The New Jim Crow: An Analysis Of Its Establishment And Development Essays Examples
1. (A) The reason the U.S. has the world’s largest prison population and one of the highest incarceration rates among all nations is twofold. First, America’s “War on Drugs” resulted in an explosion in the number of laws enacted by both federal and state governments which criminalized a number of drug related activities. For example, new conspiracy charges allowed prosecutors to charge low-level or unimportant members of drug operation as if they were they were the organizations leader. Accordingly, operatives might have been “caught and released” in the past are now charged with crimes that will send them to prison. Second, federal and state governments passed a number of stricter penalties for those convicted of drug crimes. These penalties often included mandatory minimum sentences which locked judges into imposing harsh multi-year sentences without any discretion. The hope in passing these harsher penalties was that they would be used in incapacitate the major drug lords, but with the passage of so many minor drug crime laws, the penalties lead to the mass incarceration of minor drug dealers and users.
1. (B) The Sir Robert Peel Principles refer to the nine values former English Prime Minister Robert Peel introduced as Home Secretary to improve upon the effectiveness of the London police force. The principles in their entirety are stated as follows: (1) the basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder; (2) the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions; (3) police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public; (4) the degree of cooperation of the public that be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force; (5) police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law; (6) police use of physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient (7) police should at all times maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; (8) the police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary; and (9) the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it (Nagle, 2014)
2.) Absolutely not. The money spent to house, feed and look after an inmate in New York can be used in a number of other areas that would help to reduce the overall rate of crime. For instance, the funds could be used to sustain an inner city after school program that could provide tutors and counselors for students that helps keep them in school and off the streets so that they will not be tempted or forced into a life of crime. Alternatively, the funds could go to expanding drug treatment centers so that judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys have more options to help low-level, non-violent drug offenders rather than sending them to prison.
3. (A) As mentioned above, the reasons that the incarceration rate is so high in the U.S. was the enactment of a range of drug laws and penalties. While drug use occurs everywhere in the U.S., it is often most openly on display in the inner city where sellers and users have less ability to hide their activity. Moreover, one common perception of crime in the U.S. is that it only happens in the inner city. Lastly, law enforcement has shown themselves to be biased against minorities. The result is that the “War on Drugs” has mainly been waged in the inner city and against minorities. Once arrested, due to the harshness of the drug laws, a defendant will normally be convicted of a felony. After release a felony carries with it a stigma. Accordingly, being African American and having a felony record seriously limits the opportunities to find, work, housing or assistance. With no other way to live, many African-American ex-cons are forced again to sell or use drugs which as mentioned above tends to lead to their arrest and detention for even longer terms.
3. (B) August Vollmer was the first police chief of the Berkeley Police Department and an influential voice in the development of the American criminal justice system. Vollmer is perhaps best known for his contributions modernizing the police force by requiring officers to have a college degree, using a centralized police records system, installing a police messaging system, and incorporating the use of cars, motorcycles, and bikes into police patrolling. His contribution also included the establishment of a criminal justice program at the University of California Berkeley.
4.) According to Radley Balko, one of the main reasons for the militarization of America police forces was the change in policy in the later 1980s and 1990s that incorporated the military into the “War on Drugs.” This allowed the American public to contemplate the idea that the military could be useful in a crime-fighting capacity. The military as cop was further developed after the events of September 11, 2001 where police and armed forces were joined to fight the “War on Terror,” which at the same time degraded some of the constitutional protections the public had traditionally used to oppose police aggressiveness. Lastly, there is a federal program known as the Department of Defense (DOD) Excess Property Program. This program allows the DOD to supply police departments with surplus military equipment at for free or at low costs to ostensibly fight terrorist and drug lords. With a lack of terror or drug related activity, police forces have put the equipment to use in more traditional police activities such as managing protestors and serving warrants. This was perfectly illustrated in Ferguson were police, without the necessary training, used military equipment designed to combat a battle hardened terrorist cell in Afghanistan against unarmed citizens.
5.) In early 1972, President Richard Nixon declares a “war on drugs.” His reasoning for the call to arms was that he believed drug addiction, and its ancillary products such as crime and violence, had grown to such a level that it threatened American national interests. In waging the war, Nixon and subsequent presidents, Congressman, governors and state legislatures argued that the threat needed to be fought by attacking it on all fronts. One of the most common ways that leaders have decided to fight the war was through the criminal justice system by passing more and stricter drug laws, allowing law enforcement more flexibility in enforcing the law, and demonizing people deemed to be part of the problem such as drug users. Despite the amount of time, money, manpower and resources that have been deployed in the war, the result has been widely considered a failure. Some of the reasons given for its failure include too much focus on prohibition and punishment rather than flexible management and treatment.
