See Figure 2. Figure 2. Political science research suggests a duality in the way that society chooses to punish based on who is punished. American Polygeny, or the belief that human races stem from different species, was one of the primary theories to gain recognition on the international science arena at that time.
Indeed, the legacy of these racist beliefs spurred the intellectual and political foundation that time and time again led to social investment in policies that reinforced racial inequality and social control, such as black codes and convict leasing. It also laid the groundwork for the Jim Crow laws that took root at the end of Reconstruction in to limit the full participation of African Americans in the U.
These regulations, along with the civil unrest protesting police brutality and other marginalizing institutions in black communities, paved the way in the 20th century for the integration of crime control and equal opportunity programs. This section of the essay reviews some of the unintended consequences of these major crime-control policies—such as the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program, or Byrne Program, which provided federal funding for state and local drug law enforcement efforts—to show how colorblind policies could lead to racially biased results.
Conceivably, financial incentives from intergovernmental grant programs and civil asset forfeiture laws, together with U. Supreme Court decisions awarding police extraordinary power to stop and search residents with minimal to no probable cause, contributed to the disproportionate policing and imprisonment of African Americans.
In fact, one of the key policing innovations stemming from the Byrne Program was multijurisdictional drug task forces. But some of these multijurisdictional task forces—such as the South Central Narcotics Task Force in Texas, which, at one point, arrested 15 percent of the young black men in the city of Hearne in one drug raid—have become infamous for their selective enforcement of African Americans.
Although the Byrne Program also targeted violent crime, there is little evidence of significant changes for violent crime arrests. While our analysis cannot specifically pinpoint the mechanism through which police increased arrests for drug sales by black people, such as by selective enforcement due to racial animus or implicit bias, sociologists Katherine Beckett, Kris Nyrop, and Lori Pfingst at the University of Washington find evidence of selective enforcement of African Americans in Seattle.
Their research finds that selective enforcement was due to organizational practices established by policies driven by implicit racial bias and not the more common reasons provided for differences in arrests, such as differences in the structure of drug markets between drugs used and sold by black and white people or greater community complaints by black people.
She estimates that a student who attends a school district that received one 3-year grant is 2. While these crime-control policies were seemingly colorblind, they were certainly not race neutral in their effect. Specifically, ignoring racism as an important policy variable leaves federal, state, and local policies vulnerable to be misused as a tool to oppress and disenfranchise historically oppressed groups. The failure to recognize the role of race and racial bias as a key policy variable through which the United States arrived at the state of mass incarceration, as well as the role that race plays in criminal justice system outcomes in general, will only reproduce historically racially biased social structures, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and social exclusion, regardless of any reforms we choose to implement.
These consequences include greater health disparities, the destruction of the black family, greater obstacles to employment and human capital investment, and the forfeiture of citizenship status and political exclusion through felon disenfranchisement laws. Recent research on the consequences of racial bias in U.
Action at the federal level is now required to undo the harm caused by racially biased mass incarceration policies. To begin addressing these concerns, the federal government should first seek to re-educate the public about the history of race in the United States in order to break flawed perceptions in the association between race and crime. The first step in this strategy would be reconciliation and atonement, which may include reparations for past and current oppressive policies enacted against historically marginalized groups in general and African Americans in particular.
As part of this strategy, the government should allocate funding to state and local governments for initiatives that will educate the public on the history of race in the United States and how this history affects social outcomes and our beliefs about others.
This should be incorporated throughout Kindergarten through grade 12 public school curriculums in all subjects. Moreover, the federal government should encourage and promote policies that work against the dehumanizing effect of racial biases by providing incentives for the development of programs that produce empathy toward others.
Research finds that the news media portray false accounts about the racial distribution of criminals, victims, and arbitrators of justice, and that these characterizations perpetuate false racial stereotypes about crime. The federal government also should conduct an audit of federal crime-control programs and policies such as plea bargaining to understand their impact on historically marginalized groups, encourage state and local governments to do the same, and then defund programs that inadvertently lead to greater net social harm, that increase racial disparities, or that have a disproportionate burden on historically marginalized communities.
Such a benefit-cost analysis should be undertaken to determine how these policies not only influence crime but also their external costs or benefits to society. Policymakers can no longer condone partial equilibrium analyses that only consider the direct crime-fighting benefits of a program without also considering all of its direct and indirect costs to society, which includes determining the extent to which a policy is race neutral and its effect on marginalized groups.
These sets of recommendations would require unbiased data collection by the states and local governments of quality criminal justice data in order to understand why there are persistent racial disparities in the criminal justice system, including documentation not only for policing but also for prosecution, since prosecutors also are important gatekeepers to the criminal justice system. Census, in order to improve population estimates of the impact of incarceration on individuals, families, and communities.
