“The System is Broken”

29 Sep

12_lifetime_likelihood_raceICYMI last Sunday, HBO aired a Vice special report Fixing the System which examines the epidemic of mass incarceration currently slaughtering communities of color around the country. The special includes an interview with former US Attorney General Eric Holder who frankly states that “the system is broken.” It also includes an interview with President Barack Obama who hopes the country can curb over-incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses. President Obama also visits a federal prison and speaks with six inmates about their life experiences–in and out of prison. It’s the first time a sitting US President has ever visited a federal prison. And it’s about time. The US has the largest incarcerated population in the world. The Vice special focuses primarily on the mass incarceration of men of color; women aren’t explicitly included in the conversation but perhaps we’re there implicitly?

According to The Sentencing Project’s “Report of The Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System” (2013):

Racial minorities are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences. African-American males are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males and 2.5 times more likely than Hispanic males. If current trends continue, one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino males—compared to one of every seventeen white males. Racial and ethnic disparities among women are less substantial than among men but remain prevalent.

Something’s gotta change.  If you want to help out, you can financially contribute to The Sentencing Project and/or respond to one of its call to action.

Here’s the HBO Vice special in its entirety.


2 Responses to ““The System is Broken””

  1. John Fisher September 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    Do you have an account on Medium? Let me know when you do and I’ll add you to our writers list.

    Sent from my iPad


    • whatsablackgirltodo September 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

      Never heard of Medium until you 😀 I have an account now. I’ll make an attempt. Thanks for reading!

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