As a young African American and white woman, I am concerned about the way that African Americans are treated when compared to white people in the criminal justice system. African Americans, latinas and more are being treated unfairly then white people when it comes to criminal justice. I say this because nearly 1 million of total 2.3 million people of color incarcerated are African Americans. Together, African Americans and Hispanics made up 58% of all the prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one-quarter of the U.S population. That’s crazy that there is a higher population of black and Hispanics that are in prison. Why do criminal justice systems give longer sentences to African Americans and other races than white people? People of color get longer sentences than white males for the same crimes. African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites. According to Unlocking America, if African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates of white people, prison and jail populations would go down by approximately 50%. Why can’t the criminal justice systems stay consistent and give everyone the same amount of time for the same crime because we are all people that live on this earth together? Why can’t we be treated the same way than everyone else? Another thing is that one in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If the trends continue the way they are, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. There are about 14 million white people and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug. African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38 percent are arrested for drug offenses and 59% of those are in state prison for a drug offense. Five times as many white people are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of white people. African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months).I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my letter about racism in criminal justice.
I know this is a lot that I am asking you but, I am really passionate about this issue and would like to see changes made. The criminal justice system should be fair and the sentences should be equal for all races.