Skip to comments.As I See It: High Rate of Black Incarceration Is Challenge To Us All
Posted on 04/18/2003 9:14:30 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
With little protest from its crime-weary citizens, the United States has become the prison camp of the Western world, locking up 2 million of its population. Young black men are a disproportionate number of the inmates. Among men between 20 and 34, 1.4 percent of white men and 4 percent of Hispanic men are behind bars. But 12 percent of black men in that same age group are incarcerated, according to the Justice Department.
That is a stunning statistic. No community can survive the effective loss of so many of its young men.
And the 12 percent figure manages to minimize the crisis, since it is a snapshot of the prison population over any given day. According to Allen Beck, chief demographer for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 30 percent of black men will be incarcerated during their lives.
Yet you hear little outcry from civil rights advocates. Al Sharpton has campaigned against slavery in Sudan. Jesse Jackson battles gender segregation at Augusta National. Georgia civil rights activist Tyrone Brooks protests the possible return of the Confederate battle flag to the state Capitol.
But the high rate of incarceration -- which is decimating the black working class -- is not the central focus of civil rights advocates. How could that be? It is the single most daunting challenge to black America today because it creates the conditions that lead to other failures.
Already, nearly 70 percent of black children are born outside the bonds of marriage -- leaving those children more vulnerable to educational failure, drug abuse and early parenthood themselves. A community is in trouble when children born to two-parent families represent a minority.
But with so many men of marriageable age behind bars, there is little hope for rebuilding the black family structure. Even when released from prison, those men will make poor prospects for marriage. With criminal histories, they will not easily find good jobs. Moreover, hard time in prison often turns a bad criminal into a worse one -- a man who will be disinclined to rejoin society on any but the most destructive terms.
Clearly, there are among black prisoners many violent felons who deserve their sentences. They are men who rob, murder, rape and maim, making war zones of their neighborhoods. The presence of violent predators not only endangers the lives of law-abiding citizens, but it also ruins economic prospects. Down-at-the-heels neighborhoods have a chance at rebirth only when their streets are safe.
But America's criminal justice system does a poor job of separating the hardened criminal from the minor offender with a shot at rehabilitation -- especially if the offenders are black. Research shows that black men are more likely to be imprisoned for minor offenses, while white men are more likely to be given probation for the same crimes.
This impulse to imprison black men now stretches to include the man-child. Frightened by a few highly publicized juvenile crimes, politicians began imposing harsher sanctions on juvenile offenders in the early 1990s. Predictably, the lash has fallen more frequently on black and brown boys than white.
Among young people who have never been to a juvenile prison, blacks are more than six times as likely as whites to be sentenced by juvenile courts to prison time, according to a 2000 report, "And Justice for Some," issued by the Justice Department and several foundations. For those charged with drug offenses, black youths are 48 times more likely than whites to be sentenced to juvenile prisons, the report said.
It is now possible to visit black neighborhoods where most of the young men have disappeared, where families spend their Sundays visiting their incarcerated loved ones, where boys believe going to prison is a rite of manhood. Those neighborhoods cannot hope to offer their residents a route into the American mainstream.
The epidemic of incarceration ought to be the full-time preoccupation of every civil rights group -- indeed, every human rights group -- in the country. It represents a grave threat to the future not only of black America but to all of America.
Cynthia Tucker is editorial page editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com.
Private correctional facilities, employs the cheapest labor without social protection, a prosperous business in 27 states and 120 penitentiaries. Prisoners work for Microsoft, Starbucks and Jansport and others.
There is some belief efforts are under way to export private prisons to Latin American and Europe seeking greater profits.
California has one of the largest prison systems in the world with more public funds slated to the prison system than what goes to education.
The tragedy is not that these people are somehow (inferentially for no reason of their own) in prison. It is that they got sent to prison because they did not learn civilized behavior. The errors are in their parents, their schools, their institutions (such as churches, etc.), and in their communities generally.
And yet, it is precisely such people as Tucker who will resist tooth and nail demanding "moral" standards in schools, "moral" standards in institutions, responsibility where it is most important -- and most lacking -- in the biological sources of these prisoners otherwise known as their parents.
Unfortunately, they commit a disproportionate number of the crimes. I don't understand how that is difficult to understand.
Hmmm ive never been to a church where they teach drug dealing, murder, rape, pediphelia and the such do thy all belong to sam blacks satanic church?
More Government Proof Tucked Away
Why doesn't the press report this?
The Report: "The racial distribution of arrestees for rape is similar to the racial distribution for all violent UCR arrests--56% of arrestees for rape in 1995 were "white," 42% were Black, and 2% were of other races."
[The 1995 FBI Uniform Crime Reports is being cited here.]
[Quotation marks around "Whites" added because DOJ includes most Hispanics as whites.]
To confuse rather than elucidate, the DOJ and the FBI classify most Hispanics as "White", although the majority of Hispanics are non-white. The category "Other" refers to American Indians and Orientals. Offenders from the Middle East, India, Pakistan, etc. are also classified as "White". Therefore, I've placed quotation marks around White where ever it appears in the DOJ text.
