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African Americans in America’s Prison Systems Report

Introduction Statistics by various federal bureaus about the incarceration rates in United States reveals that there is a steady rise on the number of crimes and this is the reason why U.S. prisons experience a constant increase of the number of locked up criminals.

According to Laurence (2009), America has the highest number of locked up criminals seconded by Russia and majority of them are non-white citizens. A good example is California, a world reputable state due to its stable and large economy.

Statistics Approximately fifty two percent of California State is made of non-white citizens. The statistics indicates that the state has social and racial tolerance but the prison population is approximately 70% non-whites with 32% being black Americans compared to the state population of 7% African Americans citizens (Laurence, 2009).

When comparing between the general population and those who are incarcerated, 32% is a very high percentage. The black populace in U.S. prisons is therefore high due to increased incarceration rates.

Majority of the California offenders face incarcerations due to drug related offences. Texas has an African-Americans population of approximately 14%, but equally a huge population of the incarcerated inmates of approximately 54%.

The table and chart below shows statistical information that compares between population of African Americans in various states of America and those incarcerated in the state’s prisons.

States Population of African Americans African Americans Population in Prison Georgia 29% 64% Ohio 12% 52% Iowa 2% 24% Minnesota 3% 37% Wisconsin 6% 48% Illinois 15% 65% Missouri 11% 45% Arkansas 16% 52% Louisiana 33% 76% Mississippi 36% 75% Alabama 26% 65% Tennessee 16% 53% Kentucky 7% 36% Indiana 8% 42% Michigan 14% 55% South Carolina 30% 69% North Carolina 22% 64% Virginia 20% 68% Pennsylvania 10% 56% New York 15% 51% Delaware 19% 63% Maryland 28% 77% Connecticut 9% 47% New Jersey 13% 64% Rhode Island 4% 30% It is evident that crime is far reaching, since incarceration decisions often goes beyond the wrongdoers and affect their communities, races and families.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Why the members of a minority groups such as the African Americans are more prone to crime related arrest compared to their White Americans counterparts is a question that requires comprehensive research study. The differences of crimes between these two racial groups have a stronger basis on violent crimes, such as the homicide cases (Laurence, 2009).

U.S. citizens of the African American origin are more associable to crimes against persons, which include violence as opposed to property crime or public-order crimes that have a link to illegal activities such as gambling or prostitution.

Generally, in all states of America, the African Americans comprise of an approximate 13 % of the entire population and nearly as much African American face conviction as the white Americans.

Factors Influencing the Contribution of Racial Differences in American Prisons Historically the African Americans residing in U.S. often faced discriminatory treatments and this made them more prone to prosecution over crimes compared to their White counterparts (National research Council, 2010).

Resent administration is more attentive to discrimination cases and activist groups as well as media are equally quick to point out prejudiced cases especially those associated to the administration. For this reason, current research over the causes of the huge numbers of African Americans behind bars lack a proper connection to aspects of discrimination.

Assessments over the huge differences between the two groups in the criminal justice system are thus quite difficult and the existing distinctions therefore depend on other factors beside discrimination. Some of these factors may be prior assails by the offender or severity of the offence.

Due to difficulties involving discrimination cases during arrest, indictment or ruling, some analytical procedures can indicate possibilities of causes such as comparison between criminal and victims of similar crimes.

We will write a custom Report on African Americans in America’s Prison Systems specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More What are the racial compositions of various crimes offenders such as violence compared to racial distribution of victims who suffer similar criminal attacks? This comparison however presents some hypothetical results and a rough comparison of crimes.

Other related factors may contribute to the racial differences such as involvements in the justice system, influences by neighbourhoods, lifestyles, education backgrounds and economic status.

A huge population of the African Americans receive poor payment in the official job markets, and therefore their poor earnings force them to seek other means of earning more income such as drugs trade or violence (National research Council, 2010).

The legal income of the low–skilled persons especially the African Americans continues to deteriorate due to current economic crisis causing them to engage illegal activities to compensate the poor paying legal jobs.

