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I know that the population of America has grown substantially since 1840 and that would go some way to explaining things. However it is still shocking to find out that 12% of the USA's population make up nearly 50% of the prison population. Does this mean there is something seriously wrong?
DeathOfCuHullian DeathOfCuHullian 31-35, M 13 Answers Jun 4, 2011

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OH BOY.......... is this gonna be good.

GREAT QUESTION, if this doesn't rile a few feathers, nothing will.

IMHO, it has nothing to do with race, more with social situations. A better stat to check is economic background, parental condition, family history. All contributing factors, and as other demographics can tell you, color is not the deciding factor on ANYONES future behavior. Attitude is.

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I will count the ruffled feathers by the low response i expect this question to get as people look at the question and move swiftly on ... thank you for your intelligent reply

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America is institutionally racist, therefore it is something to do with race. However, yes working class people of all races are more likely to go to jail. Firstly you're less likely to get a good lawyer. Second, the judge is less likely to have the same life experiences as you and understand why you did the crime you did and more likely to think prison will help you. Third, white collar crime is punished less with prison time than petty crime - more likely to go to jail for robbing a gas station than a hedge fund! America is by no means a classless society nor a non-racist one.

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I dont know if that is true, but people often follow learned behavior and it becomes a generational curse.

During slavery, the slaves often had to steal food because the slave owners took the best and only left them the very worst like the skin of the animal, the bones, the entrails...so they became good thieves. If nobody teaches you better, you stay in that situation and become a burden on society. When people are given better opportunities they do better and become good workers.



When my mother was a girl, there were unwritten laws that only two black men were hired to every 20 white men. This was called discrimination. The two black men who were hired did not recieve the same wages that the whites did. Many men felt that the only way to make it in this society was to operate in crime, organized and singular. Also young white men who got into pranks were sent home, but the black boys were sent to jail. I saw that with my own eyes. Discrimination, racism and fear contributes to animosity toward the system.



To make it worse, young women were encouraged to have babies, but when slavery was abolished those people could no longer work for the slave owners, so they became a burden. The habits of having babies with very young was a generational curse that continued throughout the century. These things continue unless education and training comes in and shows people another way.

When blacks began seeking higher education in the states in some schools, the national guard had to be called to prevent violence.



The young black men who have a revolving prison life follow certain criteria. They are usually high school dropouts-uneducated. They are usually people who are under trained with no skills. They are usually boys with no parental leadership who tend to gather in families or gangs.



When black men have opportunity to succeed, they do. Young black men in the USA bring in billions of dollars to the economy of schools, colleges and universities with their play on the foot ball and basket ball fields. Foot ball and basketball brings in so much revenue that it finances all other college sports---swimming, tennis, who bring in very few spectators.etc.



In the south, it is not unusual to see 50 to 60 thousand people or more in the foot ball stands. That is a lot of money. These young men are the stars and the celebrities, and yes, they are still hated by many because of their advantages in sports, so nothing has changed.

Its the best of times and worst of times. Dont despair, heres some good times. http://youtu.be/I-Th_H03iC8

I also posted the video in my stories today under the name Pomp and Circumstances. In this video 500 young black men graduated Morehouse college. Good things are happening, too.Conferring of degrees starts at 1hr:30

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i agree about the family and psyche problems at the root of it all. i love the USA but there are a lot of pschological stuff goin' on. I'm watching the E channel about white kids who mass murder in the states. Combined they have killed over 75 people in schools, churches, malls, in the past 10 years-or like Jared Loughner who killed 6 , at a political rally. Why? Serious internal probs. Who can forget John Lennon's death by a crazed boy.

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Racism always has and always will exist. However, I am with THEBIG on this one. Also, ever try to pay for a decent lawyer? It ain't going to happen for 90%. The money does'nt exist for them. I don't see that changing too much any time in the near future.

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So its more to do with economic factors than any form of overt or institutional racism?

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Population growth

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I don't know if your percentages are correct 50% seems really high to me but to say that it is because of racism would require our entire legal system from cop on the beat to supreme court to be racist and I don't believe that for a second. I think the people that are in prison, with a few rare exceptions, are there because they committed crimes not because of their race.

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check it out for yourself

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It has more to do with your direct attuitude than race. If you think your life is over - as many minorities do at a young age and have nothing to lose - then the outcome is pretty much obvious.

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Hey, the white man has to enslave someone and we don't have plantations and coal mines like the old days so prison is the modern way to keep Black men especially, down and enslaved. And it seems it is also PC. Frankly, I thought Obama, who by the way I would vote for again, would be assasinated by now.Racism is alive and thriving in America. It more disguised than before.

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Are you suggesting that due to the color of a person's skin it makes them innately more predisposed to taking slaves?

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I am suggesting that due to the color of a person's skin makes them innately more predisposed to being imprisoned. Whites throughout history have squashed groups of people and continue to do so afraid their power will be usurped and believing white is supreme on all levels.

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Would it surprise you to hear that slavery is more common in the world today than it has ever been before? Especially in places like Asia and Africa where their oppressors are anything but white skinned people.

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I think it just shows the obvious. There is still a lot of racism in the US. The numbers probably include several reasons like: A black person is more likely to be arrested than a white one; A black person does not grow with the same opportunities as a white one and so, there is a lower level of education and that is conducive to crime; A black person's prison term is probably longer than a white person's for the same related crime, etc etc.

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A sad state of affairs .... "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

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