Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences. The 1970s-1980s: The War on Drugs and Changes in Sentencing Policy Incarceration rates did rise above 140 persons imprisoned per 100,000 of the population until the mid 1970s.
The current system that incarcerates people over and over is unsustainable and does not lower the crime rate nor encourage prisoner reformation. When non-violent, first time offenders are incarcerated alongside violent repeat offenders, their chance of recidivating can be drastically altered by their experience in prison. Alternative sentencing for non-violent drug offenders could alleviate this problem, but many current laws hinder many possible solutions. Recently lawmakers have made attempts to lower the recidivism rates in America, for example the Second Chance Act helps aid prisoners returning into society after incarceration. The act allows states to appropriate money to communities to help provide services such as education, drug treatment programs, mental health programs, job corps services, and others to aid in offenders returning to society after incarceration (Conyers, 2013).
It is for this reason legislators should consider adopting alternative policies and practices that may assist with high racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Some recommendations include: Establishing a national criminal justice commission to examine incarceration and racial disparities; Scaling back the number of prosecutions for low-level drug offenders when it comes to the war on drugs; Abolishing mandatory minimum sentences; Developing new policies and procedures and integrating them into training programs to reduce racial
The prison population increased by 91% between the years 1993 to 2014. More offenders were being sentenced over these years and for a longer period of time. No progress was made. The 1989 Children’s Act held that a child’s welfare should be paramount (Muncie
With all of the issues the government must worry about, prison overcrowding should not be one of them. The lazy and effortless attempts of the justice system that resulted in the outstanding number of people inside prisons is overbearing. There needs to be a change. Mandatory sentencing laws, lack of awareness and inhumane treatment of prisoners is unjust. For society to progress, new laws must be passed, recognition must happen, and action needs to take place.
In 1972, former President Richard Nixon made his infamous statements regarding crime and drug abuse. In this speech, he declared a war on crime and drugs and intended to decrease the number of people using drugs and the amount of crimes that were committed. Since this declaration, incarceration rates in the U.S. have gone up by 500%, even though the amount of crime happening has gone down. One of the reasons why I feel our rates have risen, is because sometimes, we put people in jail when they don’t need to be there in the first place.
With the economy in the turmoil that it is in America cannot continue to support these sentencing guidelines. The Mandatory Article Sentencing declares that the laws are becoming a huge drain on the Justice Bureau’s budget, and in 2012 the United States had far beyond more people incarcerated than any other country. Most of these prisoners are low-level drug offenders sentenced under mandatory sentencing guidelines with a cost draining on American taxpayers $6.8 billion a year, as of 2012. These costs do not seem to have a ceiling and continue eating up about twenty-five percent of the federal justice system’s yearly budget.
In 2014 there were 215,000 people incarcerated in federal prisons, almost half were there for drug-related offenses with the enactment of mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug offenses in the 1980s, increasing the population by more than 800 percent (Malcolm, 2014.) “Moreover, drug offenders make up the single largest category of incarcerated offenders in Tennessee, serving an average sentence of 9.7 years” (Malcolm, 2014, paragraph 21.) By limit sentencing, we can address the issues of high cost, by using probation and parole for more misdemeanor
Introduction Crime, its punishment, and the legislation that decides the way in which they interact has long been a public policy concern that reaches everyone within a given society. It is the function of the judicial system to distribute punishment equitably and following the law. The four traditional goals of punishment, as defined by Connecticut General Assembly (2001), are: “deterrence, incapacitation, retribution, and rehabilitation.” However, how legislature achieves and balances these goals has changed due to the implementation of responses to changing societal influences. Mandatory minimum sentences exemplify this shift.
Although those crimes aren't really that much of a bigger deal nowadays, those crimes are equivalent to an eighteen year old getting locked up for months at a time for just having maybe drugs or getting in trouble for theft. Jacoby got the point across that the people who are getting incarcerated for small things like stealing or small offense need some other kind of
Being that there was such a need to increase law enforcement and the amount of guards in the prison system there was a need to make sure there was enough funding to have enough prisons to avoid the possibility of overcrowding. The bill allocated $9.9 billion, including $7.9 billion to build state prisons for violent offenders, and $1.8 billion to states for jailing criminal illegal immigrant (US Department of Justic,1993). When hearing the conditions of the act one can presume the amount of crime taking place would decrease (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco& Firearms June,16,1996). During the late 1980’s there were many high-profile cases of violent crime that spread rapidly throughout the United States. One example includes The 101 California Street Shooting.
It remains to be seen if zero tolerance policies nationwide will be relaxed or replaced with a more lenient and rehabilitation-oriented approach; perhaps the recent "thaw" will lead into another freeze. Lawmakers and administrators should, however, keep in mind that a school system that has too much in common with jail may end up producing students who are all too ready to become
But they fail to realize that the system we have now throws anyone in jail no matter if the person committed the crime or not. They also fail to realize that the current system sentencing isn't organized or fair because there are people out there innocent and people who don’t deserve that time that was given for petty crimes. The current system doesn’t seek for justice, they see everyone who gets arrested as a criminal and feels they should be thrown away for a very long time and that isn't fair. Sentencing reforming is highly recommended due to the outrageous modern sentencing practices we have today. People go to jail or maybe even prison for such petty crimes that doesn't deserve the many years that were given to them.
These law makers must properly asses this bill and the affects it will have on prisons systems, individual offenders, and the crime rate. All offenders should not be generalized and sentenced according one law because every circumstance is different. We must restore our faith in the appointed criminal judges that they will do everything within their power to administer the law appropriately and fair based on evidence and intent. Overturning mandatory minimum laws starts with knowing a few specific details. These details include: what mandatory minimums are and what brought about their start, knowing what classification of offenders are affected by the laws and if it is warranted for the offense, the number of inmates incarcerated currently that are serving mandatory minimum sentences, and the impact mandatory minimum laws have on the prison systems.