Presentation on theme: "Nowadays there is a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration. These cycles weakens too many of our communities. Many parts of the criminal."— Presentation transcript:
Nowadays there is a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration. These cycles weakens too many of our communities. Many parts of the criminal justice system worsens these problems rather than lessening them. Americans go to prison for way too long a lot of times for a reason that appears to not be good enough. (Holder, 2013) THE PROBLEM
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone is entitled to the same rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind. This includes race, color and sex. All persons including those of color have the right to be equal before the law without any discrimination. They are entitled to equal protection under the law. You are entitled to a fair and public hearing by independent and impartial people. People are entitled to be presumed innocent until they found guilty and are entitled to a public trial. (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, n.d.)
Though people are entitled to these rights, there is an overcrowding of colored people in our prison system. How can people be entitled to a trial but not offered the same level of defense in order to defend their freedom. Many people of color that are involved in the criminal justice system cannot afford an attorney and as a result, they are afforded one by the court. The public defender is so overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do that they can barely remember your name, let alone what brings you to court. They are unable to provide you with the attention that you need in order to ensure that you get the best defense as possible. From the very beginning, you are working at a disadvantage.
One of every three young black men will end up being incarcerated at some point in their life. These rates surpass any other demographic group. Black males are incarcerated 7 times more than the rate for white males. In the United States, one of every nine black man between the ages of twenty and thirty four is behind bars. (Starr & Rehavi, 2013) THE FACTS
Prosecutors have power in making plea bargains and charges against an offender. They have a huge amount of discretion when deciding which charges they should bring against the offender and where they want to use their discretion. This discretion has a huge impact on sentences Prosecutors have the discretion to bring a charge against an offender that has a mandatory minimum sentencing. These mandatory minimum sentences are twice as likely to be charged against black defendants(Ryan, 2012) THE LEGAL SYSTEM
200,000 youth are prosecuted in adult court every year Youth who are tried in adult courts are there no matter how minor their offense is. When youth are placed in the adult jail, are usually isolated from the other adult inmates in the prison. This puts the youth at risk for mental health disorders as well as at risk for suicide. (Ryan, 2012) HOW THE LEGAL SYSTEM AFFECTS YOUTH
Youth that are held in adult facilities at risk for abuse, sexual victimization, sexual assault, suicide and death. Inmates under the age of 18 are 21 percent of the victims of inmate on inmate sexual violence in jails. Federal laws that protect youth from the danger of adult jails and lockups do not apply to youth who are prosecuted as adults. (Ryan, 2012)
African American youth make up 62 percent of the youth that are prosecuted in the adult criminal system. They are nine times more like to receive an adult prison sentence rather than youth that are white. (Ryan, 2012)
Many people convicted of a felony have difficulty finding employment. When they are on interviews, they are asked what crime did they commit. Though they have served their time, they are truly never able to move on. They have the constant reminder of the crime in which they committed. This is why the rate of recidivism is so high because when they are unable to find jobs, they revert to a life of crime in order to make ends meet.
We as a community need to stand together and fight for equality in sentencing. We need to reach out to our local government officials. Drug offenses should not come with more time than a murder. As a drug offender, you lose so many rights when you come out of prison. These rights include not being able to live in public housing which can cause you to become homeless and not being eligible for public assistance depending on what state you reside in. There are so many difficulties that you encounter coming out of prison that sometimes cause you to go back to prison. The government really needs to look at their sentencing guidelines and make some changes. WHAT SHOULD WE AS A COMMUNITY DO?
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(n.d.). Retrieved from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: www.un.org/en/documents/udhr Asscher, J. J., Dekovic, M., Van der Laan, P. H., Prins, P. J., & Van Arum, S. (2007). Implementing randomized experiments in criminal justice settings: An evaluation of multi-systemic therapy and the Netherlands. J Exp Criminal, 113-129. Griffin Jr., C. L., Sloan, F. A., & M, E. L. (2014). Corrections for Racial Disparities in Law Enforcement. William and Mary Law /review, 1364-1383. Holder, E. (2013). Bold Steps to Reform and Stregthen america's Criminal Justice System. Vital Speeches of the Day, 308-312. Ryan, L. (2012). Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System. 1167-1184. Starr, S. B., & Rehavi, M. M. (2013). Mandatory sentencing and racial disparity: Assessing the Role of Prosecutors and the Effects of Booker. The Yale Law Journal, 1- 21. REFERENCES