It is no secret that the Private Prison industry in the US is one of the greatest threats today facing minorities and people of color. As the Trump Administration seeks to continue the abhorrent practice of Private Prisons, an extremely disturbing trend is showing no signs of decline. The trend of individuals being given Life Sentences without Parole for Non-Violent Crimes is on the rise. President Obama announced in 2015 that he would grant clemency to non-violent offenders serving exorbitant sentences for minor crimes now has subsequently been reversed by Attorney Gen.Jeff Sessions and the new administration.
The ACLU reports that up to 3200 individuals in Americas Prison system are now serving life sentences for non violent crimes. Of those 3200 prisoners, almost 70% (3/4 of them ) are African American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls “extreme racial disparities. ” The crimes that led to life sentences include trivial violations such as stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check. Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the new ACLU reports on this extremely disturbing trend.