Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in the African American Community
Blacks and Latinos are arrested at disproportionate rates and are disproportionately represented in the nationwide prison and jail population (D.C. Baldus & C. Woodworth, 2004). For example, Blacks compose 13 percent of the general population but represent 28 percent of total arrests and 38 percent of persons convicted of a felony in a state court and in state prison.These racial disparities are particularly pronounced in arrests and incarceration for drug offenses. Despite similar rates of drug use, Blacks are incarcerated on drug charges at a rate 10 times greater than whites. Blacks represent 12 percent of drug users, but 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses, and percent of those in state prison for drug offenses.
This one conviction has destroyed many lives and still continues to prevent economic, social, physical and mental growth. As long as, the core issue of releasing those affected by theses discriminatory laws is not addressed blacks will continue to be destroyed with the war on blacks.
D.C. Baldus & C. Woodworth, Race Discrimination and the Legitimacy of Capital Punishment: Reflections on the Interaction of Fact and Perception, (2004).
Ashley Nellis and Ryan S. King, the Sentencing Project, No Exit: The Expanding Use of Life Sentences in America 11-14, 17, 20-23 (2009)