Conversations about the incarceration system has been growing rapidly due to the massive increase of people of color being incarcerated in the United States. My research topic is “ Does the increasing rates of incarceration lead to the oppression of people of color.” The communities that I am trying to reach are the oppressed people of color, social activists and the department of justice. The position that I want to persuade is that the increasing rates of incarceration does in fact lead to oppression of people of color due to the fact that black inmates make up nearly 40 percent of the prison population and make up 13.4 percent of the total U.S population, also once the accused is out of jail they lose some of their rights and this also has an impact on their mental health, and with the increasing rates of incarceration of people of color the rates for white people incarcerated are significantly lower than those who are latino and black.
When the accused come out of jail they lose majority of their rights such as the right to bear arms, the right to vote, and sometimes they aren’t able to apply to certain jobs due to being a felon even if they were wrongfully incarcerated. This can impact their lives due to the fact that after being in jail it is hard to find a job or make a living which indirectly forces felons to break the law to either feed themselves or their family. That isnt always the case, because some states have believe in incarceration but believe in rehabilitation which gives the accused another chance at life, and a better chance than once they would have received if they were incarcerated for their crimes or wrongfully incarcerated. My issue is something with real consequences today because the incarceration rates for blacks are still higher than whites in every state, and there is a major gap considering the population. This also goes into the factor of mental health because while being incarcerated your mental health takes a big hit. Prison is known as an unsafe and unhealthy environment, according to Good Therapy,”The Effects of Incarceration on Mental Health” an article posted by Zawn Villines, Villnes said “The DOJ reports that 70,000 prisoners are sexually abused every year, and assaults, fights, and other acts of violence are common in a prison setting……This ongoing climate of trauma can create anxiety, depression, phobias, and PTSD in prisoners who previously had no serious mental health issues.” This goes to show that someone who has a history of mental health issues or someone who has/had no past health issues is now in the environment that can create mental trauma that can lead to mental health issues.This is why I feel the increasing rates of incarceration lead to the oppression of people of color.
I find it crazy that in the United States alone people of color are found to be incarcerated alot more than those who are white. There has been a lot of studies showing the major difference in population in the prison system when it comes to incarceration. One of these studies have been done by the NAACP where they have stated, “Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.” The study taken by the NAACP has shown that there is a major difference in race for the amount of incarcerated persons in 2015 in the United States alone. With the rapid increase of incarceration of hispanics and blacks, tons of social activist groups have came out of the dark, or has had the spotlight shone on them to address and inform people such as other social activist groups and the Department of Justice about the increasing rates of incarceration of blacks and hispanics that can further lead to the oppression of people of color. This is another reason why I am addressing the rapid increase of incarceration of hispanics and blacks to further the conclusion that the increasing rates of incarceration can lead to the oppression of people of color.
And at last, the last message that I am trying to inform my audience is that with the increasing rates of incarceration of people of color the rates for white people incarcerated are significantly lower than those who are latino and black. This is the major factor on oppression of people of color due to incarceration. The United States of America is viewed as the country with the most incarcerated rate, with African Americans leading the rates of incarceration in America. There have been books and movies such as “The Other Wes Moore” which talks about incarceration of black people and the effects on their social life and mental health due and why this is more of the reason why the Department of Justice should use rehabilitation as much as they use incarceration, and a movie that also goes hand to hand with this topic is the Netflix movie called “13th” which informs the audience about the prison system and how the 13th amendment allows people to be used as slaves, doing labor due to the fact that the 13th amendment says that any acts of slavery was abolished unless when it is punishment for a crime. There are also studies showing the major difference in race when it comes to incarceration, according to prisonpolicy.org they made a graph of the amount of people incarcerated per race in the 2010s and with the race with the lowest amount of 380 was white, and the race with the highest amount standing at 2,207 was blacks. This study goes to show that there is a significant difference in race for incarceration of whites and blacks with further adds on to my belief that incarceration can lead to the oppression of people of color.
I find it shameful that a country wouldn’t take this opportunity to use rehabilitation more than incarceration due to the massive difference in race when it comes to incarceration in the United States, Social activists fighting for the lives of those who were wrongfully incarcerated ad for those who are incarcerated, and how the Prison environment isn’t for anyone and can lead to mental issues even when you had no past history of it. This enforming essay was made to inform anyone of the audiences that incarceration does in fact lead to oppression of people of color.