Probation, Meek Mill, and the racist criminal justice system

Fans and social justice activists alike commemorated the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s choice to free Williams on bail after the rap artist got a two-to-four-year jail sentence in November 2017 for breaching his probation. The probation period, which was at first expected to last 5 years, was extended numerous times for small probation offenses over the whole of the previous years, leading to a mentally stressful headache for the 30-year-old rap artist. The worst part of Williams’ story is it’s no place near unusual. Williams’ experience is proof of a damaged criminal justice system that disproportionately targets people of color for small infractions of probation and parole. This guarantees reduced job opportunity and an increased opportunity that convicts will end up back in jail.

In the United States today, an approximated 4.5 million people are on probation or on parole. Amongst the population of the United States criminal justice system as an entire, people of color are overrepresented. This intrinsic bigotry in our nation’s legal system especially targets black neighborhoods. Probation rates for black Americans are a sensational 2.9 percent greater than those of their white equivalents, and, in some states, are 5 or more times greater. Probation is suggested to work as a replacement for time invested in a reformatory for a period of guidance by the state, where the culprit is needed to meet conditions of etiquette. But probation is frequently unforgiving of small errors. According to a three-month study carried out by The Marshall Project, at least 61,000 people across the country are presently behind bars, not for dedicating a criminal offense but for parole infractions such as stopping working a drug test or missing out on a consultation with a parole officer.

This has severe, unfavorable consequences for people of color captured up in the criminal justice system, as having a rap sheet impedes a person’s capability to obtain things such as loans, real estate rights and tasks. For people of color who are actively victimized even without convictions, this is a disastrous possibility for convicts aiming to get their lives back on track. Not able to be a complete individual in society, many convicts become repeat transgressors, making sure that they lag bars and caught within a ruthless system for much of their lives. Williams’ case is among the countless examples of this pattern. Although his preliminary probationary period was only expected to last 5 years, his sentence has actually been extended time and time once again because of small probation infractions, such as scheduling performances beyond Philadelphia without a judge’s approval. The criminal justice system ensures that wrongdoers are captured up in a mess of fines, costs and drug tests that make it difficult to lead a typical life.