"Don’t pervert justice. Don’t show favoritism to either the poor or the great. Judge on the basis of what is right." (Leviticus 19:15, MSG)
The U.S. criminal justice system has become anything but 'just.' With only 4.4% of the world's population, the United States contains nearly 25% of the world's prisoners, imprisoning its residents at a higher rate than countries such as China, Russia, and Rwanda. In the past five decades, the U.S. prison population has quintupled, from 330,000 to 1.57 million, while crime rates have remained fairly steady. The War on Drugs, 'tough on crime' politics, and mandatory minimum sentences mean those convicted of crimes - many of them non-violent offenses - stay in prison for longer periods of time.
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For people of color in the United States, the picture is even more grim. More than 60% of the people in prison today are people of color. Black men are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men. While blacks make up just 14% of the U.S. population, they comprise 37% of the prison population. On the other hand, whites make up 63% of this country's population, and only 33% of the prison population.
The United States was founded on the principles of fairness, equality, and justice for all - but what if those ideals apply only to a select group of people? Would that really be justice at all?
Injustice for Some is Injustice for All
For more information, email mgrace [at] wocumc.org.