LastOnRampsEssay - Allen 1 John Allen Schmidt/Steel RHE...

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Allen 1John AllenSchmidt/SteelRHE 309K3 May 2017Audience: Southern conservatives who read the Dallas Morning NewsThe 13th Amendment: From Chains to HandcuffsSince their founding, the overall mission of police departments nationwide is to improvethe quality of life by creating a safe environment, empower the community to assist officers inthe effort of crime reduction, and to work within the infrastructure of the U.S. constitution. Withthis said, police officers mean well but they must carry out the orders they are presented with byour government. Racial profiling, Stop and Frisk, and unwarranted searches are racially biasedpractices handed down by mayors, senators, and congressman alike. Today, those practices havelead to2 millionAmericans behind bars in the U.S., 60% of federal prisoners jailed for drugcrimes, and 36% of drug offenders who committed nonviolent, low-level crimes(Cloud,Goldstein, Rivera, Novak, Shannon, Pattison, & Willwerth). In order to completely comprehendthis epidemic, we must first evaluate all of the factors that lead to it.Prior to the Civil war, there was little of a penal system in America. Depending on theseverity of the crime, you either received corporal or capital punishment. In the December of1865, the conclusion of the war, the 13th amendment was ratified into the U.S. Constitution.Section I states:
Allen 2“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the partyshall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to theirjurisdiction.".In 1866 a series of laws, formerly known as the Black Codes, were passed by Southern states inorder to control the freedoms of freed slaves and to force them into a low-wage economy of ahard labor(Browne). With no sustainable economic resources, many African Americans couldnot find work and thus, lost their homes. This lead to the founding of the Pig law whereas it wasa crime to be unemployed or homeless. As a result, many African Americans were arrested inlarge numbers for petty crimes such as: loitering, Jaywalking, or vagrancy. The aftermath of thewar left southern states’ land and economy in ruins, this is where the loophole created by the13th amendment was heavily exploited. For those arrested were often sentenced to work onchain gangs, a group of prisoners chained together to perform hard labor, to dig ditches, builtroads, or harvest crops(Browne). Eventually, prisons began to lease their convicts to localfarmers and manufactures for minimum rates.In order to keep up with the rapid growth rate ofinmates, some plantations war purchased to be converted into prisons. For example, ConfederateMajor Samuel James purchased an 8,000-acre plantation in West Feliciana parish of Louisianaand built Angola prison(Browne).

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Term
Winter
Professor
Wood
Tags
English, 13th Amendment, The American, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of National Drug Control Policy

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