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Jacqueline Hendricks Crimes for which others are not charged. Public interference by standing on a sidewalk. Supreme Court Judge Robert Jackson said in 1940: Federal Laws are so voluminous and unfathomable that prosecutors can easily pick the man and find the crime rather than vice versa. And so they do until we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Driving while black is another.
Shawn It's not all about the crimes. It's about the arrest, the trial, the plea bargain, the incarceration, the release, the legal disenfranchisement, etc. It's the whole system.
Bethia The New Jim Crow is the systematic mass incarceration of black men in the United States for the same crimes whites commit at greater rates (drug use) and the subsequent discrimination against former convicts in regard to voting, jobs, housing and education.
Catherine Rucker Once a person is convicted of a felony, then there are many ways that the person is discriminated against. For example, the person will not be able to vote - for a certain period of time, or perhaps for the rest of his or her life. Further, the person will have to declare the felony conviction on employment applications and housing applications. As a result, many felons are released from prison - with large incarceration bills to pay, and no way to earn a living.
BMR, MSW, LSW I don't see any mention in these answers of the fact that prison labor is big business for manufacturers as well. If inmates are being paid less than $1/day for their work, it's half a step away from sharecropping and never breaking even at the end of the harvest season, owing Mr. Charlie even more than they did before the work even started.