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Sentencing Disparities: Are we partly to blame?

I am disgusted by the levels of mass incarceration that continue to occur in the United States. I am equally disgusted by the exploitation of the prison industry, and the way prison growth and expansion is occurring. There are cities that rely on full prisons to provide jobs in the community, and there are private corporations that rely prison labor as a means of getting cheap labor.

But when I really examine the problem, and what could stop the momentum of mass incarceration, I wonder if we are partly to blame for this problem. Judges and prosecutors hand out these harsh sentences. Don’t we elect these same judges and prosecutors?

The next time you read yet another article that discusses the reality of mass incarceration, maybe you should ask yourself if you voted for the judges and prosecutors who are handing out these sentences. Or maybe you should ask yourself: “Do I even know what kind of sentences the judges and prosecutors that I elected are handing out?”

Once more minorities really begin to understand the dynamics of voting, and the power of voting, maybe more minorities will get more engaged in politics. Until then, if you don’t understand how you have voted for someone who hands out these unfair, unequal and harsh sentences, you will continue to be part of the problem. You are partly to blame.

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