Causal- MysteryLimbo

Incarceration and prison sentencing date back to ancient civilizations to keep murderers or war prisoners in work camps, prisons, or even receive the death penalty. Although most forms of previous incarceration/confinement methods are now immoral. The Soviet Union was known for having work camps otherwise known as “gulags” that made prisoners work to death. The United States is no exception. In the past the government had prisoners making roads, railroads, and paving concrete for little to no money. It is often said that “these harsh conditions are unheard of in modern-day prisons in the United States.” That is nonsense because in 2018, according to Abigail Hess from CNBC, “Roughly 14,000 firefighters battled the Mendocino fires. Among them were over than 2,000 inmates.” This makes the ratio of firefighters in Mendocino, California alone 7 normal firefighters for every 1 inmate firefighter. The population in California, according to the public policy institute of California, is about 39 million people and is 39% Latino/Latino American, 38% White, 14% Asian American, 6% African American, or 3% multiracial. According to that same source, it states the following about the prison population in California “California’s prison population peaked at nearly 163,000 in 2006; public safety realignment in 2011 and subsequent reforms accelerated its decline to a low of about 111,000 in 2015.” The public policy institute of California titled the issued as African American men remain overrepresented in the prison population and said, “At the end of 2016, 29% of the male prisoners in state prisons were African American, while only 6% of the state’s male residents are African American. The incarceration rate for African American men is 4,180 per 100,000 people. White men are imprisoned at a rate of 420 per 100,000 people, and imprisonment rates for Latino men and men of other races are 1,028 and 335 per 100,000 people, respectively.” meaning that comparatively speaking a black male then is 4 times more likely to be convicted and sentenced for a crime than a white man who committed the same crime. This gives African Americans a dangerous and threatening persona making all Americans judgemental and thus paranoid.

California is arguably the most progressive state in the country is the first state to have medical marijuana in 1996; California, decriminalized Marijuana and in the middle of  2016, California legalized the drug for recreational use. San Francisco was the first place in the United States to recognize same-sex marriage. The LGBT community is most prominent in California and yet the minorities are still misrepresented because of racial injustice within the United States justice system. Even with the government’s involvement, California has the largest prison population whose population consists of mostly minorities, especially African Americans and Latino Americans. With this problem continuously being ignored, African Americans that were previously felons struggle with receiving any form of federal aid like food stamps, student loan benefits, and employment. This evolves into a larger problem of why ethnic minorities are more likely to born into poverty. These “petty crimes” make our country’s justice system look weak and ultimately bias. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Paper 78 wrote: “The general liberty of the people can never be endangered” from the judiciary, so long as it “remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the executive.” Meaning justice shouldn’t be politically motivated, but is harsh prison sentencing a way for extremist political government officials to silence voters? That would be in clear violation of the founding principles of our country.

Although what has been stated could be mistaken for defending criminals, it is actually defending those who use the constitution and was ultimately failed by the document due to fees, policies, and cash bail. Due to lack of money blacks cannot pay for their cash bond which is usually about 10% of the bail which ranges from $500-$25,000 (Each state varies) that is from crimes such as small possession to serial rape. If a person is out on bail they do not have to stay in jail until their trial but if one is unable to pay their bond they are forced to stay in jail overnight and have to face the judge in the orange jumpsuit. The reason wearing an orange jumpsuit in front of the judge matters is being when guilty felons are pleading for a lesser sentence the judge is going to assume they are not good enough to pay for the bond and they will focus on is the fact they are in a jumpsuit ready to go to prison.

All in all, this problem has caused fear mongering done by political figures and people of influence to make minorities look like the enemy which makes the country a much more violent place. Although one could empathize with the people that feel this way in particular because they feel as if their culture is slowly being taken away from them because of the over-saturation of trying to diverse schools, social media, television, and business with this new generation of pop-culture and inclusion. Concluding that prison reform is a must in the United States, there should be no reason why the richest country and most powerful nation in the world should have the highest number of incarcerated people in the world. The United States has a total of 2,121,600 people in prison and then China has 1,649,804. It should be noted that China has a population of 1.386 billion people and the United State has a population of 325.7 million people. Which also means 0.1% of people in China are incarcerated and 0.6% of people are incarcerated in the United States. Although there can be various angles one could say the reason why the United States has more people in prison than any other country in the world, it is important to note that the United States and government bureaucrats tend to put minorities in jail for political gain and the total number of incarcerated people in the country reflects their cruel treatment of minorities.

