Jose  Gonzalez


Dear Mr./Mrs. President,


I would like to start off by thanking you for taking the time to read my letter. Something I would like to bring to your attention is the incarceration system in the United States. I believe that the incarceration system in the United States is a broken system, due to all of the corruption that lies within. The incarceration system has been overlooked, and no one looks twice at what the actual process of incarcerating someone really is or how it is greatly influenced by racial bias.  The problem with the incarceration system is that those who enter the system, are not very likely to leave it because of their ethnicity. I also do not find it fair for those who have the misfortune to have their lives ruined by a small offense. I am not saying that they do not deserve to be punished because they do deserve to be punished, but punished fairly. Some people in the US are serving life sentences for minor offenses and I believe that you can make a change to that if you would humbly take into consideration what I have to say.

Racism has always played a major part in the USA. We as a country are known for it. The Jim Crow laws were based on racial bias and were “abolished” back in 1964, ten years after the laws were passed. Something else has taken the place of the Jim Crow– The incarceration system. Our incarceration system is broken and corrupted with racial bias and greed. Once someone is through the incarceration system, they have a permanent record and are then labeled as a criminal. African Americans and Hispanics have comprised 58% of ALL the prisoners in the year of 2008 although they make up only a quarter of the US population. The fact that more than half of the prison population is made up of just minorities raises a few eyebrows. Our country has found a way to keep segregation in another form besides Jim Crow, and I know it can be stopped but we have to take initiative. When you compare a man who has shoplifted and a man who has taken the lives of many, they still fall into the same category as a criminal despite the difference of the crime. After one mistake, one will be labeled a criminal for the rest of their lives, and sadly most of those people are a part of the colored community.

Being the first born son of two Mexican immigrants, I know the feeling of being labeled as something for the rest of my life a little too well. Those who deserve to be punished should be, but fairly and accordingly to their crime. Putting aside all of the racial bias, I am sure that we would be able to purify the incarceration system. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


With the highest esteem,

Jose A. Gonzalez

image_printPrint this page.


0 0 votes
Rate This Post
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Email allisonpr@gmail.com Call or Text 917-612-3006

Missions on Youth Voices
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account