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.
In America, the private prison industry was made for necessary profit based off of the management of prisons by large, private companies. In David Shapiro’s insightful report “Banking on Bondage”, he discusses the logistics of the United States prison system, saying “In America, our criminal justice system should keep us safe, operate fairly, and be cost-effective”. Today, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran. Alongside the issues of private prisons, the increasingly apparent problem of mass incarceration has stripped record numbers of American citizens of their freedom, has a minimal effect on public
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.”
One of the main arguments pushed by Alexander in this book is that mass incarceration is “ a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar
Mortimer B. Zuckerman argues that we need to change the way our criminal justice system operates. He explains that there are more prisoners in a cell than the amount it was originally created for. Zuckerman also acknowledges the fact that incarceration rates are extremely high and that the vast majority of prisoners are nonviolent. The author believes that the way nonviolent criminals are dealt with today brings about negative consequences that could easily be avoided (Zuckerman). Zuckerman successfully convinces the reader that reform is needed in the criminal justice system by using several tactics such as eradicating common myths about incarceration, talking about the problem and solution while using logos, and appealing
On my way back to Miami, waiting for my flight at La Guardia Airport in New York and was eager to board my plane, I decided to watch the nearby television to pass time. That’s when I learned about who Michael Brown was. He was an unarmed black teenager, shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. On the TV screen were countless vivid images of the scene of Brown’s death and almost instantly it became ground zero for local outrage. Devastated to hear that yet another another teenage boy was killed by law enforcement, it was clear to me that there was an urgent need for justice in the US. The weeks following Brown’s death, news channels reported protesters flooding the streets near the
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. I may not be a mathematician but I do know that much. When I say "mass incarceration", I'm talking about the more modern idea of mass incarceration. The difference here
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Alexander (2012) examines the Jim Crow practices post slavery and the correlation to the mass incarceration of African-American. The creation of Jim Crows laws were used as a tool to promote segregation among the minorities and white Americans. Alexander (2012) takes a look at Jim Crow laws and policies that were put into place to block the social progression of African-Americans from post-slavery to the civil rights movement. Fast-forward to 2008 the election of Barack Obama certified the myth that African-Americans are no longer viewed as second-class citizens instead African-Americans are now considered equal to their white counterparts.
Alexander, M. (2012). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: The New Press.
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. Along with African-American/Blacks, the Hispanic population is underrepresented at both the state and federal levels while the Caucasian/White population are underrepresented (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018).
Over the decades, mass incarceration has become an important topic that people want to discuss due to the increasing number of mass incarceration. However, most of the people who are incarceration are people of color. This eventually leads to scholars concluding that there is a relationship between mass incarceration and the legacy of slavery. The reason is that people of color are the individuals who are overrepresented in prison compared to whites. If you think about it, slavery is over and African Americans are no longer mistreated; however, that is not the case as African Americans continue to face oppression from the government and police force. 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 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.
United States being the most cosmopolitan country in the world is also the country with most incarcerated citizens in the world, being African American, Hispanics or whites. United States also represents about 5 percent of the world population, it’s also houses about 25 percent of the whole world population. Not so obvious that the percentage of black Americans in jail accounts for the same percentage of any race in United States in jail, now. The number increases every week according to the percent increase of high school and college drop outs per city, the same percentage after dropping from school do not engage in any relevant job, but illegal activities and vandalism leading to their incarceration at a tender age.” United states in the
Prison is a dark, lonely and terrible place. A majority of people incarcerated are people of color. Mass incarceration is mainly concentrated on racial and ethnic minorities. In A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, it is shown that no matter your background or your story, you will still be targeted because of the color of your skin. Brown assures that The United States has only five percent of the world’s population, but twenty five of the world’s prison population. This is a huge problem. Throughout history and research it is shown how this damages the community, families, society, and the people incarcerated themselves.