Sources

Hess, A. (2018, November 12). California is paying inmates $1 an hour to fight wildfires. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/california-is-paying-inmates-1-an-hour-to-fight-wildfires.html

Goss, J., & Hayes, J. (2018, February). California’s Changing Prison Population. Retrieved from https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-changing-prison-population/

Johnson, H. (2017, March). California’s Population. Retrieved from https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-population/

Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Total. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison-population-total?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All

This entry was posted in Causal Argument, mysterylimbo, Portfolio MysteryLimbo. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Causal- MysteryLimbo

  1. davidbdale says:

    You have a terrific essay going in this first paragraph, Limbo, but despite its many strong claims and good evidence, it requires considerable revision to achieve its goals. Let’s break it down into sections.

    THE HISTORICAL TEASER
    Incarceration and prison sentencing date back to ancient civilizations to keep murderers or war prisoners in work camps, prisons, or even receive the death penalty. Although most forms of previous incarceration/confinement methods are now immoral. The Soviet Union was known for having work camps otherwise known as “gulags” that made prisoners work to death. The United States is no exception. In the past the government had prisoners making roads, railroads, and paving concrete for little to no money. It is often said that “these harsh conditions are unheard of in modern-day prisons in the United States.”

    THE CONTEMPORARY INDICTMENT
    That is nonsense because in 2018, according to Abigail Hess from CNBC, “Roughly 14,000 firefighters battled the Mendocino fires. Among them were over than 2,000 inmates.” This makes the ratio of firefighters in Mendocino, California alone 7 normal firefighters for every 1 inmate firefighter.

    THE RACIAL DISPARITY OF INMATES
    The population in California, according to the public policy institute of California, is about 39 million people and is 39% Latino/Latino American, 38% White, 14% Asian American, 6% African American, or 3% multiracial. According to that same source, it states the following about the prison population in California “California’s prison population peaked at nearly 163,000 in 2006; public safety realignment in 2011 and subsequent reforms accelerated its decline to a low of about 111,000 in 2015.” The public policy institute of California titled the issued as African American men remain over-represented in the prison population and said, “At the end of 2016, 29% of the male prisoners in state prisons were African American, while only 6% of the state’s male residents are African American. The incarceration rate for African American men is 4,180 per 100,000 people. White men are imprisoned at a rate of 420 per 100,000 people, and imprisonment rates for Latino men and men of other races are 1,028 and 335 per 100,000 people, respectively.” meaning that comparatively speaking a black male then is 4 times more likely to be convicted and sentenced for a crime than a white man who committed the same crime.

    THE CIRCLE THAT DOESN’T SQUARE
    This gives African Americans a dangerous and threatening persona making all Americans judgemental and thus paranoid.

  2. davidbdale says:

    THE HISTORICAL TEASER
    (Grammar Feedback)

    Incarceration and prison sentencing date back to ancient civilizations to keep murderers or war prisoners in work camps, prisons, or even receive the death penalty.

    You’ve made a bad parallel construction here, Limbo. As you’ve written it, the grammar logic goes like this:
    TO KEEP PRISONERS
    —in work camps,
    —in prisons,
    —even in the death penalty.
    That doesn’t work. Only like elements can be used in sequences.
    One fix would be:
    TO KEEP PRISONERS in work camps or prisons, OR EVEN TO EXECUTE THEM.
    But, of course, execution is not an incarceration technique, so the rest of your sentence would need revision too.

    Although most forms of previous incarceration/confinement methods are now immoral.

    This is not a sentence; it’s a fragment.
    Without the “although,” it’s a complete independent clause, or sentence, but the use of “although” requires that the resulting dependent clause be attached to an independent clause. So this fragment needs to attach either backwards or forward to another sentence.

    The Soviet Union was known for having work camps otherwise known as “gulags” that made prisoners work to death.

    “Otherwise” is redundant because “Known as” indicates the “other” name. “gulags” does not require quotation marks. Whenever possible, choose the most robust verb. MADE prisoners work is OK; WORKED prisoners to death is much better.

    The United States is no exception.

