Over 2 million people are currently being held in United States prisons, and while the U.S. may only hold 5% of the world’s population, it houses 25% of its prisoners. In the past few years, America’s prison system has fallen under public scrutiny for it’s rising incarceration rate and poor statistics. Many Americans have recently taken notice of the country’s disproportionate prisoner ratio, realized it’s the worst on the planet, and called for the immediate reformation of the failing system. The war on drugs and racial profiling are some of the largest concerns, and many people, some ordinary citizens and others important government figures, are attempting to bring change to one of the country 's lowest aspects.
The criminal justice system may be more corrupt than the people who fill our prisons. It is amazing to see the many ways that certain parts of society actually benefit from the current system we support. This book,The Rich Get Richer and The Poor Get Prison, by authors Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton, has open my eyes to a very corrupt idealism. They are very precise in their supporting examples as well by walking the reader through each step and analogy.
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.
To much of the common citizen’s disbelief, the spike in the mass incarceration of citizens in America is not necessarily a result of the national increase in violence, but rather an operation fueled by the corruption within our own legal system. Although many individuals in the United States would stand to believe that there is no particular way that anyone could stand to profit from the mass incarceration of Americans–they are wrong. The standing profiteers for mass incarceration is the private prison industry. The name to their game is simple, the more that the public good suffers from mass incarceration, the more government money the companies can obtain. As a result of these efforts, the private prison industry cuts corners at the expense of public safety and prison security in order to maximize profits by obtaining government money, resulting in the mass denial of American citizen’s liberty.
INTRODUCTION The United States incarcerates a greater percentage of the population than any country in the world (CBS, 2012). According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 2.3 million adults were incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013. There are an additional 820,000 people on parole and 3.8 million people on probation (Wagner & Rabuy, 2016) Jail and prison differ primarily in regards to the length of stay for inmates.
Thesis: It is very important for the sake of Americans tax dollars that we change the way that prisons are run and increase the productivity of inmates so when they are released from jail they are ready to be a productive member in society and have the confidence to achieve new goals. Introduction: Day after day, millions of inmates sit in jail doing nothing productive with their lives. We are paying to house inmates that may not even have a good reason to be there. For example, drug offenders are being kept with murderers and other violent offenders.
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
Since 1970, our prison population has risen by some 700% - an increase far outpacing rates of population growth and crime1”. The reason America has so many incarcerated people is not because Americans commit more crimes or the police are just better at finding criminals,
Prison reform has been an ongoing topic in the history of America, and has gone through many changes in America's past. Mixed feelings have been persevered on the status of implementing these prison reform programs, with little getting done, and whether it is the right thing to do to help those who have committed a crime. Many criminal justice experts have viewed imprisonment as a way to improve oneself and maintain that people in prison come out changed for the better (encyclopedia.com, 2007). In the colonial days, American prisons were utilized to brutally punish individuals, creating a gruesome experience for the prisoners in an attempt to make them rectify their behavior and fear a return to prison (encyclopedia.com, 2007). This practice may have worked 200 years ago, but as the world has grown more complex, time has proven that fear alone does not prevent recidivism.
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Mass incarceration is the way that the United States has locked up millions of people over the last forty years using unnecessary and disproportionate policies. Contrary to popular belief, this is racially fueled as most of these policies saw to it that blacks and latinos be locked up for longer than their white peers and for smaller crimes. These racist roots within the system can be traced back to when the first slave ship arrived in the US. But our first major prison boom was seen after the American Civil war. I know that the Civil War was far more than forty years ago.
According to a Washington Post article written by Jerome G. Miller, The US has the highest incarceration rate of any democratic country. US Prisons hold more than 2.4 million inmates, or 1% of the US population. Based on the percentage of the population in Prison, the United States incarcerates five times more people than Britain, nine times more than Germany, and 12 times more than Japan (Miller). These high incarceration rates are coupled with high recidivism rates, which lead to prisons being overcrowded. The majority of criminals in prison will be released.
However, imprisonment is widely used for murder, grievous bodily harm, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, fraud and others. As has been said, many lawyers have questioned the issue of deprivation of liberty as a form of punishment. Primarily, this is because the rapid growth of technical equipment of the prison system has not been able to stop the rise in crime. Furthermore, scientists have noticed that the threat of the heaviest responsibility for the crime does not affect the rate of relapse and it remains relatively stable for each specific country (Johnson, 2011). Awareness of the ineffectiveness of such common form of punishment, such as imprisonment, leads to a change in strategy led “war on crime” to the strategy of “harm reduction”.
There is a worldwide trend in the use of penal imprisonment for serious offenses as capital punishment has been renounced by an increasing number of countries. Harsh punishments include capital punishment, life imprisonment and long-term incarceration. These forms of punishments are usually used against serious crimes that are seen as unethical, such as murder, assault and robbery. Many people believe that harsher punishments are more effective as they deter would-be criminals and ensure justice is served. Opposition towards harsh punishments have argued that harsher punishments does not necessarily increase effectiveness because they do not have a deterrent effect, do not decrease recidivism rates and do not provide rehabilitation.