As a black person in America, you know that there are racial disparities in incarceration. You know that you could commit the same crime as a white person and may end up with a harsher penalty. This stems from the innate, sometimes subconscious racism that still affects Americans today.
It is sad that black Americans have to worry about their actions having a heavier impact on their lives than white or even Asian or Latino Americans have to worry about. Many say that there is no longer a disparity in incarceration, but the facts don’t bear that out.
Racial disparities still exist in the United States
The unfortunate truth is that racial disparities still exist in America. In 2014, for example, African-Americans made up 34 percent of the correctional population. What’s more telling is the fact that if black Americans and the Hispanic population were incarcerated at the same rates as white people, the population of the United States prison system would decline by nearly 40 percent. That’s a serious problem that has to be addressed.
The reality of being black in America is that you’re five times more likely to be incarcerated than white people. This doesn’t necessarily mean that black Americans are committing more crimes, but it does mean that they’re being held accountable in instances where white Americans aren’t.
Racial disparities continue to impact communities negatively
Beyond simply having a higher risk of incarceration, the fact that African-Americans are more likely to be arrested and imprisoned also means they’re more likely to have criminal records. As a result, African-American communities see a greater impact on their communities. For example, it is much harder to obtain a job when you have a criminal record. Statistics show that the likelihood of getting a callback drops by around 50 percent. This is devastating to communities that already struggle to get work, which includes the African-American communities in America.
Despite the fact that employers are not supposed to be racist when hiring, a combination of poorer educational opportunities, a higher rate of arrests and convictions, and poorer communities combine to make it more difficult for African-American people to find work that is sustainable.
These are a few issues that black Americans face today. If you are charged with a crime, an attorney is your best bet at preventing you from having the criminal record that could hold you back and poorly impact your future.
Have you been charged with a crime? See our Criminal Defense service page for help now.
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Levine Law.
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