The policies implemented on matters concerning crime also have a huge influence over the numbers of African Americans in prisons since these policies influence different opinions over engagement in criminal activities, victimization and types of punishment ruled over perpetrators.

Differences involving judges’ verdict and law enforcement procedures often fall upon racial dissimilarities. Involvements in minor crimes are also habitual influences of other related major criminal activities.

African Americans are often involved in public-order crimes such as drugs trade and prostitution to boost their income. The crime involvements lead to other non-drug crimes such as violence and crimes against humanity, which lead to imprisonment.

The other possible cause concerns poor representation in the judiciary systems. There are varying racial and poor ethnic representation among members of the criminal justice system, and this can easily lead to discrimination in favour of a certain race. Legitimacy of a system occurs when there is equality and transparency.

Not sure if you can write a paper on African Americans in America’s Prison Systems by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More According to the National Institute of Justice (2001) report, current U.S. administration is keen on equal representation by implementing policies that balance crime report departments to cater for diverse populations. Despite the good efforts on the prisons and police department, the judiciary still lacks fair representation.

Due to the various historical recordings regarding the issue of discrimination, African Americans still have the notion that legal systems will always act against their operations, thus the need for them to react against the harsh and unjust treatments.

They often repel the criminal justice systems and the administration in protest against their arrests but end in prisons due to their crime to fight crime perception (Bureau of Justice Statistic (BJS), 2009).

According to Bureau of Justice Statistic (BJS) (2009), African Americans are seven times more likely to face incarceration compared to white Americans, especially among young men particularly those who have had little or no education. The statistics also indicate that majority of the young African American men, who have only achieved high-school education levels are or have been to prisons.

There is a collapse of the urban market for the low-skilled earners, thus the emergence of job-less ghettos. The lack of industrialization lures the young men into criminal activities to support their basic obligations.

Even though the rehabilitation programmes in prisons produce skilful people, reformed criminals cannot desist from further crimes due to lack of resourceful support by the government, to access stable jobs or incorporate the learnt skills to generate better income.

Historical Analysis of the African-American racial Existence As per the history (Takaki, 2008), indicated that African-Americans came to America back in 1619 as servants hired under an agreement but ended up as slaves.

According to Takaki, slavery originated as a hidden agenda. The Americans were concerned with the racial significance but the consequences were evident during the nineteenth century when there was political debate over slavery. On a close reference to Takaki’s writing, African Americans must have been great contributors to the economy due to their labour forces.

Although the debate almost drowned the nation, the issue of African Americans segregation was still evident through their civil rights associations to push for equal civil rights and social ranks particularly in the judicial system.

African Americans actually had a minority group-representation in the system, but their struggle had a huge impact over the America’s social, political and moral vision for liberation. From his confinement, Martin Luther king expressed his concern over freedom and fought for civil rights, which is evident of the America’s fate today.

According to Takaki (2008), African Americans have hugely contributed to America’s ethnical and racial diversity. One example of institutional discrimination illustrated in Takaki writing (2008), include the cruelty one man African American origin had to undergo of being denied lecture classes at Harvard Medical School due to complaints from some of his white fellow students. This was a clear indication of possible emergence of discriminatory statistics in prisons.

Conclusion America is drastically changing from the original concept of racial discrimination that saw many Africa Americans incarcerated by the unjust judicial system where there was no equality of rights. Democracy and transparency of the justice system makes people to realize their sense of belonging and importance of a united nation.

Perplexity has carried away most Americans such that their national identity and its future are more important than racial differences. Racial diversity is also allowing people to include different groups’ viewpoint and understanding.

There is ample need for the existing racial groups to develop a way of learning, understanding, appreciation and accepting each other’s differences. This would involve acceptance of different cultures, historical backgrounds and economic differences as the only way to improve high imprisonment of people from a particular group.

The future of America with regard to racial imprisonment depends on value for the country’s image. America belongs to many races or groups and a system that represents different people is the best change for the United States.

References Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). (2009). Ensuring the quality, credibility, and relevance of U.S. justice statistics. New York, NY: National Academies Press

Laurence, E. R. (2009). Bureau of Justice Statistics Funding to States to Improve Criminal Records. Pennsylvania, PA: DIANE Publishing

National Institute of Justice. (2001). Crime and Criminal Justice reports, New York, NY: annual report.

