Mass Incarceration and unjustice and discrimination in the United States court system

Smith, Brendon

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Mr. Brendon Smith's Publication about Mass Incarceration Mass Incarceration and Injustice and discrimination in the United States Court System Hello my name is Mr. Brendon Smith I am a young urban inner city activist who has committed myself to speaking up for those who have no voice by engaging in the fight to expose and to shine light on the injustice within our prison and court system, I am also a young activist who works to make sure at risk youth in our inner cities are aware of what there up against, I have spoken out at public events many times about mass incarceration and have spoken about my experience within the department of corrections. It has been said that one way of understanding our current system of mass incarceration is to think of it as a birdcage with locked doors. It is a set of structural arrangements that locks a racially distinct group into a subordinate political, social, and economic position efficiently creating a second chance citizenship. I also believe in what has been said by many great minds who have studied mass incarceration, many have said that those who are trapped within the system are not merely disadvantage, in the sense that they are competing on an unequal playing field or face additional hurdles to political or economic success rather the system itself is structured to lock them into a subordinate position. My personal opinion is that mass incarceration has increased do to many factors that those who have the power to bring change to because they are in a position of influential power in our prison systems throughout the United States, factors that such government officials are conscious of and factors that they are not conscious of. They say experience is the best teacher many scholars and experts agree that first hand experience can increase ones awareness of what others may experience if they too have endured similar struggles and experiences first hand with those who seek to try to have sympathy for, And those we desire to relate too. To understand what it is like to feel, that the system itself is structured to lock individuals who have made mistakes that allowed them to feel trapped in the prison system is like is to understand that young activist like myself who speak against mass incarceration are not seeking to minimize or justify even small acts of crime. By being a voice for those who are not educated enough to understand that the smallest confession of guilt of a state felony has the power to release the same kind of similar wrath of discrimination that was felt in an era of deeply express racial discrimination. Some may say that I am out of mind to compare racial discrimination with individuals who have made a choice within there past to commit a crime and later on decades after the crime has been committed they are still labeled as an outcast to society even after the change has been taken place within then within the workforce in corporate America and other places as well because felons do not have the same rights. As we look back at our history in the United States of America many of us who strive to be decent individuals are shamed by are actions which displayed such hatred to mankind. And many of us do not want to expect such a comparison being made between discrimination that occurred in a racist manner in the birth of our country, compared to the discrimination felons deal with for a lifetime. But throughout their lives even those who have made significant behavior changes still deal with harsh pressure being pressed on them by a judgemental society But indeed change stare with first accepting the truth of our realties and first realize that when we are in a state of denial such denial has power to blind us to what is happening in our system right in front of us. I believe in finding some solution to bettering the mass incarceration rates of mass incarceration is for all of us as one to learn to have sympathy even for those our courts deem as unfit for society because majority of our incarcerated are not monsters or evil man and woman but just individuals who have become broken people. Individuals who have flaws and imperfections And I believe our broken system and the living conditions inside of it are not encouraging healing as we now allow are society to discriminate unconsciously that is just as bad as allowing discrimination against a person because of the color of their skin I believe the question we should truely ask ourselves is has our society truly advanced at all when it comes to decreasing and eliminating discrimination or have we slipped into a state of blindness blind to the ways of our broken system. Because we are blind to the ways of our own nature as humans because its almost nature for humans to be judgemental towards others In some states like colorado which I was incarcerated in as a young man I witness the Colorado system require some former prisoners to complete a mandatory parole of 5 years after serving a lengthy prison sentence I believe mandatory parole is designed to trap one who has committed a crime within a system only so those who are seen as individuals who act as animals can be kept a hold of, and kept caged like wild animals not only to control the masses but also to control what many racist and bigots believe will one day become uncontrollable the population of at risk colored minority who are a risk not just because of there rebellious actions towards the authority figures who control our system but also because some even become a threat because of the knowledge they posses with their minds, most of them, are now days labeled as convicts and felons, only to exterminate them. In the past certain individuals who were in prison that are enlightened and armed with the knowledge to fight against injustice in our system were called political prisoners. Author Michelle Alexander published a New York times best seller titled the "New Jim Crow" Mass incarceration in the age of color blindness. And within the published work the New Jim Crow she believes in such opinions and beliefs about mass incarceration which I have come to believe once studying the facts while incarcerated within the United States prison system. And then awakening to the truth. She believes that the system that is built for correction, Has become a system that has tore families apart and have brought destruction to the masses even beyond the prison walls. One who is intelligent may ask "what would our society do without punishment for laws that have been broken in our legal system. And in a sense those who ask such a question is right because some our unworthy to walk our inner streets. Please understand that indeed I am a young black activist who is a voice for the urban inner cities and our inner city mass incarcerated populations But never before have I ever witnessed such high level of racism like I witness it within the incarcerated prison environment that I was in we must come up with new ways to house our incarcerated. They say harsh levels of racisms dont exist no more but I have witness amongst inmates in ways I witness no other form of hatred So deeper trauma and inner shame is not all they walk-out with, when it