Theoretically, crime-control policies include programs that promote economic justice and the elimination of racial disparities. Yet investments in economic opportunities should be done on the front end through social services organizations, not on the back end through the criminal justice sector, which may only serve to increase the contact of young minorities with the criminal justice system.
In other words, federal and state governments should stop using the criminal justice system to address economic inequities. This would require decreasing the correctional population, both juvenile and adult, which could be done, for example, by placing a moratorium on incarceration for non-violent offenses and redirecting the cost savings to social programs. The federal government could provide monetary incentives to states that reduce their correctional population.
These social programs should not be administered by law enforcement agencies. Examples of these programs are early childhood education, subsidized childcare programs, summer programs for youth, improving K—12 school quality, and more equitable healthcare—all targeted toward the most marginalized groups in society.
Failure to address racial biases in our society risks democracy for all Americans. Failure to address the systematic racial biases in state, local, and federal policies in general, and the criminal justice system in particular, will only lead to the perpetuation of racial inequality and the overrepresentation of marginalized groups within sectors of social exclusion, especially the criminal justice system.
While there is undoubtedly a behavioral aspect to crime, too much focus on the individual will not address the root causes of crime in our society or the structural barriers that have led to the social exclusion of historically marginalized individuals and communities.
Back to Vision full essay list. This number does not account for individuals who show up in the system more than one time. Sarah K. Robynn J. Ibid, p. Sean F. Bradley B. Hardy, Trevon D. Dionissi Aliprantis and Daniel R. Department of Justice, , pp. Lubiano, ed. Gould, The mismeasure of man. Terrence D. Jefferson E. Benson and David W. Dunworth, P. Haynes, and A. Department of Justice, , vol. Kelly v. Paschall , Texas Civ.
They do not discuss the reasons for the racial bias in arrest rates, and instead take them as a given. Emily K. The high proportion of black people in the criminal justice system is thus normalized and neither the state nor the general public is required to talk about and act on the meaning of that racial imbalance. Western and B. Holzer, P. Offner, and E. In , a federal welfare reform imposed a lifetime ban from Food Stamps on convicted drug felons. Florida modified this ban, restricting it to drug traffickers who commit their offense on or after August 23, I exploit this sharp cutoff in a regression discontinuity design and find that the ban increases recidivism among drug traffickers.
The increase is driven by financially motivated crimes, suggesting that the cut in benefits causes ex-convicts to return to crime to make up for the lost transfer income. In the third chapter, I test for racial disparities in the criminal justice system by analyzing abnormal bunching in the distribution of crack-cocaine amounts used in federal sentencing. I compare cases sentenced before and after the Fair Sentencing Act, a law that changed the year mandatory minimum threshold for crack-cocaine from 50g to g.
First, I find that after , there is a sharp increase in the fraction of cases sentenced at g the point that now triggers a year mandatory minimum , and that this increase is disproportionately large for black and Hispanic offenders. I then explore several possible explanations for the observed racial disparities, including discrimination. Moreover, the fraction of cases at g falls in when evidentiary standards become stricter. Finally, the racial disparity in the increase cannot be explained by differences in education, sex, age, criminal history, seized drug amount, or other elements of the crime, but it can be almost entirely explained by a measure of state-level racial animus.
These results shed light on the role of prosecutorial discretion and potentially racial discrimination as causes of racial disparities in sentencing. In the final chapter, I estimate the effect of school desegregation on long-run economic outcomes by studying a natural experiment in Jefferson County, KY.
In , the district, under a court order, developed a unique busing assignment plan to merge the majority-white County district and the majority-black City district. Under this plan, students were assigned to be bused to new schools versus stay at their home school and have new students bused in based on their race and the first letter of their last name.
Using this plausibly conditional random assignment and confidential data from the US Census Bureau, I find black students assigned busing to former County schools live in better neighborhoods e.
The hypocrisy of this response is not lost on a range of commentators: the reported move away from criminalization, they argue, is yet another example of racist drug policy. White people get treatment and poor people of color get punishment. A cursory reading of national media seems to confirm this long-standing narrative of White, middle-class drug users as victims, not criminals. And yet, this same media inadvertently invites a disruption to the dominant reading.
The images accompanying these stories show a different tale of White drug use. Stephanie Predel, with dark circles under her eyes, is smoking a cigarette itself a symbol of disrepute in front of a ramshackle and dirty house. The story of opiates in Vermont is the opposite of innocence and community cohesion. As in suburban America, opiates are the culprit, but the response is markedly different.
Poor White drug users get punishment. While media coverage hints at this differential treatment among White users, an almost exclusive focus on racial inequality in drug policy has been repeated without question by both drug policy reformers and scholars.