Greenfeld boldly misleads casual readers! In the 3-page Executive Summary (1/97, NCJ-163931, p. 1) for the full 39-page report, the BJS Statistician Lawrence Greenfeld comments: "Federal statistical series obtaining data on arrested or convicted persons... show a remarkable similarly in the characteristics of those characterized as rapists:... 6 in 10 are "white",..." (?) If the Department of Justice would separate Hispanics from Whites, whites would be less than half of the offenders, possible only one-third. However, even 6 in 10 is not a "remarkable similarity," especially when 72% of the population is non-Hispanic whites. When less than half the offenders are of any one race, there is no similarity. In the Executive Summary, Greenfeld draws the wrong conclusion to mislead readers without the time or inclination to check out and understand the full report.
"Rapes with Black offenders and black victims were about twice as likely as "white-on-white" rapes to involve the use of a gun or knife (14% versus 7%), but interracial rapes, black-on-white or white-on-black [of course White-on-Black rapes are so scarce that this statistic more accurately reflects Black-on-White rapes], were equally likely to involve the use of a gun or knife (about 22%)."
Offenders in State prison Characteristic All Violent Rape Sexual Assault Estimated number
of offenders, 1994
429,400 33,800 54,300 Male 96.2% 99.6% 98.8% Female 3.8 0.4 1.2 "White" 48.1 52.2 73.9 Black 48.2 43.7 22.8 Other 3.7 4.1 3.3
Note in the above statistics that while Black males make up only about 6% of the US population, they commit over half of all violent crimes and over 43% of all rapes. The "Other" category is primarily Asian-American and American Indian.
MURDERS INVOLVING SEXUAL ASSAULT
WSW: The following table details the "characteristics of known offenders in murders involving sexual assault from 1976-94."
Source: FBI, Supplementary Homicide Reports.
Sexual assault murder victims differ markedly from other murder victims. Compared to all murder victims, those who died as a consequence of a sexual assault were substantially more likely to be female and "White."
Note that Black men (6% of the population) are over-represented according to their race by a factor of more than eight (for all murders) and by a factor of more than six (for all murders involving sexual assault). If you'd rather compare by race alone, the factors are four-plus and three-plus, respectively.
RAPE VICTIM CHARACTERISTICS
WSW: The following is a breakdown of the characteristics of murder victims and sexually assaulted murder victims according to the FBI Supplementary Homicide Reports.
INTRA & INTER-RACIAL SEXUAL ASSAULTS
This next information was tucked away at the bottom of the report. Too bad, it's quite illuminating.
About 8 out of 10 sexual assault murders were interracial [within the race]. "White" victims and "White" offenders accounted for 55% of sexual assault murders, Black victims and Black offenders accounted for 24% of all murders involving sexual assault. [However,] 2% involved Black victims and "White" offenders, 15% involved "White" victims and Black offenders, and the remainder involved victims and offenders of other races. [Quotation marks around Whites added because DOJ includes most Hispanics as Whites.]
For Black on "White" compared to "White" on Black, there are 8 times more Blacks committing sexual assault murders on "Whites." Since "Whites" outnumber Blacks 8 to 1 in the American population, the per capita ration is 64 to 1.
Add this to your post of :"Young black men are a disproportionate number of the inmates." Unfortunately, they commit a disproportionate number of the crimes. I don't understand how that is difficult to understand.
Gee, I wonder who is responsible for both of these statistics? The blacks who commit the crimes and impregnate women and leave them? NAH! It MUST be SOCIETY'S fault!
No wonder so many young white kids are desperately drawn to urban culture. No responsibility, no fault, no condemnation, no judgment, automatic deferential treatment by government agencies, automatic advantages in employment/scholarships/social programs, automatic deferential treatment any time you cry "I'm offended!"... what hedonistic teenager wouldn't be drawn to a set-up like that?
Part of the problem is many of these crimes are victimless ones. Also, it can't be denied that if you have money and influence, you can make the "justice system" work for you. If you don't have money or influence, you're screwed in many areas of the country.
It would be better to repeal most laws, except for ones involving harming another person, property crimes, or fraud.
Those found guilty of serious crimes such as murder, rape, or massive fraud (such as identity theft or framing someone for a serious crime) would be taken out and hanged the next day.
Those found guilty of lesser crimes would be punished via a restitution system whereby the victim was made whole (and then some).
Such an approach would remove the serious problems from the gene pool, reduce crime, and improve the quality of life for all decnet Americans. It would also put a lot of politicians and cops out of work, so it would probably never fly.
We Republicans are trying to make the schools accountable to teach real information and skills to African-American children so they can access mainstream America's jobs and success.
And we Republicans are trying to instill a sense in the country that morality and parental responsibility do matter. But this part ultimately must come from African-American leaders that set examples.
If the Democrats continue to fight us on both of these fronts and African-Americans continue to throw in their lot with the Dems, then African-Americans will continue to be losers.
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