    This would be a completely true statement except that you positioned it immediately after WORKED them to death. You DO mean that the US worked its prisoners for public gain. You most likely DON’T mean the US operated gulags whose purpose was to kill its inmates with cruelty.

    In the past the government had prisoners making roads, railroads, and paving concrete for little to no money.

    This is another flawed parallel, Limbo.
    The government had prisoners
    —making roads,
    —making railroads,
    —making paving concrete.
    Clearly not what you meant.
    The government used prisoners TO MAKE roads and railroads and TO PAVE concrete for little to no money.

    It is often said that “these harsh conditions are unheard of in modern-day prisons in the United States.”

    You’ve put the claim into quotation marks but attributed it to “It is often said.” You don’t need to “quote” it if it’s a common claim.

  3. davidbdale says:

    THE HISTORICAL TEASER
    (Rhetoric Feedback)

    Incarceration and prison sentencing date back to ancient civilizations to keep murderers or war prisoners in work camps, prisons, or even receive the death penalty.

    This is a good strong opener if the point of your paragraph is to begin an essay on the development of incarceration techniques. But your point is more vital than that, Limbo. You want to indicate that the US is shamefully honoring an ancient method of dealing with undesirables. A better opening sentence would make clear that you plan to show a thread of cruelty that persists to modern America.

    Although most forms of previous incarceration/confinement methods are now immoral.

    Again there’s no reason to delay the indictment of the American penal system. Most countries in the world condemn the United States for being among the few nations to grossly violate human rights by executing its own citizens.

    The Soviet Union was known for having work camps otherwise known as “gulags” that made prisoners work to death.

    Unless it’s used to amplify that capital punishment claim, this observation about work camps is a distraction. Your overall point, I think, is about the racial disparity in American prisons, not about work conditions.

    The United States is no exception.

    Again, this claim is most persuasive when it points out that America disproportionately uses prison to put away its “undesirables,” as did Soviet Russia, not so much to punish actual crime but to brutalize nonconforming behaviors.

    In the past the government had prisoners making roads, railroads, and paving concrete for little to no money.

    Not so valuable unless you’re married to the “treatment” aspect of your argument.

    It is often said that “these harsh conditions are unheard of in modern-day prisons in the United States.”

    Here, if I understand your overall argument, I would expect to see a conclusion that indicates America is still disproportionately incarcerating what it considers troublemakers or the powerless.

    Is this useful or overwhelming, Limbo?
    Shall I continue?

  4. davidbdale says:

    THE CONTEMPORARY INDICTMENT
    (Rhetoric Feedback)

    That is nonsense because in 2018, according to Abigail Hess from CNBC, “Roughly 14,000 firefighters battled the Mendocino fires. Among them were over than 2,000 inmates.” This makes the ratio of firefighters in Mendocino, California alone 7 normal firefighters for every 1 inmate firefighter.

    Be careful with this one, Limbo.
    Hess also reports that

    the inmates are part of a volunteer firefighting program run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Inmates are paid $2 a day, and $1 an hour when fighting an active fire. They also earn time off their sentences.

    In addition,

    Each volunteer inmate is evaluated individually to ensure that all those selected for the camp program are willing to be team members with nonviolent behavior, even if their original conviction was for a violent crime

    which indicates nobody is forced to comply or is even accepted as a volunteer. That doesn’t mean the source can’t be useful. Obviously, the pay is ridiculously low. In fact, from the same article,

    Some critics fear that the financial benefits of cheap prison labor incentivize mass incarceration. During an unsuccessful run for California Lieutenant Governor, Gayle McLaughlin went so far as to call the program “slave labor.”

    It would be a complex argument to drop into the middle of your complex argument, Limbo. The “slave labor” comment is tempting because it resonates with your overall contention that the US unfairly incarcerates ethnic minorities, but we don’t know the ethnic makeup of the volunteer firefighters offhand.

  5. davidbdale says:

    Before you revise this assignment, Limbo, copy and paste it into a new post and call it Causal Rewrite—MysteryLimbo. Then make your revisions. That way, you’ll have two distinctly different drafts to show in your Portfolio and good evidence of your responsiveness to feedback.

    And be sure to spell it C-A-U-S-A-L, not C-A-S-U-A-L. 🙂

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