There are more African Americans under criminal jurisdiction, either in prison or jail or on probation or parole, than were slaves a decade before the onset of the Civil War. In the Chicago area alone, nearly 80% of African American men have been labeled felons for life.
As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised due to felon disenfranchisement laws than in 1870, the year the 15th Amendment was ratified, explicitly prohibiting discrimination in the right to vote on the basis of race. What's driving these numbers?
The war on drugs.
And the consequences are devastating.
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