain more recognition because they help these people produce a living. And this way of thinking is the mind set of most politicians. Lock up as my black, brown & poor whites as you an and we will deal with the back lash on the back end. Persons are used by politicians as a bargaining tool for the citizens of many cities & counties in this country. In the 1960’s the politicians in most cities and states vowed to fight crime and push stiffer sentences and laws because the citizens of many states push the political leader’s’s of their city or state to do something about crime. This is called the panic of the public. And politicians love this . It gives them a free for all to advocate. For new laws and these tactics continue to be the case again in the 70’s to bring abut the organization control act hence RICO then against in the 80’s where the federal government took parole from federal inmates in 1987. Then the numerous which was found more in the black & brown communities got more time than those that sold or possessed regular cocaine. Now some politicians are begging to realize that the incarcerations of black’s and brown is hurting the pockets of the government and hurting communities & society as a whole. Incarcerating people at a substantial rate doesn’t mean that they are getting help or that they will be deterred due to the fact that many prisons’ don’t have the type of programs’ to offer them in order for them to adapt to society. Here are a few things’ that incarceration brings about:
(1) Housing instability for those entering in society; According to the housing report’s in some cities a felon is not allowed to live with those that occupied apartment in their apartment complex. Thanks to Bill Clinton and his H.U.D. Bill of 1993. Men & Women coming out of prison’s’s will need a stable place to stay.
(2) A weak family structure; Majority of those who are incarcerated families are not able to put up with the stress & strains that come with dealing with a person & strain’s that come with dealing with a person in prison. So therefore the family ties that one has with loved one’s become more & more invisible throughout the year’s. Prison break’s up families killing the family structure.
(3) Job’s; Most men & women leaving out of prison has a slim chance of gaining employment and if they do they are required to work for low wage’s. In a society where $26,000 is still below the poverty line.
(4) Incarceration and the prison industrial complex has a big impact on this nations already troubling communities brings’s about a great social, divide in this country between the citizens of society and a class of people that sits out side of society and is considered an out sider. This leaves a large foot print in society. these problems must be dealt with and solutions have to be established if anything is to be done about this.
Here are just few solution’s to this growing problem:
(1) stop building prisons;
(2) The time that one has to serve shall be proportionate at best to the seriousness of the crime;
(3) The minimum should be imposed for each crime and not the maximum
(4) The politicians, law enforcement & the system as a whole must stop looking at most incidents by race and focus on the crime one commits and give the proper time regardless of race. And curve racial discrimination in the justice system.
(5) Down sizing, even though that’s not enough. We need fewer prisons and more learning institutions;
(6) New re-entry and job programs need to be built up to secure those leaving from prison a better chance, and bring about an psychological program to aid and assist those in prison from post traumatic stress syndrome. Most men & women have to learn how to adapt to society and cope with the psychological effect prison has on and individual
These are only some solutions how ever there is much more that must be done.