Gopnik's Incarceration Problem

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We long for solutions, we long for peace, we long for change. But how? For decades, we notice the rate of incarceration increase heavily, as time passes. However, solutions to decrease those rates have been minimum. Adam Gopnik provides very detailed arguments on why the incarceration rates are so high in the United States, the comparison between jail time and crime committed, and also focuses on the importance of working together for smaller solutions to later “fix” problems like incarceration and our criminal justice system. Although Gopnik doesn’t provide a concrete solution for this problem, he does emphasize the significance for finding a solution. The incarceration rate in 1980 was 220/100,000, but by 2010, it has more than tripled to 731/100,000. The United States is the only country to have that dramatic increase. Gopnik compares the time that’s spent in prison and the crime associated with it. Gopnik states, "For American prisoners, huge numbers of whom are serving sentences much longer than those given for similar crimes anywhere else in the civilized world..." The comparison between jail time and crime committed are unequal and injustice; we are the only …show more content…

In Douglas B. Weiss and Doris L. MacKenzie’s article “A Global Perspective on Incarceration: How an International Focus Can Help the United States Reconsider Its Incarceration Rates”, they write, “Many suggest that the incarceration rate in the United States is so high because it experiences higher crime rates...While violent crime rates in the United States are high relative to these other nations, they do not appear to be exceptional. (Weiss, MacKenzie 271)” Yes, we have higher crime rates, but looking back again, a lot of the criminals that are imprisoned are either committing a nonviolent crime, or a very low leveled crime; hence the “they do not appear to be

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