Discussing the overlap of crime, punishment, and poverty, please elaborate on the following points raised by the authors:
As Wheelock and Uggen (2006) point out, “the association between crime, punishment, and poverty has long been the subject of sociological and criminological investigation” (p.24).
a. Criminal sanctions and victimization work to form a system of disadvantage that perpetuates stratification and poverty.
A racial hierarchy is a stratified system in which some races have more power and opportunity than others. This hierarchy ben¬efits the members of the race or races that have the most power (Korgen & Furst, 1998, pg 124)
b. Punishment impacts individuals convicted of felonies, as well as their families, peer groups, neighborhoods, and racial group.
In my opinion, the negative impacts is felt across the micro level in the forms of stereotyping, mistreatment, discrimination, racial profiling. This type of association is felt within our law enforcement, some officers have been conditioned to believe that everyone in the neighborhood of the offender are possible offenders as well. Especially when entering where this may be true to a certain degree, sadly the innocent are cast aside and already prejudged. Racial profiling is a method use within our police officers, in determining possible offenders.
“These findings have led researchers to interpret area racial composition as an indicator of “racial threat,” a concept drawn from classic work on inter-group prejudice and discrimination (Blalock 1967; Blumer 1958) -Wheelock & Uggen, 2006).
c. After controlling for population differences, African Americans are incarcerated approximately seven times as often as Whites.
African-Americans were portrayed as looters who were stealing, while European-Americans were described as just being resourceful by breaking into stores for food (Sommers, Apfelbaum, Dukes, Toosi, & Wang, 2006).
You can read the article on media portrayals of the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by clicking on the following link: Article: Race and Media Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
Many critics would argue that this is just another means to keep this group oppressed.
d. Variation in criminal punishment is linked to economic deprivation.
My personal reflection, knowing friends who are correction officers in our city jail system, they have shared stories of inmates that complained that our city doesn’t help them to better themselves. Now, this answer will infuriates them. Their stance is that offenders only have themselves to blame and criminal behavior should not be linked to economic deprivation.
e. As the number of felons and former felons rises, collateral sanctions play an ever-larger role in racial and ethnic stratification, operating as an interconnected system of disadvantage.
University of Notre Dame. (1999). War on Drugs Dramatically Increases Prison Population [Video]. In Life Behind Bars. Retrieved from the Films on Demand database.