On continuing fetish for incarceration (and disdain for rehabilitation)

On November 6,
2017, Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced rapper Meek Mill to 2 to 4 years in
prison for violating his probation. Judge Brinkley cited Meek Mill for a failed
drug test, failure to comply with an order restricting his travel and two other
arrests that had no correlation to his parole. Meek Mills imprisonment on a
violation of probation has stirred up an outbreak of legal appeals, and a lot
of criticism on the criminal justice system. This was happening during the
black lives matter movement, which caused a major uproar from people. Meek Mill
has had a long timeline of contact in the justice system leading up to this.
Meek Mill had been arrested twice before this and had spent some time in prison
as well.

            “America’s continuing fetish for
incarceration (and disdain for rehabilitation) is a national disgrace” (NBC
News). Meek Mill’s violation of probation was originally dropped and dismissed.
His probation officer also recommended that he should not serve prison time and
Judge Brinkley decided to lock him up anyway. There was a lot of troubling
behavior from Judge Brinkley while going through Meek Mill’s case. The judge
wanted the rapper to say her name in a song, while also ruling over who should
be managing Meek Mill. It seems obvious that judge Brinkley made this case
personal and that is unacceptable in the justice system. We have stated to see
this on more occasions in the US and are becoming “representative” on many
levels in our country. Judges have started to abuse their powers and make even
more problems when trying to solve cases. The system is to often target the
poor and minorities, and this creates a “vicious mechanism that keeps Americans
in a cycle of imprisonment, and diminishes their job prospects and futures”
(NBC News). Our federal government believes in law and order and that means the
justice system is criminalizing more behavior and the focus is to fill up the
jails rather than reform their lives. As America has the highest incarceration
rate in the world, we see it happening more and more.

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            The question we ask now is how can
we work to reform this justice system before it destroys more lives and worsens
through the years? A few examples from the textbook are demographic shifts, an
increased diversity, and globalization. Trends and shifts will have to be made
if we want a smooth and cooperating criminal system. Specifically for judges,
we have to take their abusive power away and reform a system that keeps too
many behind bars. We cannot keep putting people in prison for very minor
violations, as everyone deserves a fair chance. Over the next few years we will
see change in how we run our criminal systems, hopefully for the better. This
opportunity for change gives us a chance to come together and see a world where
men and women are not held captive from their pasts. We need to make a system where
mistakes we make do not define the rest of your life. Getting a real chance to
change and create new path findings of success without having to look back like
Meek Mill.


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