There are over millions of people incarcerated but African Americans and Latinos make up most of the prison population. To attempt to stop certain problems, the criminal justice system just put people behind bars and expects that everything will be fine, when in reality it isn’t because now the jails are becoming overcrowded. Dealing with the drug war, racial profiling, and people growing up in low-income neighborhoods and high-poverty rates, minorities have a higher inmate ratio but the drug war is the greatest cause of why the minority inmate ratio is so high.
Since the year 1980 the numbers for incarcerated minorities has been staggering but for some reason they have always been higher than the whites. According to the new Census data, “In 1980, the number of blacks living in college dorms was roughly equal to the number in prison. ” Following the years after 1980, minorities began to get a higher percentage each year, and these results are shown in the most recent census. Minorities and whites got treated differently when it came to suspecting crime and giving punishments for the crime especially after the war on drugs started.
Throughout the years minorities in the U. S. are receiving high incarceration rates because of the drug war that eventually failed. People only blame the drug war to the reason why minorities have a high incarceration rate but there are more possible, exceptional reasons. The least probable cause is growing up in low-income and high-poverty neighborhoods. Minorities have a tendency to grow up in high poverty and low-income neighborhoods, which cause them to want to commit crimes, mostly robbery, to apprehend money so that they can support their family and their supposed needs and wants.
But, being unemployed, having a hard time finding a job, living mostly in bad neighborhoods with trash and run-down houses, should not be the need for minorities to commit a robbery because to the law that is not an acceptable way to commit a crime to get money. Minorities commit these robberies for their own personal gain and sometimes in the midst of hurting others. So, they end up in jail because they are selfish and want to find a way to get money, so they go out and commit crimes. A more realistic cause is the unfair treatment that minorities receive from the police and criminal justice system.
Police target minorities, suspecting that they will commit crimes just because of their ethnicity. Minorities have to deal with a lot of racial profiling from the police because they suspect so much from minorities. According to Ethnic Majority, “The most common example of police racial profiling is DWB, otherwise known as driving while black. This refers to the practice of police targeting African Americans for traffic stops because they believe that African Americans are more likely to be engaged in criminal activity.
Even though police racial profiling is illegal, police are allowed to stop people and ask to search the vehicle for weapons and contraband; minorities are far more likely to stop and their vehicle searched, so this boosts the minority inmate ratio because police usually find something in their car and arrest them. According to Drug Policy, “Unequal treatment of minority group members pervades every stage of the criminal justice system. ” Many minorities get arrested because they are unfairly targeted by the police.
The most realistic cause is the war on drugs. Minorities get picked up for drug offenses more than whites. Drug Policy states, “The rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men are thirteen times greater than the rate for white men. ” Even though all races do drugs, minorities are more likely to be arrested and convicted of drug possession. Most minorities are in jail or prison because of the failed drug war. The drug war has been going on for decades and studies show that most minorities are in jail or prison due to drugs.
Drugs are mostly sold in the low-income, high-poverty neighborhoods and the police men target these neighborhoods because they believe that these neighborhoods is where most of the crime is committed; that is why they target these neighborhoods to find drugs. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. These statistics show that minorities, especially African Americans have to pay the price, using their lives by going to jail or prison. Other races are just as guilty with the drug war but minorities are targeted more than the other races. The main cause to why there is a higher minority inmate ratio in jails and prisons is the war on drugs. But because of the war on drugs the police unfairly target minorities in the low income and high poverty neighborhoods.
The police believe that most drugs are sold on the streets of these neighborhoods so they use a proactive policing system to find someone that is selling drugs. Most police racial profiling is done in the high poverty and low-income neighborhoods. Drug Policy also states, “Racial profiling, street sweeps, buy and bust operations and other police activities have targeted people in street level retail drug transactions in low-income communities of color. ” Minorities and white drug offenders seem to get different sentences, and different treatment from the criminal justice system.
According to Drug Policy: Blacks and Latinos are victimized by unfair treatment by police; by racially skewed charging and plea bargaining decisions by prosecutors; by discriminatory sentencing practices and by the failure of judges, elected officials and other criminal justice policy makers to redress the inequities that have come to permeate the system. Minorities that come from low-income neighborhoods are perceived as criminals because of where they come from; police think that because minorities live in these types of communities and they are subjected to commit crimes that go along with drugs.
Pertaining to the drug war, the police unlawfully target these neighborhoods to find minorities that seem like they are up to no good and selling drugs or just looking to catch somebody doing something that is against the law. Some studies and organizations show that minorities not only get arrested for drugs but whites also get arrested and receive the same sentences for the crimes and the reason that there is a more minority inmate ratio is because police seem to find more crime against minorities instead of whites. They argue that whites are just as likely to get arrested for the war on drugs as minorities are likely to get arrested.
CNN Justice stated,” For the first time since the war on drugs became a national law enforcement obsession in the mid-1980s, the number of African-Americans in state prisons for drug offenses has declined. ” They argue that the reason blacks are found in jail for drug offenses is because they are targeted just for the drug crack cocaine and minorities make it more obvious to be found for drugs. They argue that the police do not commit racial profiling because they treat all races and ethnicities the same in the criminal justice system and do not discriminate against anyone.
According to CNN Justice, “80 percent of crack offenders are black, while the rest are white or Hispanic. ” Most whites seem to get arrested for other drugs such as methamphetamine and more are being found and targeted. Studies in North Carolina also show that minorities receive similar sentences with whites that also have similar backgrounds. The study by North Carolina states, “35 percent of minority defendants received prison time compared with 28 percent of whites with similar backgrounds. They argue that minorities receive lesser sentences than whites and things are similar between the two races. The study that was done in the state of North Carolina is only covering that state and how minorities don’t have a higher percentage of inmates; the CNN justice study only showed instances of one drug to how whites have more inmates than blacks. These are just two instances to attempt to cover their argument, but comparing to the statistics and facts to high percentages of minority inmates it doesn’t match up.
The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Greensboro, North Carolina states, “The findings are misleading because many minorities are unfairly targeted by law enforcement. ” The percent of minority inmates have risen since the 1970s and have been reaching highs since then. According to the 2000 census, “The percentage of black inmates in North Carolina rose from 53 percent to 61 percent. ” This is influenced by the targeting of minorities from the criminal justice system and the drug war.
Minorities have always had a higher percentage of inmates compared to whites because of the war on drugs. Police racial profiling has caused unfair sentences for minorities; they are mostly unfairly targeted and racially profiled in low-income and high-poverty neighborhoods and the police target these neighborhoods because they believe that crime is mostly committed in these neighborhoods. Studies have come to show that minorities are more likely to receive longer sentencing; it seems as if minorities will not stop being targeted for crime because of their ethnicity, so minority numbers in prison will continue to rise.