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).
violent or nonviolent (1). It is hard to figure out who is a violent criminal due to the way they were charged under the justice system. There is no way of showing whether or not violence was used while they were dealing or drug using. These statistics prove that by focusing on other resolutions for non-violent crimes, the incarceration rates could be reduced. Along with rehabilitation for drug offenders, there is also a need for proper rehabilitation of mentally ill patients and prisoners to keep them from relapsing and ending up back in the system. Brooks states in his article that in the early 70s, a large majority of people were released from mental institutions. This caused an issue because a lot of these inmates released were not mentally
These tactic was utilized by the United States to combat alcohol and drug abuse. Conservatives believe that the experience of prison, along with harsh sentences and punishments for minor crimes, serves to discourage prisoner who are released from breaking the law once again. In 2017, 1 in every 5 people in prison were locked up for a drug offense. 6.7 million people were under correctional supervision as of 2015. 3.7 million are on probation, 2.3 million are in correctional facilities, and 840,000 are on parole.
The high incarceration rate of Black Americans has pervasive and chronically negative stigmas regarding the social and economic vitality of the Black American community, such as a lack of democratic participation and violence within urban communities (Burris-Kitchen & Burris, 2011). According to Forman Jr. (2012), some of 5 the negative affects of systemic racism of Black Americans born into the hip-hop generation who have been convicted include the ineligibility of public assistance programs such as health care, food stamps, public housing, student loans, and some employment opportunities. Additionally, many of the individuals suffering from the stigma of incarceration come from backgrounds of disadvantage such as single parent homes, low
Introduction and Summary: Chapter 11 focuses on the individuals with mental illness and the criminal justice system. Every year there are hundreds of thousands of individuals with mental illness who are arrested. The past decade a lot of the state hospital and mental health facilities have been shut down for lack of funding. Many of the seriously mentally ill are roaming the streets. The serious mental illness regarding this chapter would include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. Schizophrenia is where the individual has hallucinations, delusion, and severe disorganization. Bipolar disorder is where the individual has the ability to change their current mood to extremely high to extremely low. The bipolar illness causes
The United States is faced with a major issue of mass incarceration and prison overpopulation. With the largest prison population in the world and the second highest incarceration rate per-capita (1 in 100 citizens is behind bars), the United States’ corrections system needs to be reformed now, through both policy and administrative changes. While I am certain you are familiar with these statistics, I would like to emphasize that using incarceration as the primary response to social problems as is happening today in the United States not only impacts those individuals incarcerated and their families, but also costs tax payers billions of dollars.
Although the courts have sometimes recognized a value in consistency,they have nevertheless made it clear that consistency is not a paramount constitutional value in structure of the criminal justice system.The law tolerates inconsistent verdicts.22 The Supreme Court has held that if a single fact finder, whether jury or judge, returns a verdict that is internally inconsistent, the conviction may stand.23 For example, the jury may acquit a defendant of a narcotics offense, but it may convict the defendant of using the telephone to commit that offense. The conviction is inconsistent with the acquittal but will stand despite that inconsistency. Similarly, if either a single fact finder or separate fact finders acquit one defendant of a crime
However, the construction of new prison facilities has not provided a sustainable solution for the reduction in crime rates in the society. Incarceration has also proven to be expensive. There are several costs associated with incarceration. These include costs of building new facilities, costs of paying prison staff, maintaining the prisons and costs of treating particular classes of prisoners such as elderly and mentally ill inmates. The United States spends billions of dollars on incarceration each year with the average yearly increase in state spending on prisons from 1999 to 2009 being approximately 3 percent (James, 2011, p.632).
Slavery, Jim Crow, the ghetto, and the carceral apparatus are all structural institutions that share a mutual beneficial relationship where each has supplemented and historically progressed into more advanced subtle forms of oppression and racism. Past and current regimes served as social functions with the objective of encompassing African Americans in a permanent subordinate position. In each generation, newer developments of a racial caste emerge with the same objective of repudiating African Americans citizenship. The only thing that has changed since Jim Crow is the language we use to justify racial exclusion (Alexander, 2). These four regimes are genealogically linked because they all advanced and developed from one another. As the generations progress, newer forms of social control, racial exclusion and oppressions develop. All of these regimes function as a racial caste system that locks a stigmatized racial group in
The purpose of this literature review is to prove that drug court programs are an effective alternative to incarceration for people struggling with substance abuse issues. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics seventeen percent of prisoners at the state level were incarcerated due to drug related crimes. Eighteen percent of federal cases were related to drugs (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004). According to Lutze and Van Wormer the drug court model was formulated in response to the revolving cycle involved with substance addiction and crime.
this study used evidence from 23 drug courts and 6 comparison sites. With the hypothesis “that drug court participants have lower rates of drug use and criminal activity and show improved functioning compared to similar offenders not offered drug court,” the study will offer information on whether or not the drug courts are working enough to be widely used. To see whether the drug courts were performing or not, 7 outcomes measured drug use, criminal activity, incarceration, socioeconomic status, mental health, family support, and homelessness (Rossman, 2011, p.20). Information found through the study points to reduced drug relapse, reduced criminal behavior, and increased court appearance (Rossman, 2011, p. 3-4). Overall, through the MADCE study, results proved that those who go through Drug Courts have less chance of relapse, commit less crime, and Drug Courts even “return a net benefit of $5,680 to $6,208 per participant” (Rossman, 2011, p. 257-258).
Fielding et al. (2002) reported that the higher the client’s risk level (based on previous crimes), the more likely that he or she would recidivate, time to new arrest was shorter, and time to new drug arrest was shorter. Again, this study is limited in size and generalizability. Just as important, the authors found that it was cheaper for a client to go through the program than be incarcerated in prison or placed in residential treatment. This analysis is only valid when comparing the cost of incarcerating a client in prison and the costs for a client to participate in the program.
This leads to the question of whether the justice system is doing an adequate job of dealing with drug addiction. Instead of incarcerating people for drug abuse, an alternative is treating victims by rehab and treatment. This paper will exam why treatment is the superior option for