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.
In the article, Unwinding Mass Incarceration by Stefan Lobuglio and Anne Piehl, they argue that unwinding the mass incarceration “well neither be cheap nor easy, and to be done responsibly will require a new infrastructure of coordinated community-based facilities and services that can meet evidence-based incarceration needs while also ensuring public safety.” Hence, their argument is clean-cut with evidence in the article to back up their argument of unwinding the mass incarceration. Similarly, a solid fill of a concluding statement upon the unwinding of the mass incarceration as stated in the article, “requires much more than stopping current practices or reversing course by mass commutations and early release programs.” Subsequently, from this article, there are numerous interesting key points, and perspective of unwinding the mass incarceration.
Over the last thirty years, the prison population in the United States has increased more than seven-fold to over two million people, including vastly disproportionate numbers of minorities and people with little education. For some racial and educational groups, incarceration has become a depressingly regular experience, and prison culture and influence pervade their communities. Almost 60 percent of black male high school drop-outs in their early thirties have spent time in prison. In Punishment and Inequality in America, sociologist Bruce Western explores the recent era of mass incarceration and the serious social and economic consequences it has wrought.
Mass Incarceration: Transforming an Unconstitutional System. Guild Notes, 40(4), 12. Brad Broussard in his article, Mass
Nixon was paranoid and feared any man who did not agree with him (“Watergate and the Cover-Up.” 1995). He also believed that, as President, he could take whatever measures necessary to protect himself from his enemies, even if that meant he broke the law (“Watergate and the Cover-Up.” 1995). During his presidency, he actually said, “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.” (“Watergate and the Cover-Up.” 1995). In turn, he was his own worst enemy.
The relationship of mass incarceration and the legacy of slavery is that people who committed felon were stripped of their rights like the slaves. It is similar to the way slaves were treated before the 13th Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement. Even though the 13th Amendment was passed, many individuals found a loophole, which was a person who committed a crime could not have the same rights as everyone. This eventually causes people to arrest people of color regardless of whether or not they committed a crime.
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.
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.
Incarceration refers to the constitutional deprivation of an offender the capacity to commit crimes by detaining them in prisons. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any free nation. The U.S incarcerates five times more people than the United Kingdom, nine times more than Germany and twelve times more than Japan (Collier, 2014, p.56). Incarceration has several objectives. One of these is to keep persons suspected of committing a crime under secure control before a court of competent jurisdiction determines whether they are guilty or innocent.
Civil liberties are rights guaranteed to citizens in the Constitution that the government cannot interfere with, however, in the name of national security, they do. The government sometimes finds it necessary for Americans to give up some of their basic rights to keep the nation protected, but many people find this unnecessary. A law-abiding citizen’s extremely personal information should not be essential to finding terroristic threats within this society. Under no circumstances should an American citizen’s civil liberties be violated in a time of war or crisis, because those are assured rights that are most valuable to their freedom during national conflicts.
The government treats prisoners as if they are nothing in this world. The U.S prison system needs to be reformed by building new and better prisons and making it more humane and fair. Looking back to the prison history. Incarceration has not always been a common form of punishment. Back then people wanted to reform and change the way
Something will always need to be fixed in society because society is a reflection of us, and we are not perfect. Recently, there’s been many issues that have caught the attention of people living all across the world. Things such as police brutality, sexual assault in the workplace, and immigration law, just to name a few, but there’s also been an underlying issue that people are becoming more informed about, and that I believe matters - prison reform. Prison reform matters because in many instances, prisoners are treated inhumanely when they are locked up, and aren’t treated as humans when they have served their time. I believe we can bring about change in the prison system by changing the way we punish people who do commit crimes and focusing more on actual rehabilitation.
Though this may be my folly, it is my way of life and I refuse to go against it. I ask that you turn away from any statements I have made on this particular political issue, due to the fact that I no longer support this method of discipline. However, prisoner overcrowding is a different matter, those of victimless crimes should not carry out long sentences. Of course, they should still be crimes, yet no rights should be taken away, as they have not brought harm or violence to those in comparison of rapists and