The Real Deal On Black Men And Incarceration Is Brought Out In The Book, "What Happens When Brothers Go To Prison And Leave Sis Alone"

by Jaki McCalvin

Black men have been going to prison for a very long time. Prison takes away power and control. It is a form of slavery that, unfortunately, black men are volunteering for in record numbers. The overseer is the judge; the slave masters are the correction officers. This is the real deal. When my husband stood before the white judge in his shackles, I mean handcuffs, I thought to myself, damn, that white man has so much power. And I began to wonder, why are we giving the white man more power and control over us?

Slavery was a form of imprisonment. In the sixties and seventies men stood up and refused to be set down and they were met with water holes, vicious dogs, the butt of a policeman’s gun and prison walls. But there was a cause, a reason and a method to the madness. They were fighting for our rights, the same rights that black men give up when they step before the judge in court.

Today black male incarceration has reached an all time high. Several statistics say the same thing. According to the Criminal Justice State of New York On-Line Statistics (,) “Newborn African-American males have a 1 in 4 chance of being incarcerated in their lifetime, Hispanics have a 1 in 6 and whites only have a 1 in 23 chance of ever being incarcerated.

Due to these sobering statistics what do you think happens when so many African-American men go to prison? They leave behind a vast number of women who must become both mother and father to small children. These women suddenly become sole supporter of families and are often pushed to poverty levels, as there is suddenly no second income and no child support.

It is true that the criminal justice system is unfair to black men who get more time for the same crimes white men commit. But there are several reasons why this occurs. First of all, the prisons represent a moneymaking business. In most states where there are prisons, the warden lives in the area, the cook, the correction officers, the man that distributes the food and other supplies from his own business that he started when he realized there was a need because of the prisons. They all live there and they all profit off of the large number of inmates in their all white town where the inmates are mostly black. So it is very simple. They need these prisons much more than they need rehabilitation programs and that is why they constantly build more prisons. But there would be no more building of prisons if there were no longer a few hundred brothers to put inside these prisons. As it stands, prisons are overcrowded. There are already hundreds of inmates, mostly black who could easily fill up a brand new prison and make some more towns richer.

Until African-American men stop going to prison we will NEVER have the power and money that white men have. It is time that we look at African-American male incarceration and what it does to the black family. We can no longer ignore it or sweep it under the rug. We must start to think about the children and the wives and girlfriends that visit the prisons and what they are dealing with. For every brother that goes to prison there is a mother who loses her son, a child who loses his/her father and a wom an who’s home is broken, who no longer has her man around for her needs and her children’s needs.

When my husband went to prison I was devastated. Although I began to visit him it took a toll on me emotionally as well as physically and my health declined as a result of the stress I suffered. And that is why I wrote, “What Happens When Brothers Go To Prison And Leave Sisters Alone.” I hope that black men will read my book and see what incarceration does to the family. New York City alone has over 1,000 women visiting the more than 50 prisons in upstate New York on a regular basis every weekend. These women are your secretaries, nurses, traffic officers, etc. They are normal women who are trying to give their children a chance to continue a relationship with daddy although he is now incarcerated. They are women who are trying to support men that have made mistakes. They are women like myself. I bring an awareness of this issue in my book because it is an issue that we must no longer ignore. I have met these women on my regular visits to the upstate prison where my husband has resided for over 12 y ears. I have listened to their concerns, heard their struggles and felt their frustrations. But I wish I never had to write this book, I wish this issue were not as prevalent as it is today. I wish that brothers would stop going to prison and leaving sisters alone. Information about this book can be obtained by going to Demand that your libraries and bookstores order this book, for the young brothers who happen to stop in - - we can save them before it’s too late.

The Real Deal On Black Men And Incarceration Is Brought Out In The Book, "What Happens When Brothers Go To Prison And Leave Sis Alone" by Jaki McCalvin

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