Black People : How Criminal Injustice System Impacts Blacks

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Keita Kenyatta, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Feb 7, 2004
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    The state with the harshest record for putting African Americans behind bars has become the first to pass a law that would assess the impact of new criminal justice legislation on minorities. Iowa imprisons Blacks at 13 times the rate of whites - more than twice the national average of racial disparity in incarceration. Prison activists have long called for impact statements at every stage of the criminal justice system, so that gross racial biases could be systematically eliminated. If there is to be a national dialogue on race, it should begin with the Black American Gulag, which comprises nearly half of what is by far the world's largest prison system.

    The State of Iowa leads the nation in the rate Blacks are sent to prison, as compared to whites. It is, therefore, fitting and proper that Iowa recently became the national legislative leader in documenting why its little corner of the American prison gulag is so disproportionately Black and brown. From now on, when state legislators consider bills that are related to crime and punishment, they will have to produce a Minority Impact Statement, explaining the effect the law will have on racial minorities and women. It is a very tentative, but potentially significant step towards a full discussion of the facts of the national African American Prison Gulag.

    For a Black person seeking to avoid the prison experience, Iowa is the worst place to be. African Americans in Iowa are more than 13 times as likely to wind up behind bars as whites. Nationally, states on average incarcerate Blacks six times more often than whites. Iowa is twice as harsh on Blacks, who make up only two percent of the population. The process of singling out Blacks for punishment begins early. Forty percent of Iowa's juvenile detention inmates are Black. And, although Blacks make up only 5 percent of the public school population, 22 percent of students suspended or expelled from school are Black.

    The Iowa Minority Impact Statement bill is restricted