Essay by Cyber AngelUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 1997

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Description: The title pretty much says it all in this one. This paper

addresses the issue of blacks in prison and explores the socio-economic

causes and solutions. This paper uses many govermentally commissioned


Blacks, Prison, and Institutional Racism


Criminal justice and security is one of the largest industries in the United

States. Such a statistic is (and rightly so) of great concern to Afro-Americans

because a disproportionate percentage of individuals under the control of

the US Criminal Justice System are from the Black community. This paper

will look at the alarming statistics and attempt to trace the roots of the

disparity. It will then consider the affects and explore possible solutions

to the expanding problem.

The Imprisoned Black Youth

Black communities throughout the U.S. are witnessing the institutionalization

of their youth. Of course institutionalization is nothing new to Afro-Americans,

it is something Blacks have faced since their existence in this country.

In the beginning Blacks were forced into the institution of slavery. After

the abolition of slavery Blacks faced institutional racism, that is, racism

legitimated by the whole of society directed against the few of society.

As a facet of that institutional racism Blacks are now forced to persevere

the increasing trend of control by the US Criminal Justice System. Control

by the USCJS includes the probation, parole, imprisonment, and death of

Blacks. A study conducted by the Sentencing Project in 1989 found tat more

than one-fourth of all Blacks between the age of 20 and 29 are under the

control of the USCJS . This alarming figure becomes more so when you consider

their are more Blacks in prison in this age group than their are all Blacks

in college . This clearly reveals what is meant by the institutionalization

of our...