Although for some the title to this post might sound as a slander to the justice system of the United States, I do not believe so. I remember a few months ago listening in the news, the fact that an inconsiderable number of teenage Blacks and Hispanics were sent to jail for minor offenses, instead of having being issued a ticket. The woman on the radio news was enraged by such disparities and demanded it as an abuse and racial profiling, for the majority of them were the minorities. (Blacks and Hispanics)
I decided to write a little more about this issue, for I myself have felt in such position two or three times. One time at the age of sixteen I was taken to prison for jumping the subway station, instead of just being given a summon. A second time I was arrested again for having failed to pay a fine I was given for walking an unleashed dog! in the park at night. Those two times I was arrested I felt really angry for being treated as a criminal for such trivial things. Therefore, I decided to read further whether what I had heard in the news and what I believed to be the case was true or false (Hispanics and Blacks disparity levels in prison compared to their white counterparts)
In the article named above I confirmed that I was right regarding such social treatment and inequality. The report which was sponsored by the Justice Department indicates the following statement:
blacks are more than six times as likely as whites to be sentenced by juvenile courts to prison. For those young people charged with a violent crime who have not been in juvenile prison previously, black teenagers are nine times more likely than whites to be sentenced to juvenile prison. For those charged with drug offenses, black youths are 48 times more likely than whites to be sentenced to juvenile prison.
Moreover, the report shows that:
Similarly, white youths charged with violent offenses are incarcerated for an average of 193 days after trial, but blacks are incarcerated an average of 254 days and Hispanics are incarcerated an average of 305 days.
Because of such racial disparities among the number of teenagers and young adults incarcerated for alleged crimes Mr. Soler who is the president of the Youth Law Center, a research and advocacy group in Washington, and the leader of the coalition of civil rights, he comes to the conclusion that
‘When you look at this data, it is undeniable that race is a factor’