Essay On Incarceration Rate

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Incarceration rates have skyrocketed over the last forty years-- which could be interpreted as good or bad. There have been many questions surrounding incarceration directly being linked to a drop in crime rate: both positive and negative. One pair of economical authors, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, approached this concept from a mostly-positive outlook: the high incarceration rate was responsible for one-third of the crime drop in the 1990’s (123-124). The authors use high incarceration rate along with innovative police strategies, plummet of the crack market, and aging in the population to make a base argument of reasons for crime drop; however, the main argument they utilize is the legalization of abortions (Levitt and Dubner 120-121, …show more content…

Some examples of an unwanted child may be among teen moms, single moms, and rape cases which may increase crime rate if these women were forced to have children and failed to give them a superb upbringing. High incarceration rate is used by Levitt and Dubner as one of the background reasons why crime has dropped since the 90’s (the background with abortion being their main reason). According to Levitt and Dubner, “Harsh prison terms have been shown to act as both deterrent (for the would-be criminal on the street) and prophylactic (for the would-be criminal who is already locked up).” (123) They use several pieces of evidence for this showing definite crime drop when more people were put behind bars; however, a lot of evidence used with this theory is conceded by the complete opposite idea. Levitt and Dubner used the study “On Behalf of a Moratorium on Prison Construction” (123) to counter and, in the end, strengthen their theory of incarceration rates. This literature review will answer the following question: Do high incarceration rates in fact deter criminals from commiting crimes and, if there is a link, how big of an impact do they

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