Sociology Paper on Criminalization of Female Drug Addicts

It is common to find criminals of both genders. Some people feel emotionally detached when one of their loved ones is imprisoned. Female drug addicts end up in rehabilitation centers in the U.S. This category of criminals has inmates who are parents or guardians to children. Whenever they are arrested, they are denied their human right of parenthood. This is a violation of basic human rights among female drug addicts arrested in the streets. However, the use of hard drugs should be fought against by all stakeholders; as it requires a collective contribution from all members of the public. Criminalization of female drug addicts should consider humanitarian conditions that are inherent to human beings such as parenthood.

Reading 1 – Roberts, Dorothy: Punishing Drug Addicts Who Have Babies

Punishing drug addicts is a common practice among U.S. citizens. Female drug addicts are taken to rehabilitation centers to undergo therapy treatment. However, they are denied parenthood rights while recovering from drug addiction. In some communities, moreover, female drug addicts are issued legal action when they are found positive for testing hard-drugs (Roberts 1433). Such mothers are accused of causing indirect harm to an unsuspecting infant (fetus in this case). Such mothers are taken to court for using hard drugs being aware that it could interfere with the normal formation of infants. Being a deliberate act, most female drug addicts are arrested and charged with different legal accusations.

Personally, I have encountered situations where mothers are denied the right to parenthood. These mothers were mainly immigrants from Venezuela who had been caught in the midst of an economic crisis. These mothers were moving from their homeland through other countries to the U.S. southern border with Mexico. It is unfortunate that immigration laws were working against such mothers (Roberts 1441). Apparently, the U.S. government issued a directive which saw parents separated from their parents due to non-compliance with immigration laws. This is to note that modern political laws are going against basic human rights in distinct ways. Aside from female drug addicts, even immigrant mothers are facing the challenge of separation from their children.

Reading 2: Roberts, Dorothy: Prison, Foster Care, and the Systemic Punishment of Black Mothers

Systematic punishment of black mothers is a common practice in multiracial countries like the U.S. and Australia. Systematic punishment entails laws and policies which single-out or targets a certain category of a population. In systematic punishment of black mothers, foster care homes and prisons are filled by children and inmates of African-American community (Roberts 1474). Most mothers are always on police radars for certain criminal offenses in the community. Similarly, the systematic punishment of black mothers is also common in hospitals and public schools. In hospitals, for instance, black mothers are kept waiting long for medical services which require immediate attention. This is facilitated by hospital policies that target a certain category of black mothers.

My nephew was sent home for being involved in a fight with a child from a different race. The two had been arguing about wrestling stars across the globe until my nephew got hit for standing for his choice. His anger led him to punch the child who had attacked him unknowingly. The fight ensued for a while before a teacher intervened. Apparently, this teacher rescued the other child ad quickly turned my nephew into a culprit. A statement from the school state that my nephew attacked a fellow student physically attracting a disciplinary action against his actions (Roberts 1474). The disciplinary measure did not allow my sister and her son to narrate their story of the conflict. This was a systematic punishment of black mothers.

Reading 3: Roberts, Dorothy: Who May Give Birth to Citizens? Reproduction, Eugenics, and Immigration

The question of who has the right to give birth to Citizens place mothers in a difficult position. For instance, birthrights permit children to reside in a country as long as they were born in that country. However, the original homeland of mothers giving birth to such student places their rights to conceive in a dilemma. Birthplace should not be used to determine reproduction rights and immigration laws. Parents cannot be separated from their children despite political rules governing a country. Immigration policies have created confusion on who may give birth to citizens in the U.S. Immigrant mothers. Our community’s social conditions are deteriorating humanity values in unique ways. Minority groups are on the receiving end of political laws that target certain members of an institution. Gender discrimination laws are yet to make their anticipated impacts in the community. Female black mothers, to be specific, require additional attention when it comes to parenthood and dealing with crime.

The discussion above notes that parenthood is an equal right to both male and female drug addicts. Criminalization of female drug addicts should consider punishments that protect the interests of parenthood in an accused victim. Punishing drug addicts who have babies goes against the basic human rights of parenthood. Systematic punishment of black mothers is an indication that modern society still oppresses the female gender (Roberts 129). Men are not as socially-judged as women. As a result, most mothers end up losing care rights for their biological children as a punishment for bad behavior. Criminalization of female drug addicts denies them their general female obligation of giving birth to young ones. Human-made laws are slowly eroding human values such as parenthood when female drug addicts are taken to detention centers.


Works Cited

Roberts, Dorothy E. “Prison, foster care, and the systemic punishment of black mothers.” Ucla L.             Rev. 59 (2011): 1474.

Roberts, Dorothy E. “Punishing drug addicts who have babies: Women of color, equality, and      the right of privacy.” Harvard Law Review (1991): 1419-1482.

Roberts, Dorothy E. “Who May Give Birth to Citizens–Reproduction, Eugenics and         Immigration.” Rutgers Race & L. Rev. 1 (1998): 129.