comes to walking out of prison doors, are black brothers and brown brothers are being released from correctional prisons more uncorrected then corrected because the trauma increases within every arrest as our courts humiliate them in front of strangers, because they are uneducated and dont have the knowledge to defend themselves within the the court rooms that deem them dysfunctional and guilty tell proven innocent, though they say that men and women who stand in front of the judges within our court rooms are innocent tell proven guilty we no that indeed that is not true. In many cases even are youth who grow-up in the system from childhood, as they are told they are unfit for society by our courts the trauma increases and the trauma remains untreated because now society has rejected he or she who has always felt unloved and rejected by he or shes own family. In the state of Colorado the director of the department of corrections initiated a review of administrative segregation (policy, and population data) by outside experts in a subsequent report submitted by , James Austin ( Nation institute of corrections and Emmit Sparkman (deputy commissioner Mississippi doc) it was revealed that nearly 25% of colorado inmates in administrative segregation differ from a serious mental illness. Further yo % of people released from administrative segregation are released directly back into the community with inadequate transitional services. Earlier I talk about comparing racial discrimination with discrimination a felon deals with through out a felons lifetime. Some scholars would say that this is called legalized discrimination. The most obvious parallel between Jim Crow and mass incarceration is legalized discrimination During black history month, Americans congratulate themeselves for having put an end to discrimination against African Americans in employment, housing, public benefits, and public accommodations Alot of school children wonder out loud how discrimination could ever have been legal in this great land of ours rarely are they told that it is still legal Many of the forms of discrimination that relegated african Americans to an inferior caste during Jim Crow continued to apply to huge segments of the black population today -provided they are labeled felons. If they are branded felons by the time they reach the age of twenty-one (as many of them are) they are subjected to legalized discrimination that apply to ex-drug offenders. and other meant that ounce they are released they enter a parallel social universe- much like Jim Crow-in which discrimination in nearly every aspects of social political, and economic life is perfectly legal large majorities of men in cities across the United States are ounce again subjected to legalized discrimination, effectively barring them from full integration into mainstream, while society mass incarceration has nullified many of the gains of the civil rights movement putting many black men in a position reminiscent of Jim Crow, but I understand this one must study and reflect X felons can not even walk into a apartment complex amongst a gated community and apply for housing because of their past felonies that landlords and, other professional settings discriminate against The X convict or young man who has past fellonys is up against so much and under so much pressure the question we should also be asking our selves is are we also applying to much pressure on are youth seeking to charge them as adults in are court rooms in america before they even reach the age of 18teen years old. How is it we can allow a 18 year old young men to walk inside of a gunstore and purchase a deadly weapon and then also charge a young man as an adult at 17teen for having a unregistered gun but our society pushes the message that teenagers can own guns legally. The age to purchase a gun in our gunstores must be raised to an older age. We must consider that so many young mens brains remain undeveloped as they are allowed to purchase them. Why are we are not considering that according to science the human brain is not fully developed into an adult brain tell a male has reach the age 25 years old. So with that this fact alone being known, should be enough for us to have sympathy for our youth that are being charged as adults in our United States court rooms. Within our society in America there are many activist in America who commit there lives to speaking out against the injustice in our system and indeed I respect all activist but I believe that one can not be a symbol properly as one who fights against unjustice himself or can some how recall and understand that level of unjustice enough to speak out about it for the listers to be able to validate that indeed such wisdom comes from he or shes own personal experience. Not just books smarts alone is needed, a deeper profound insight which comes from within ones own self or ones own experience is needed to publicly speak on and fight against unjustice as one who is a voice for activism must be able to deeply connected with the people you are fighting for connect deeply enough to understand their pain. They say experience validates the ability, I say that to say that I have experienced all of things that I have spoken about in this essay first land in arapahoe county when I was 17teen years old the Arapahoe county courts tried hard to charge me as an adult when my brain was undeveloped and mind was clouded by mental health So thats why I am so passionate about speaking out the truth in love to help others put things into perspective through my ords so many of our own urban black activist can now see clearly because of distorted thoughts and our youths minds are being clouded by outlets. That supply fake news In this life of ours things tend to come full circle if we are blessed enough we are able to turn our past into purpose and use our past painful experiences to uplift those and encourage those who may experience the same trials and tribulations that are similar to the struggles we use to experience. In arapahoe county in 2001-2008 the wellknown Pastor William Poison spoke out for me in the courts as I was being pressured by the court system and as they seeked to charge me as an adult and my attorney Ms Angela Brayanu argued that the police had no probable cause to arrest, and such arrest was done out of discrimination, and because I was being profiled as a young black man at the time of the arrest and for no other reason tell this day I am working with the wellknwn founder william poison, founder of truelight Baptist Church I am also working with the wellknown reverend Leon Kelly who is a wellknown urban activist in the state of colorado who rosed up out of the person and now works with government officials to bring change to our prison systems. I am also working with Denver city council man Albus Brooks former president of the Denver City council a highly respected political figure who has fought for the rights of juveniles being charged as adults as a youth, and both I and many others feel as if its our obligation and responses to do so. Published and copyrighted by Brendon Smith 12/1/2018

Author: Smith, Brendon

Author Location: Colorado

Date: December 20, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 12 pages

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