Essay On Mass Incarceration

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In the 1970s the United States entered the era known as mass incarceration, the byproduct of the drug war. The War on Drugs changed how society handled drug dependency, diverting the problem from public health to criminal justice. Since the Nixon administration, the political stance on being tough on crime has resulted in various laws and policing practices that heavily criminalized drugs to point in which the prison population in the United States increased from 300,000 people in 1972 to 2.3 million today (Barish, DuVernay, Averick & DuVernay, 2016). The epidemic of mass incarceration corresponds to a variety of public health issues such as mental illness, increased violence within society, increased incidence of addictions, and increased incidence of chronic illnesses (Drucker, 2013). …show more content…

Even upon release, those who have gone through the criminal justice system are subjected to negative health outcomes as a result of the adversity they face from society (Cloud, Parsons, & Delany-Brumsey, 2014). The War on Drugs accounts for the staggering two thirds rise in the federal prison population and the roughly fifty percent increase of inmates in state prisons, in fact since 1980 there has been a nearly 1,100 percent increase in the amount of drug offenders incarcerated (Alexander, 2012, p. 60). Yet not all races and communities have been caught in this epidemic equally. Impoverished, low income men of color have been more strongly impacted by the War on Drugs and mass incarceration. Discrimination and biased policing practices are the chief social causes that have resulted in the unfair disparity of men of color being more strongly affected by mass incarceration and the eco-social theory, despite its faults, is the most fitting model for researchers to utilize in assessing this social

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