Essay on the 13th (2016) Documentary: Revelation of a High Number of Black Americans in Prison

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  591 Words
Date:  2021-06-22

The documentary reveals that one out of four prisoners in the world is serving a sentence in the United States correctional facilities. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that it is illegal for someone to be locked up except as a punishment for being involved in crime. The exception in the 13th amendment has profoundly been exploited by the United States criminal justice system. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of African Americans behind bars. As a matter of fact, African Americans constitute the majority of prisoners in the United States correctional facilities. The paper argues that African Americans continue to face the brunt of the mass incarceration problem in the United States.

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In my opinion, mass incarceration is a serious problem in the United States. The United States incarcerates its citizens more times than any other country in the world. Most of the individuals who are incarcerated in the United States correctional facilities are ethnic and racial minorities. Studies have revealed that one in three black men, go to jail in the course of their lives. Racial disparities that are prevalent in the United States criminal justice system are a big concern. The disparities include sentencing disparities on the basis of race and ethnicity. Minorities are over represented in the United States criminal justice system with African Americans making the largest contribution. Interestingly, mass incarceration has led to the commercialization of prisons. Private prisons are operated by corporations that are only concerned about making a profit. The increase in the number of private prisons has hindered efforts to reform the criminal justice system. It is, therefore, not far-fetched to state that mass incarceration in the United States has become a profit-making venture.

I think the war on drugs has contributed a great deal to the high prevalence of African Americans in American prisons. The majority of African Americans without a college education prefer to engage in the selling of illegal drugs because of their limited economic opportunities. Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be apprehended on drug-related charges when compared to Caucasians. The number of people incarcerated on drug-related charges has increased. It has been revealed that many people tend to be admitted to prisons on the basis of drug charges than any other types of crime.

In my view, the United States criminal justice system should be reformed to address racial disparities in the United States correctional facilities. Racism in America plays a major role in the high levels of incarceration. Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are systemically denied access to economic freedom and stability. The denied access to economic freedom and stability has contributed a great deal to people of color engagement in deviant social behaviors such as crime. Economic racism has left racial minorities with no option but to turn to alternative means of meeting their economic needs. Many young men of color believe that the United States economic system has denied them an opportunity for upward mobility. As a result, criminal activities such as drug dealing have become attractive to many young people of color. African Americans have been harassed and battered by the criminal justice system. Unemployment rates among racial minorities are high when compared with unemployment rates among Caucasians. Studies have revealed that the black family structure has been mutated by racial discrimination that is prevalent in many spheres of American life, more so the prison system.

Work Cited

DuVernay, Ava. 13th: Crime film/Documentary. Los Angeles: Kandoo Films Inc. 2016. Video.

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Essay on the 13th (2016) Documentary: Revelation of a High Number of Black Americans in Prison. (2021, Jun 22). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/essay-on-the-13th-2016-documentary-revelation-of-a-high-number-of-black-americans-in-prison

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