6.) As mentioned above, racism, criminal laws, criminal justice strategies and social policies all play a role in the disproportionate incarceration of African American. Racism influences police, prosecutors, judges and juries to think African Americans are criminals. Criminal laws over criminalize minor violation and harshly punish those convicted. Criminal justice strategies are overly focused on the inner city or areas where African Americans are in the majority. Social policies or lack of them eliminate or limit assistance to African Americans in need of a hand so that they are stuck in environments that may lead them to criminal activity.
7.) Jim Crow refers to the laws and policies passed in the South and other parts of the U.S. in the aftermath of the Civil War that, while acknowledging that African American are equal to whites, worked to keep them separate and isolated from contact with white society. Michelle Alexander’s “New Jim Crow” refers to the mass incarceration of African Americans that, she argues, has accomplished the same goals of the old Jim Crow, namely separating African American from white society and forcing them to live in and by unequal conditions. The implications of the term is that just as old Jim Crow was slavery by another name, the New Jim Crow has again led to the enslavement and, in essence, destruction of the African Americans.
8.) The implication of the listed comment is that American society, including African Americans, have been conditioned to believe the black is bad and white is good. The tacit way that this is accomplished such as through the media (cowboy with white hat is good, cowboy with black hat is bad) or myriad other situations seeps into how we locate at and consider people. Accordingly, the darker a person is elicits an automatic reaction to the observer that the person is bad, ignorant, aggressive and dangerous. This circumstance plays out in the criminal justice system through police targeting African Americans more and being harsher on those that they stop. Moreover, judges are less likely to give an African American defendant the benefit of the doubt in bail, pre-trial arrangements or in sentencing. Additionally, juries are more likely to convict an African American if he victim is white but exonerate a white defendant it the victim is African American. In short, without resolving the issue of race as a whole in American society it is highly unlikely that the criminal justice system will change.
9.) The four different eras of policing in the U.S. refer to the way a number of historians have classified the development in modern American policing for easier analysis. The four eras include: the political era; the reform era; the police-citizen crisis era and the community policing era. The political era, which ran from 1830 to about 1900, was marked by high political influence on and within police forces. During this era local politicians often used police forces as their own armies. Policing during this era was known for its corruption, inefficiency and brutality. The reform era ran from 1900 to 1960 and was known for the professionalization of the police force into an independent government agency focused on crime fighting rather than settling political scores. Technology, such as the two-way radio also played a role in the professionalization of the services the police could offer to the public. The police-citizen crisis era ran from 1960 to 1970. It was known for the police response to many of the social movements of the time such as the Civil Rights Movement and protests against the Vietnam War. Police were often seen as a tool of state oppression and many police forces responded to the public brutally. Lastly, the community policing era began in the 1970s and continues to he present. This era has been marked by push to get police and the communities they patrol to work in cooperation to fight crime and solve problems.
10.) A thesis refers to formal research paper on a particular topic of interest to the writer. In general, a thesis paper should include the following: title page, abstract, introduction, literature review, discussion and analysis, conclusion, references. The abstract contains a short explanation of why the paper is important and a summary of the results. The introduction provides background on the paper’s topic to allow the reader to understand the context of what the author wants to address. The introduction should also include a description of the scope of the paper as well. The literature review gathers together all relevant information that the author used to research the paper as well as a short explanation of how the source will be used in the paper. The discussion and analysis is the main part of the paper where the author explains what was found in researching the topic and why it is significant. The conclusion provides the strongest and most important findings of the research as well as an interpretation of the analysis. Lastly, the reference section lists all the sources that the author used in the paper along with details of where they can be accessed if the reader wants to look deeper in to the topic.
Alexander, M. (2010). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York, NY: The New Press.
Balko, R. (2013). The Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. New York, NY: PublicAffairs Books
Engel, R.S. (2002). Police: History. Retrieved on March 12, 2015, from http://www.encylopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403000181.html
Nagle, M. (2014, Apr. 15). Sir Robert peel’s Nine Principles of Policing. Retrieved on March 13, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/nyregion/sir-robert-peels-nine-principles-of-policing.html?_r=0
Reinarman, C. (1994). The Social Construction of Drug Scares. Retrieved on March 12, 2015, from http://www.drugpolicyaction.org/docUploads/reinarman_contruct.pdf.
Vulliamy, E. (2011, Jul 24). Nixon’s ‘war on drugs’ began 40 years ago, and the battle is still raging. Retrieved on March 12, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/jul/24/war0on-drugs-40-years
Wilson, O.W. (1953). August Vollmer. Retrieved on March 12, 2015, from http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4112&context=jclc