And the Poor Get Prison

Topics: Poverty, Economic inequality, African American Pages: 2 (676 words) Published: February 26, 2002
"The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer"

Living in the United States of America allows for many freedoms and opportunities to its citizens. Growing up, children learn that in the United States means that everyone is treated equally, and fairly. In addition, one is made to believe that a prejudiced outlook on minorities is a problem of the past. Jeffrey Reiman's article, "The Rich get Richer and the Poor get poorer," displays the truth of how the real world is. The article shows a clearer picture as to how destitute and African American people are treated extremely different then Caucasians do. The idea of underprivileged citizens having a greater chance of being arrested, more likely to be sentenced, and punished for a longer amount of time is not how one would think the criminal justice system works. Nobody wants to acknowledge the fact that hate does still exist in the United States. Most still wants to believe that all people will be treated equally, no matter who they are. Not always what people think is

happening in this society is correct. Also, there is a huge difference in poor people being arrested compared to upper and middle-class. Does this mean that poor people cannot slip out of punishment, but rich people can? Some believe this clearly shows that impoverished people are looked down upon in society. Although it is a hard concept to believe, statistics show that it is true. In 1978, fifty three percent African Americans jail inmates had pre-arrest incomes below three thousand dollars compared with forty four percent of Caucasian inmates. In 1983 the median pre-arrest income of African Americans was four thousand sixty-seven dollars and that of Caucasian inmates was six thousand three hundred and twelve dollars. These statistics provide evidence that both African-American and poor people are more likely to be in jail. (Reiman, 97) There is a better financial outlook though; the poverty rate for African Americans in...

Cited: 1. Dr. Clark. Intersections.
2. Celebrating Black History Month.
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