The African American Male and the Prison Industrial Complex

This essay declares that regardless of the political affiliation of a given politician, one of the very last things that he/she wants is to appear weak on crime to the electorate. Accordingly, politicians are perpetually pushing for stiffer and more draconian sentencing for even non-violent first time offenses. This self-perpetuating cycle of greater and greater numbers of incarcerated person, stricter laws, as well as corporate interests in the ever expansive and privatized role of correctional institutions in the United States bears witness to the failed policies of the War on Drugs and the War on Crime which date back to the early 1970’s.
As the report highlights interestingly enough, most Americans are unaware that the actual crime rate of the United States has actually been diminishing for over 20 years now. This is striking information when compared with the following: “Today’s 2 million prisoners (not counting the 5 million who are under supervision of the criminal justice system) represent a prison and jail system ten times larger than that which existed in the United States a mere twenty-nine years ago. War on crime is not rooted in rising crime rates but is rather the result of the rise in public’s concern over crime, which has been wrought not by the criminals in the real world but by the images of the criminals who now break into our living rooms nightly through the window of the television.