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Word Count: 1,206
There is much controversy with regard to race and to the role it playsin shaping the way penal laws are interpreted Some are inclined to believethat the contemporary prison industrial complex reinforces discriminatoryattitudes with regard to non-white individuals Skin color has come torepresent one of the principal reasons behind harsh behaviors that thepenal system puts across toward particular racial groups In spite of itsapparent transparency the justice system seems to fail in influencing lawenforcement agents to treat everyone equally Many of these respectiveindividuals gradually come to believe that there would nothing abnormalwith treating persons belonging to certain racial groups differently Withthe number of individuals behind bars experiencing a constant increase itappears to be difficult for the authorities to employ unbiased thinkingwhen it comes to non-white people In this era of color-blind racismthere has been a corresponding shift from de jure racism codifiedexplicitly into the law and legal systems to a de facto racism where peopleof color especially African Americans are subject to unequal protectionof the laws excessive surveillance extreme segregation and neo-slavelabor via incarceration all in the name of crime control Brewer 626Crime control is thus considered to be an important problem today and bydiscriminating against particular racial groups law enforcement agenciesbelieve they can improve conditions in society as a whole Racism in penalpractices is a controversial but pervasive issue in Australia TheCommonwealth Racial Discrimination Act 1975 specifically prohibits any actinvolving a distinction exclusion restriction or preference based onrace colour descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose oreffect of nullifying or impairing the recognition enjoyment or exerciseon an equal footing of any human right or fundamental freedom in thepolitical economic social cultural or any other field of public lifeIn this essay I argue that the prison industrial complex is the latest in aseries of legal and political schemes developed to enforce white supremacythroughout this argument i will underpin the specific ways in which penalpractices are racialized
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