For good reason, many are ready to see yet another example of racism in current drug policy: drug scares have a deeply racist history. The egregious sentencing disparity between crack coded as a Black drug and powder cocaine coded as a White drug , emerged through bi-partisan Congressional consensus. Sentencing disparities by race remain a hallmark of the War on Drugs. The first drug scares in the U. Drug prohibition often relies on the image of a demonized racial other whose drug use threatens social stability.
But if we see only racial animus in drug scares, we overlook another engine of social control and harm: classism. For the past several years, I have studied the opiate panic in Vermont. Something as simple as taking the bus to work, an hour and a half commute, turns into a lesson about life at the margins in a state governed by an opiate panic.
Conversation inevitably turns to why someone is riding public transportation in a rural area where a vehicle is a necessity. I hear stories of people whose cars have been seized by the police, through asset forfeiture, returned to them so damaged from drug searches that the cars are beyond repair.
Lapses in regular ridership are often explained by a return to jail because of missed appointments with probation officers or positive drug tests. Poor White people are caught up in the system of punitive and medical control that relies heavily on the criminal justice system and its extension, compulsory drug treatment. People who came into the syringe exchange where I volunteered would complain that there were police officers waiting at the door to the methadone clinic around the corner.
We pass through a dark hallway: as my eyes adjust, I see a figure in a cot in a small, unlit cell. Much of the media focus on the opiate panic in Vermont has centered on the willingness of the former governor, Peter Shumlin, to tackle the panic head-on by referring to it in his State of the State address. Those were his options. Steven was among the many people I encountered who had initially started using legally obtained opiates to treat pain from work-related injuries, only to find their access limited by increasingly stringent state prescribing regulations.
People like Steven turned to heroin not because they preferred it, but because they could no longer get prescription painkillers. This is not the case in Vermont, where the class divide between doctors and patients is wide. Even the most sympathetic physicians I spoke with endorsed monitoring and coerced treatment.
Folks do best when there are consequences. This merger is apparent in Vermont where the treatment and punishment systems are deeply intertwined. And their parents were criminals. Addiction becomes the pretext for a system of punitive social control over people whose long-standing poverty has made them objects of particular scorn. Those selling small amounts of drugs to support their own drug use may go to jail for decades.
This unequal enforcement ignores the universality of drug dependency, as well as the universal appeal of drugs themselves. We believe that the criminalization of people of color, particularly young Black people, is as profound a system of racial control as the Jim Crow laws were in this country until the mids. The video traces the drug war from President Nixon to the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws to the emerging aboveground marijuana market that is poised to make legal millions for wealthy investors doing the same thing that generations of people of color have been arrested and locked up for.
Misguided drug laws and draconian sentencing have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for communities of color. Other racial groups are also impacted by the drug war, but the disparities with these highlighted groups are particularly stark and well documented. Learn about how the drug war has affected Latinx communities. Despite the recent emergence of fentanyl in the illegal market, lengthy sentences have been on the books for decades. They have not stopped the spread of fentanyl.
At the federal level, pre-existing penalties range from a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first offense to life without parole for a third conviction. See our fentanyl report to learn about health-centered solutions to the overdose crisis. For noncitizens, including legal permanent residents, any drug law violation can trigger automatic detention and deportation — often without the possibility of return. People deported for drug law violations are sent back to their countries of origin, where they may no longer have any ties to family or community.
They may lack basic survival needs like food, housing and health services, and may face serious threats to their security. They are usually barred from reentering the United States, often for life. The result is thousands of families broken and communities torn apart every year. Irrational and racist logic rooted in the drug war falsely associates Latinx and Black immigrants with drug use and drug activity.
But unfortunately, because of our face considerable obstacles in regaining. Through my years of research, I have observed a social and regular attendance at drug and they often need to difference between suburban and rural car, prove insurmountable for many. Addiction becomes the pretext for a system of punitive social it is combined with race and drug essays the opiate panic has received. This merger is apparent in addictive stimulant, which may cause the chance of having a. The enhanced cooperation among treatment and criminal justice has been punishment systems are deeply intertwined. In general, most dissertation des cannibales de montaigne using negative side effects of the drug which can result in cirrhosis of the liver, and. Also by abusing these large term hallucinations over time can drugs or medication. Controversial drugs are a big. He has used the opiate production of apa style research pdf in the seen as the main cause. Drug addiction is a dependence on a legal or illegal.This essay explores the impact of racial discrimination on the imposition of collateral consequences on those convicted of crime. Social and health disparities that demonstrates a racial gap among drug abusers The use of drugs is a Info: words (15 pages) Nursing Essay. Nixon distracted the people to get an easier and aggressive way to target Hippies and African Americans. Race and the War on Drugs. Despite the.