Does it make sense to lock up 2.4 million people on any given day, giving the U.S the highest incarceration rate in the world. More people are going to jail, this implies that people are taken to prison everyday for many facilities and many go for no reason. People go to jail and get treated the worst way as possible. This is a reason why the prison system needs to be changed. Inmates need to be treated better.
Many factors have played into why minorities are so overrepresented within the criminal justice and corrections system, however, I will focus on two main reasons into why this disparity has existed. The first being, the manipulation of laws by elites targeting minority communities. For example, during the 70s and 80s, drugs in America became very popular and in particular crack-cocaine became a leading drug among consumers. For Caucasians, the drug of choice was cocaine which they would snort through the nose, for African-Americans it was crack which was cocaine, however, it was cooked into a rock while cocaine is a powder substance. During this time period both drugs were popular among both races, though, there was a bigger crackdown on crack and the minority community.
Some reforms that have been built around the promise of public interest are the prison institutions, businesses, political machines, and voting rights. Before their reformation, these systems were oppressing minority communities from thriving. Before there was a prison system, citizens who chose not to follow the law were brutally punished. Then during the 1800s, the early stages of prison systems were developed.
By definition, corrections are the variety of programs, services, facilities, and organizations responsible for the management of individuals who have been accused or convicted of criminal offenses (Clear 11). Yet, looking at what prisons are giving inmates today, it seems that this definition is not being upheld. There has been a lack of funding towards new programs that could prevent inmates from returning to prison, and the result is an increase in recidivism in prisons all over the United States. Since World War II through the 1970s, many changes have occurred in the United States correctional systems. During these years, the correctional system has transformed from the rehabilitation model to a more punitive model.
America's prisons are overpopulated and the population is growing each year with increased drug activities. Low level drug offenders, comprised of 39 percent of the overall prison population. In the article " Department of Justice low-level drug offenders: a defense perspective" defines low-level drug offender as one who has been convicted drug trafficking offense but has no prior commitment, history of violence, known involvement of sophisticated criminal activity, significant "public risk factor," and pending detainer (Katz 28) . This group isn't hardened criminals and don't live a life of crime; rather they are motivated by profit. They are less likely to return to prison when compared to hardened criminals.
Punishment refers to a sanction that is enforced when a person commits a crime. In North Carolina, around 1990 punishment and/or rehabilitation under the courts system was entitled structured sentencing. This sentencing included community service, active sentences, or suspended sentences. Rehabilitation on the other hand can be defined as preparing an offender for reintegration back into society after a length of time in prison. Rehabilitation can be programs such as drug courts, education, and/or vocational skills, etc.
Research strongly indicates that transitional housing reduces the recidivism rates of parolees. Housing for many released inmates is very difficult to obtain for a variety of reasons, including prohibitions against people with drug convictions living in federally subsidized public housing. The state department of corrections has decided to rent a multiple-dwelling unit in a low-income area and to allow 200 inmates to live there six months following their release from prison. People in the neighborhood complain that this parole housing unit will increase crime in an already trouble area, will endanger local children, and will place an undue burden on local police and social service. So now the question is do you open the parole transitional
Correspondingly, prioritizing rehabilitation programs in American prison systems would greatly reduce the recidivism rate because of the mental health epidemic in these correctional facilities. Today, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of people in prison are mentally ill, according to U.S. Department of Justice estimates. "Prisons have really become, in many ways, the de facto mental health hospitals," says former prison psychologist Thomas Fagan, PhD. " But prisons weren't built to deal with mentally ill people; they were built to deal with criminals doing time. "
The United States is the country that has most people incarcerated and the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. This level of incarceration does not stem from abnormally high crime rates, but is more strongly linked to our nation’s sentencing practices and drug policies, both of which have been developed to be “tough on crime.” This and harsher stance is not as effective as approaches other nations use, which focus more on crime prevention and rehabilitation. The United States has the highest rate of incarceration at 716 prisoners per 100,000 people.
The mass incarceration of the mentally ill can be reduced by reverting to institutionalization Researchers and activists alike are concerned about the rate at which individuals with mental illness are incarcerated in the United States. Many consider that the increase in incarceration is a direct result of deinstitutionalization. In this essay, I will discuss how the solutions to the prevention of the incarceration of the mentally ill but ultimately lead to the common goal of improving the care of the mentally ill. This will be done by comparing and contrasting the key points of Knoll, Etter et al and Kincaid.