Alethia’s plight is rooted within the systemic racism of our criminal-justice system, and a wrongheaded coverage of treating drug habit as against the law, not the illness that it’s. A knowledge-based evaluation by the Herald-Tribune in 2017 laid out the stark variations in how Blacks and whites are handled by our judicial system. Solely 9% of the inhabitants in Highlands County (the place Alethia was prosecuted) is Black. But 52% of its cocaine convictions since 2004 had been towards Black defendants. Black sentences had been double the size of these of whites, the Herald-Tribune’s evaluation discovered.