National research Council. (2010). Strengthening the National Institute of Justice.

Committee on Assessing the Research Program of the National Institute of Justice. New York, NY: National Academies Press.

Takaki, R. (2008). A different Mirror: a History of Multicultural America. Britain: Back Bay and Co.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo: Film Techniques and Cinematography Critical Essay

Nursing Assignment Help Introduction Alfred Hitchcock is one of the legends of English and American cinematography. It is impossible to imagine a person who does not know Hitchcock and the contribution he made to the world filmmaking. His personal invention of numerous techniques in different genres made his films spectacular and different from what existed on the screens. Underlining Hitchcock’s impact on the world cinematography, Jean Luc Godard said, “The death of Hitchcock makes the passage from one era to another…

I believe we are entering an era defined by the suspension of the visual”.[1] The focus of our discussion is going to be Hitchcock’s film Vertigo and the technical effects present as the helping elements to for movie perception. Vertigo is a psychological thriller which comprises an original idea, a telling title and the visual effects which contribute to the understanding of the main idea of the movie.

The main purpose of this paper is to dwell upon the movie Vertigo and to understand its underlying theme, the role of lighting and cinematography effects in movie perception and to compare and contrast it to other films shot by the director in America.

Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock: The Difference in Seeing and Being Seen Underlying Theme in Hitchcock’s Vertigo Watching a movie Vertigo, a viewer remains in tension from the first minute up to its final scene. Hitchcock kept the viewer in guessing for some time, whether Madeleine and Judy was one and the same person.

Providing the audience with the story about a detective Scottie who had to retire from the police work because of the developing latent acrophobia and Madeleine/Judy who fell in love with each other but the strange story of Madeleine’s death does not allow Scottie and Judy be together. The finale of the movie is unpredictable as no one can expect that Judy is going to die.[2]

Still, a close consideration of the movie may provide us with some specific ideas which point to the underlying themes in the film. Hill and Helmers want to state that “Vertigo positions its viewers, its characters, Hitchcock, and its cinematic style in a matrix of ideological practices and rhetorical appeals analyzable as identification and division”.[3]

Much attention is paid to Scottie and his pure but at the same time imaginary identification. Hitchcock wanted to show the difference between something that was seen and that what desired to be seen. Identification of people and object is the central theme of the movie. The audience had to think thoroughly to understand the director’s plan.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The Role of Lighting and Cinematography Effects in Movie Perception It is impossible to get the underlying idea of the film without discussing the techniques used there. Throughout the whole movie, the director implements a great variety of different visual techniques “to focus our attention on the psychological consequences of this desire for identification or identity”.[4]

The camera zoom, different visual effects, change of color, light and picture, and offline editing are the most important techniques which help the audience to understand the main idea of the movie. Here is a close consideration of each effect which adds to the understanding of the film.

There are a lot of different scenes when some objects become either lighter of darker. For example, there is moment when Madeleine is in the shot. In this very scene, the restaurant wall on the background becomes brighter.

The main idea of the light here is to underline the moment, and make the blurred red restaurant walls more visible. One of the main purposes of this effect is to “give a visual uplift, a small background effect which subtly enhances the emotional high-point to which this scene was lading”.[5]

The art of montage is magnificent in the film. There are a lot of different effects which seem simple for a modern viewer, but a close consideration of the quality and the period when the movie was shot may state this effect if magnificent.

For example, the highest effect from montage is achieved when the main character shadows his friend’s wife by car. Both the main character and the audience are confused whether the persecuted car is the necessary one or not.

Another good example of montage is achieved with Kim Novak. Hitchcock has managed to create a three-screen effect, when a “triadic image appears within the same picture”.[6] As a result, an actor (Novak) is seen in one and the same picture, as double, Madeleine and Judy.

