Site Loader

Josue D. LopezMr.WallerEnglish IPeriod 8thMass Incarceration and the War on Drugs     People of color make up 30% of the United States population, but 60% of the population in prisons. “The prison population grew by 700% from 1970 to 2005″(Kerby) and it mostly impacted people of color. The reason for massive growth of colored prisoners is caused by the laws that were made from past presidents. Laws that caused this massive growth of prisoners were the 3 strikes law, Crime bill, Drug Laws. The 13th amendment was an amendment that also caused mass incarceration. This comes to show that the War on Drugs and mass incarceration negatively affects the image of Latinos and African Americans  but not as many caucasians.Media has negatively affected the image of African Americans. According to research, “1 in 3 black males will go to prison in their lifetime” (Knafo). “Back in 1915 when Birth of a Nation was released, and its purpose was to show the people that black people are monsters and rapist. In one scene you could see a former slave chasing his former white mistress after she turns down his proposal of marriage, and she jumps off a cliff to her death rather than risk being caught”(Lumenick). When you turn on the TV and go to the news you’ll mostly see African American males commiting crimes and going to jail because of, violence, gangs, or use any drugs. All of those people get sentenced to lifetime because of crucial laws. The 3 strikes law basically states that if you commit 3 crimes, you’ll get sentenced to prison for a certain amount of  years.Drug laws and policing mostly target latinos. Police are known to target inner cities where poor people of color live. They know that that’s where all the dealers, consumers, and gang members are at. According to research ¨1 in 6 latinos are expected to go to jail in their lifetime¨(Federal). The 1 to 100 law says that people found with one gram of crack it equaled to having 100 grams of cocaine, and this law is against the working class because crack is mostly used by the lower class while cocaine is used by rich people.Even though they are the same substance, a lower class citizen with one gram of crack would get time in jail. as for a caucasian, he will receive low charges and take drug classes for having one-hundred grams of cocaine. The 1994 Crime Bill was created to make longer mandatory sentences and reclassified misdemeanors to felony. “1994 law applies to all felonies- so it strikes frequently at drug users” (Jones).The War on Drugs doesn’t affect caucasians as much. Policing is less likely to target people in the suburbs or rich areas where the majority of caucasians live. If a caucasian gets caught with any type of drug he is most likely to get low charges and sent to drug classes instead of jail time. The reason that they don’t go to jail is because they can afford a lawyer and most of the time they win. As for color people, majority of them can’t afford a lawyer so they get assigned to a public defender and most of the time they don’t end up winning the case. “Caucasians make up 64% of the U.S. population, but caucasians only make up 39% of the prison population. African Americans make 40%  of the prison population and latinos make up 19% of the prison population”(Initiative). During Ronald Reagan’s presidency he cut off education, healthcare, and welfare from those people who had committed felonies. In conclusion the War on Drugs has negatively affected people with color but not as many caucasians. The media has negatively affected the image of  African Americans; making them seem like monsters and rapists. Latinos have also been affected by this because policing mostly targets them. As for caucasians they are less targeted and they less likely to go to jail. There are possible solutions to reduce the mass incarceration and solution to fix laws. For example, they can offer people drug treatment, change legal discrimination, and harm reduction among races. This can help people of color because they are the ones that are mostly getting affected as well as their future.  Work Cited Page”Federal Bureau of Prisons.” BOP Statistics: Inmate Ethnicity, statistics_inmate_ethnicity.jsp.Initiative, Prison Policy. “Breaking Down Mass Incarceration in the 2010 Census.” Breaking Down Mass Incarceration in the 2010 Census | Prison Policy Initiative,, Sabrina. “The Real Cost of Prisons Project.” The Real Cost of Prisons Project,, Sophia. “The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States.” Center for American Progress, 29 May 2015, www.americanprogress .org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/.Knafo, Saki. “1 In 3 Black Males Will Go To Prison In Their Lifetime, Report Warns.” The Huffington Post,, 4 Oct. 2013,, Lou. “Why ‘Birth of a Nation’ is still the most racist movie ever.” New York Post. February 08, 2015. Accessed January 31, 2018.

Post Author: admin


I'm Erica!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out