Justice System or Failing System? Senator Jim Webb writes in Clear and Frost’s article, ” America’s Criminal Justice System has deteriorated to the point that it is a national disgrace. ” And that is the truth. The criminal justice system has many flaws that need to be fixed. There are several issues that need to be handled and dealt with properly. Tweaks need to be made to ensure that criminals are sentenced properly. But the way that criminals are picked out and failed by the system is preposterous.
Although the Justice System establishes rules and makes sense out of chaos, the justice system needs reform because 25% of the nation is incarcerated, there are more drug users than murderers or serial offenders, and there are private prisons that literally make money off of having prisoners. The American Justice System needs reform because 25% of the world’s prisoners are American and according to Laura Dimon, the United States has 5% of the world’s population. This is not because America is full of criminals or crime.
When America was first born, she was built on the backs of slaves and on the grounds of Indians that were drove off of their land. This is where the first mistake was made. From the start, the justice system has coincidentally persecuted colored people. When slavery was abolished, laws were created at a convenient time to keep colored people from being able to vote and have a say in how the country was ran. The justice system already has flaws, like pin pointing certain colors or ethnicities, and statistics with different percentages on incarceration rates is just a way of proving what some people already know.
The justice system is getting out of hand and it needs to be reformed before it is too late. Both Chris Coon and Thom Tillis also agree with Laura Dimon that the justice system is in desperate need of a change. Mike Lee states that there are 2 million people incarcerated in the United States of America. That is more than some countries that have triple America’s population. But all of those 2 million people in prison are not just murderers and the typical “bad guys. ” Most are drug users that happened to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All in all, the American Justice system needs to be reformed in order to ensure that the law is upheld the right way. The American Criminal Justice System needs reform because there are more drug users than actual murderers, rapist and other serious criminals. Laura Dimon writes that in the 1990’s, marijuana possession made up almost 80% of the arrests that occurred. This is just one example of how the criminal justice system is broken. Laura Dimon also writes that four out of every five arrests for drugs was for drug possession, not drug dealing.
According to Mike Lee, families were left torn apart by a “crime wave” that never actually existed. It was simply a cover story for the justice system to use to target colored people and people who live in the poorer communities. Rich white neighborhoods were not raided and stripped of all belongings. Rich, white neighborhoods were not persecuted for the use of cocaine. But black communities were regularly persecuted and torn apart for the smallest part of any type of drug. Crack is known as a white mans cocaine and crack actually carries a higher sentence than cocaine.
Crack is cheaper to buy so the poorer people would buy crack. Larger amounts of cocaine carried a shorter prison sentence compared to lesser amounts of crack, many people believe this was because cocaine was found in rich, white communities, where as crack was found in the poverty stricken black communities. The justice system also has more drug users instead of drug dealers incarcerated. Instead of going for the real problem, the drug dealers, the justice system is going after the drug users. This may make the streets of our cities appear safer, but really it is just a cover story.
Drug users are thrown into prison where no rehabilitation is given. At first glance, one would agree that a criminal should not receive help. But according to statistics, drug users in prison will most likely use again once released or will find a way to use the drug in prison. Drug users are also watched closely once released. Again, this might seem like a typical plan, but they are not monitored for the well being of that freed inmate or even for the well being of the citizens. Drug users are monitored when they are released because a drug user is more likely to get caught again.
Kelley states that there is a forty-five to fifty-five reincarnation rate of released inmates. Once being caught again, the inmate returns to prison. The inmate could be very likely sent to a private prison. Reformation of the criminal justice system needs to happen because private prisons are literally paid based on the amount of inmates in that prison. This is what funds the private prisons. Private prisons are run based on incarceration rates. Laura Dimon wrote that in 2000, more than 35% of prison admissions were parole violators.
This is just another statistic to prove that parole officers watch convicts and wait for a slip up. The typical sentencing for drug use is 5-10 years. Dimon writes that in other countries the sentence would only be six months. Also, after being charged with a felony three times, a life sentenced is issued. So if a drug user is caught three times, that means life in prison. That could also mean life in a private prison, which makes for an ironic situation that a felon would spend life in a privately funded place that depends on convicts to keep the doors open.
Todd Clear and Natasha Frost wrote that from 1997 to 1999 seven new prisons were opened in the state of Mississippi. This was to be able to hold all of the criminals that were arrested in the crime wave that supposedly occurred. This is just another reason why the criminal just system needs reform. It has been argued that the criminal justice system brings order to the chaos and helps to reduce crime rates. W. R. Kelley said that the increase in incarceration was a good look for America. It also helped Americans to feel safer.
In other words Kelley is saying that the rising rated in incarceration is a good thing. It is a valid point if the government did not pursue specific races or ethnicities. It would be a great idea to put into the minds of citizens. But the facts are simply not there. This would also be a valid point if the rising incarceration rates actually dropped crime rate, which it did not. In fact, crime rates actually grew right along with the rising incarceration rates. More families were torn apart than ever before and this led to a great jump in violence on the streets.
Kelley writes that more than 20% of today’s children grow up in poverty due to a family member being in prison. Kelley also says that seven percent of minority children have at least one parent in prison. Also, the crime rates did not just go up, the rate of crime was and is at an all time high. Police forces have started targeting easier people to catch. Tracking a case for years and years is becoming less popular and hard to prove. So instead of going for cartels and drug lords, drug users are targeted. Instead of going for a serial killer, burglars are caught.
The big bad wolves of the nation are left out there and not hunted and the meek criminals who committed basic offenses fill the cells of the prisons. This is yet another tragic reason why the criminal justice system needs to be reformed. The United States is in a world of trouble. If some sort of reform does not take place, there is no telling what the future will hold. Families need to quit being torn apart for private prisons. Colored people do not need to be the target anymore. History should not be our present and future.
There are endless possibilities on how drug users could be handled. Rehab could be an option instead of a five to ten year sentence. Reform needs to occur. It could occur if the government would open up the eyes of the criminal justice system. There is no need for private prisons. The idea of a private prison being funded by how many inmates there are is ridiculous. The money revenue should not be worth tearing families apart, ruining people’s lives, and making the chances of a convict getting a job nearly impossible.