We will write a custom Essay on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo: Film Techniques and Cinematography specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More The music effects also impress. The alteration of the sound pays attention to some specific scenes and events which take place in the movie, e.g. at the moment when Scottie sees Madeleine’s half-image, “the soundtrack moves from a believable representation of the restaurant environment to thy mysterious-romantic music which peaks at the moment when Scottie’s half-imaged view of Madeleine is most vivid”.[7]

The music volume also plays important role as when the sound increases, the viewers pay more attention to the events and shot than to others.

Camera is really important in this movie as Hitchcock has managed to use the camera as the part of the film. The main peculiarity f the place of the came in the movie is that it shoots “the processes”.[8] For example, returning to the same scene when Madeleine is standing on the background of the red restaurant wall, the camera shows Scottie’s face and eyes which “move away from camera to the bar” and then “bridges the cut to the next image of Madeleine in profile”.[9]

It is the moment when it seems that the eyes of Scottie and Madeleine might meet. But, “Madeleine’s forward-facing gaze is broken by her distracted look down and to her right, towards (but not at) the camera”.[10] Having considered these scenes, it may be concluded that the camera is the part of the movie, which might possess “both active and passive possibilities or ontological qualities”.[11] The so-called imaginary point of view becomes noticed when the gazes of Scottie and Judy almost meet.

“The camera captures a key image in that part of the scene which Scottie later recalls from his mind”.[12] This camera effect helps us see that this scene is more about Scottie’s thoughts and emotions, the reflection of his character.

Visual effects in the movie also add to the understanding of the understanding of the movie title and idea. Scottie feels vertigo when he has to look down from height as he has an acrophobia. The ability to zoom the camera makes us feel vertigo in reality. This effect is perfectly seen in the first scenes of the movie when Scottie’s partner dies and causes his acrophobia.

The Similarity of Vertigo with other Hitchcock’s Films Almost all Hitchcock’s films are similar in the ideas, he was fond of shooting suspicious and psychological thrillers. Putting the visual effects as one of the main points of our discussion, it is important to state that Vertigo is very similar to Psycho.

A triadic image is seen when Perkins appears in doubles, as Bates and Mother.[13] The theme of “psychological consequences of seeing and being seen”[14] considered in Vertigo is highlighted in the other Hitchcock’s films, especially in Rear Window and Psycho.

Not sure if you can write a paper on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo: Film Techniques and Cinematography by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Considering the main topics of these movies and the techniques used for their shooting, it may be concluded that the main message the author wanted to deliver is that that human desires may ruin everything what people desired. It seems that the problem of voyeurism and objectification is really important for the author, as he has implemented this theme in many American films.

Conclusion Thus, it may be concluded that visual effects, camera movements, music sound and other techniques the director uses while shooting a film are extremely important for movie perception. We have based our attention on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Vertigo and the effects the director used to reach the desired goal.

The film director wanted to show us the different between seeing and being seen. He managed to do this via numerous camera and visual effects which added to the understanding of the scenes. Lightening and sound were also important as they paid our attention to the specific profiles and shots.

Works Cited Deutelbaum, Marshall and Leland A. Poague. A Hitchcock reader. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Print.

Gibbs, John and Douglas Pye. Style and meaning: studies in the detailed analysis of film. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005. Print.

Hill, Charles A. and Marguerite H. Helmers. Defining visual rhetorics. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.

Orr, John. Hitchcock and twentieth-century cinema. London: Wallflower Press, 2005. Print.

Vertigo. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Perf. James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes. Paramount Pictures, 1958. Film.

Footnotes Charles A. Hill and Marguerite H. Helmers, Defining visual rhetorics (London: Routledge, 2004) 111.

Vertigo, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, perf. James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes. Paramount Pictures, 1958.

Hill and Helmers, 119.


John Gibbs and Douglas Pye, Style and meaning: studies in the detailed analysis of film (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005) 93.

John Orr, Hitchcock and twentieth-century cinema (London: Wallflower Press, 2005) 128.

Gibbs and Pye, 94.

Marshall Deutelbaum and Leland A. Poague, A Hitchcock reader (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009) 235.

Gibbs and Pye, 93.


Deutelbaum and Poague, 241.

Gibbs and Pye, 94

Orr, 128.

Hill and Helmers, 111.