Over 2 million people are currently being held in United States prisons, and while the U.S. may only hold 5% of the world’s population, it houses 25% of its prisoners. In the past few years, America’s prison system has fallen under public scrutiny for it’s rising incarceration rate and poor statistics. Many Americans have recently taken notice of the country’s disproportionate prisoner ratio, realized it’s the worst on the planet, and called for the immediate reformation of the failing system. The war on drugs and racial profiling are some of the largest concerns, and many people, some ordinary citizens and others important government figures, are attempting to bring change to one of the country 's lowest aspects. The prison population rate in the U.S. is 716 per 100,000 people. Unless someone has spent time researching this rate for different countries, the statistic probably doesn’t make much sense. Of the 222 countries and territories listed in the Tenth Edition of the ICPS World Prison Population List, 54% had rates below 150 per 100,000, and the world’s average was 144 per 100,000 …show more content…
isn’t the only thing people believe needs to change; the reasons for arrests have been criticized by many. America incarcerates more citizens for drug related crimes than any other place in the world. Of the roughly 200,000 in federal prison, 52% are being held for drug crimes and only 8% are for violent crimes, such as: murder, assault, and robbery (Waldman, 2013). Many believe that the “War on Drugs” must become less aggressive because of its large contribution to the prison population. The distribution of prisoners by race has also raised concern among Americans. According to the U.S. Census, over 75% of the citizens of the United States are White, making up the vast majority; however, African Americans are five times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites, and Hispanics are about twice as likely (Sakala,
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Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences. The 1970s-1980s: The War on Drugs and Changes in Sentencing Policy Incarceration rates did rise above 140 persons imprisoned per 100,000 of the population until the mid 1970s.
Since the drug economy is prevalent in these communities, it makes sense for these individuals to turn to them. The final issue to address on the topic of mass incarceration of minorities is the policy change that is needed to fix the issues. First, localized policing has been a solution called for since the Black Panther Party in the 1970s. Having better control of communities could help prevent police shootings and backlash like seen in the riots in Ferguson, MO.
Imagine wasting 30 years of your life behind bars in a six by eight-foot cell, no windows, and cold brick walls. For most African Americans spending their lives behind bars is an inevitable future in the 21st century. In the 13th documentary directed by Ava DuVernay, they unfold a series of patterns relating the African American community to mass incarceration. The United States of America has the highest incarceration rates in the world. Today America makes up about 5% of the world’s population, yet they hold more than 25% of the world’s prisoners (DuVernay 00:00:00)
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Mass incarceration is the way that the United States has locked up millions of people over the last forty years using unnecessary and disproportionate policies. Contrary to popular belief, this is racially fueled as most of these policies saw to it that blacks and latinos be locked up for longer than their white peers and for smaller crimes. These racist roots within the system can be traced back to when the first slave ship arrived in the US. But our first major prison boom was seen after the American Civil war. I know that the Civil War was far more than forty years ago.
The amount of mass incarceration in the United States as reached an all time high over the years. Mass Incarceration is the incarceration of a person or race based off of them being different and can be identified as a trend among law enforcements. These tensions have reached a certain extent and has received the attention of American citizens and the nation’s government. The laws of the United States seems fair, however with the enforcement of these laws, specific groups are targeted and abused by them daily.
In general, the United States has 2.3 million people imprisoned in over 6,000 correctional facilities, with over 1,000,000 drug arrests made every year (Wagner, 2017). Washington state alone has 36,000 people jailed (Wagner, 2017). Although our rate is lower than the national average, there is still progress to be made. I, for one, do not believe that mass incarceration is the way to fix our country. President Nixon
Thesis: It is very important for the sake of Americans tax dollars that we change the way that prisons are run and increase the productivity of inmates so when they are released from jail they are ready to be a productive member in society and have the confidence to achieve new goals. Introduction: Day after day, millions of inmates sit in jail doing nothing productive with their lives. We are paying to house inmates that may not even have a good reason to be there. For example, drug offenders are being kept with murderers and other violent offenders.
In 1972, former President Richard Nixon made his infamous statements regarding crime and drug abuse. In this speech, he declared a war on crime and drugs and intended to decrease the number of people using drugs and the amount of crimes that were committed. Since this declaration, incarceration rates in the U.S. have gone up by 500%, even though the amount of crime happening has gone down. One of the reasons why I feel our rates have risen, is because sometimes, we put people in jail when they don’t need to be there in the first place.
The Huffington Post says, “The U.S. incarcerates nearly seven times as many people, measured as a share of population, as Canada does. People of color are disproportionately represented in the American prison population and are typically punished more severely than white peers for the same crimes” (Daniel Marans). Racism against people of color has caused them to be represented poorly in society as potential criminals, especially black. MIT informs its viewers that “according to the United States census Bureau, blacks are twice as likely to be poor compared to other races, and eight times as likely to be imprisoned. Blacks are also three times more likely to be convicted of drug violations than whites.
This preconceived notion could not be farther from the truth. In reality, these reform movements are idiotically placing a bandaid over the tremendous issue that the prison system is. An imbalance of reforms between women and men, unrestrained sexual abuse in women’s prisons, and tyrannical gender roles are just three of countless examples of how prison reform movements only create more misfortune and fail to provide any real solution to worsening prison conditions. Perhaps instead of conjuring up additional ideas on how to reform prisons, America’s so-called democratic society should agree upon abolishing prisons as a whole. This being said, it is crucial to identify ongoing issues in today’s society, understand how they contribute to unlawful behavior, and seek a solution.
People of all different races and ethnicities are locked behind bars because they have been convicted of committing a crime and they are paying for the consequences. When looking at the racial composition of a prison in the United States, it does not mimic the population. This is because some races and ethnicities are over represented in the correctional system in the U.S. (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018). According Walker et al. (2018), African-Americans/Blacks make up less than fifteen percent of the U.S. population, while this race has around thirty-seven percent of the population in the correctional system today.
The video that made me think the most, was Prison Kids: Juvenile Justice in America. They interviewed many kids, parents and the government officials who worked alongside these programs. This video was the most interesting to me because you do not hear much about kids being arrested. The video goes into something that was discussed in class several times, as well as a controversial topic in society.
Prison is a very harsh and bad place that no one should want to be in. Little freedom can make a person really aggravated. Nobody wants to be away from their family with little contact allowed. Little space and little privacy can only go for so long. Personally I think prison doesn't reform people because there are many repeat offenders, some people act worse when they get there, and also some people just don't like help and never want to change.