Ending Mass Incarceration

Ending Mass Incarceration

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Jared Wright started this petition to ACLU of Northern CA

Policing and incarceration are deeply rooted in our country’s history of slavery. African Americans are in a constant struggle avoiding racism in California’s current social system which ultimately leads to the mass incarceration of people with color. The criminal justice system is perhaps the clearest example of structural racism in the United States. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the overwhelming burden of contact with the system has fallen on communities of color, especially African Americans. As recorded, African Americans are twice as likely as their white counterparts to have a family member imprisoned at some point during their childhood. With overall incarceration rates more than 500 percent higher than they were forty years ago, African Americans are now at a much greater risk of contact with the system than any previous generation. 

This clear discrimination in our law enforcement and judicial system takes heavy burdens on young people of color, specifically young black men. Currently one out of three black boys born today can expect to be sentenced to prison, compared to one out of six Latino boys and one out of seventeen white boys. This undeniable issue causes black communities to live in fear of law enforcement when in essence their purpose is meant to protect these local communities. It's also clearly evident that this is not a global issue, but instead is a blatant American issue. This causes an undeniable cycle of structural racism.

Although African Americans have fought for hundreds of years for equal rights and freedom, there still is an issue with mass incarceration and institutionalized racism. In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population. It’s hard to believe that African Americans only make up roughly 12% of the total US population, but yet they make up 34% of the 6.8 million correctional population. This clearly shows the mass incarceration of African Americans and the large amount of this population that will lose many opportunities in life due to this issue. In addition to making up a third of the correctional population, African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites. These facts clearly expose the institutionalized racism that leads to mass incarceration of African Americans. 

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