In week 16 chapter 9 we discussed incarceration and its effects on African American men and their overall population. According to the textbook, it explains how jails exist for three reasons. They are used to hold inmates who are waiting for their trials and cannot pay bail to get themselves out and they are also used for inmates who need to make a court appearance and it is used for those who need to serve sentences for a year or less so those who are sentenced for 364 days and under would spend time in jails.
When it comes to prisons and jails, the book explains how jails are administered at the county level while prisons are run by both the state and federal levels. Jails are used to hold inmates for a year and under, prisons hold them for sentences that last greater than a year. Prisons themselves hold inmates convicted of state crimes as well as federal crimes that take place in their region and are more likely to house more dangerous inmates convicted of more serious and violent crimes when compared to those taking place in the jail systems.
Private Prisons are said to be the largest private corporation in the prison industry. In 2005 the Private Prison industry is said to have their total revenue to be about $1.2 billion. Private prisons are described as being more of a “leasing” system than a prison system. These prisons hold inmates who need to be incarcerated longer than a year but they can be shipped to other states for their sentence terms if there is not enough beds or even room for them in their current prison, this happens a lot in areas that are more crowded like cities in urban areas . Private Prisons are mostly located in the “economically depressed south and southwest regions of the country”.
The term “total institution” was coined by Goffman, the term total institution is described to be “a breakdown of the barriers ordinarily separating these three phases of life” while the three phases are explained to be sleep, work and play. With these institutions, all of the aspects of life happen in the same place so you would work, play and sleep within the same vicinity or within close quarters of one another. Each phase also has others participating in them as well so they are doing these activities together as more of a team and a community. All of the work, sleep and play phases are scheduled and planned out in an attempt to make sure the switch between activities happen and happen smoothly as they go.
President Reagan added the term “Drug Czar” to the War on Drugs campaign. The war on drugs itself was not strictly focused on criminalizing substances, its focus was to add stricter sentencing guidelines which were used to require “longer sentences, mandatory minimums” as well as implementing other policies and rules. There are currently 2 million inmates, so 45% of inmates in the federal and state prisons are locked away for nonviolent drug offenses.
Due to mass incarceration of African Americans, whites are said to both implicitly and explicitly benefit due to their incarceration. Since these men are locked away, they are removed from the labor force and seen negatively in the political systems making it easier for white to obtain jobs and also gain political power hence making it easier for whites to move up the ladder and quicker paces.
Within the prison system, 6-10% of women are incarcerated. The book explains how 2.6 million Americans are incarcerated while about 150,000 of them are women, explaining how men are much more likely to be incarcerated when compared to women. Gender differences associated with prisons are due to reproductive health, child-rearing, and childbearing. 285 out of 1,000 African American men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes which means how 1 in 3 African American men will be incarcerated during their lifetimes.
Some of the stereotypes that tend to justify the high rate of incarceration for African Americans is the ideas that: African Americans commit more crime” than whites do. In actuality there are some crimes that blacks to commit more than white, although there are also some crimes whites do more than blacks, the generalization of all crimes being highly committed to African Americans explains how they are instantly stereotyped as the overall bad guys who need to end up in prison for their actions.
Between 1880 and 1930 it is estimated that 10,000 African American men were lynched because they were “accused of raping white women” causing them to be lynched by mobs before they were scheduled to appear in court hearings.