The United States of America is known across the world as one of the biggest superpowers, both in its military and economy. It is a democratic nation that runs on a successful capitalist system, which especially benefits those in positions of power. In the 1960’s, 200,000 people were incarcerated across the country, however this number has increased rapidly in the last fifty years and now more than 2 million people are incarcerated in prisons and detention centres all across the United States, leading to what is described as an age of mass incarceration. There is evidence to suggest that mass incarceration does benefit the American capitalist system and that the institution of criminal justice is beneficial to capital gain. America is a nation that prides itself on truth and justice for all its citizens, however it could be argued that America values its capitalist advancement more than the individual rights of the people who live there and consequently marginalises and discriminates against its African American and Latino communities in order to further its capitalist system. Angela Y. Davis discusses how the age of mass incarceration began during the …show more content…
For example they have served as valuable subjects in medical research.’ The use of prisoners for research was stopped in 1974 but prior to that, companies such as Johnsons and Johnsons had tested many pharmaceutical products on detainees. Many of the products tested could not be sold in their original form because of the great harm they caused to the prisoners but for some time this was overlooked due to the ‘great material benefits’ that these experiments provided. Although this practice has now been prohibited, it once again illustrates that America was not reserved in putting the advancement of capitalism above the rights of its
This is just one manifestation of America’s culture of incarceration. The United States has twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners and only five percent of the world’s population. The prison population in the
Final Essay America, the home of the free, but how free are we really? Incarceration rates over the past 30 years have soared, and currently 25% of all inmates in the world lie behind the bars of American prisons. (Approximately 716 per 100,000 peoples). Whether justified or not, our country locks up more people per year than any other country. Cases such as that of Tamir Rice, and Steven Avery exemplify both spectrums of the exploitation of our judiciary system.
In the article, Unwinding Mass Incarceration by Stefan Lobuglio and Anne Piehl, they argue that unwinding the mass incarceration “well neither be cheap nor easy, and to be done responsibly will require a new infrastructure of coordinated community-based facilities and services that can meet evidence-based incarceration needs while also ensuring public safety.” Hence, their argument is clean-cut with evidence in the article to back up their argument of unwinding the mass incarceration. Similarly, a solid fill of a concluding statement upon the unwinding of the mass incarceration as stated in the article, “requires much more than stopping current practices or reversing course by mass commutations and early release programs.” Subsequently, from this article, there are numerous interesting key points, and perspective of unwinding the mass incarceration.
By analyzing Martin Luther King’s essay and Davis’s excerpt, it becomes evident that the current status quo of mass incarceration, racial inequality, and injustice in the U.S. prison system demonstrates the severity of its institutional corruption. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” provides many assertions of racial inequality which can be applicable to the current U.S. prison system. An example of his assertions is, “My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without legal and nonviolent pressure. History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily” (“Letter”). This text supports the fact that the racial inequality aspect in King’s argument is apparent in the current U.S. prison systems by focusing on the imprisonment of minorities with harsher punishments compared to whites that have committed the same crime.
The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues written by Angela Davis explains her personal experiences growing up in Birmingham, Alabama during a time of racial segregation, capitalism and an unjust prison system. With the use of her personal experience and scholarly research, activist Davis investigates the institutionalized biases that support the criminal justice system in order to identify potential reforms that could result in a more just and equal society. In the chapter “The Prison Industrial Complex”, Davis highlights the relationship between the criminal justice system and people of color/immigrants. Several issues are addressed such as fear of crime and the reality of prisons, creation of public enemies, conditions which produce the prison industrial complex, structural connections and
Mass Incarceration: Transforming an Unconstitutional System. Guild Notes, 40(4), 12. Brad Broussard in his article, Mass
This critical reflection will focus on the piece “African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Politics of Protection” by Kali Nicole Grass. Grass currently works at the University of Texas and Gross’ research focuses on black women’s experiences in the United States criminal justice system between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In this journal, Gross uses her historical research background and her research work to explain how history in the sense of race and gender help shape mass incarceration today. In this journal, Gross’s main argument is to prove that African American women are overpopulating prisons and are treating with multiple double standards that have existed for centuries. To prove this argument, first Gross starts off by
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.
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.
The amount of mass incarceration in the United States as reached an all time high over the years. Mass Incarceration is the incarceration of a person or race based off of them being different and can be identified as a trend among law enforcements. These tensions have reached a certain extent and has received the attention of American citizens and the nation’s government. The laws of the United States seems fair, however with the enforcement of these laws, specific groups are targeted and abused by them daily.
Our democracy claims equality and equal opportunities but in reality, the systems within our democracy continue to perpetuate systemic racism and classism. The prison itself was a way to continue slave labor after slavery was abolished in 1865 and because of a loophole within the thirteenth amendment which states that slavery and involuntary servitude would not exist in the United States except as a punishment for crime. In Davis’s Are Prisons Obsolete she explains the systemic racism engrained within the prison industrial complex and explains “In the twenty-first century, antiprison activists insist that a fundamental requirement for the revitalization of democracy is the long-overdue abolition of the prison system” (Davis 35). Davis annunciates that in order to revitalize democracy the prison system must be abolished as when systems built on inequality are allowed to continue those inequalities continue to be perpetuated.
The United States prides itself on being a country of opportunities where the underprivileged can rise up and everyone is treated equally, but is that really the case? In reality the income of an individual gives them advantages of going above the system. The sociological explanation of the influence of the wealthy over the criminal justice system is described in the of the Pyrrhic defeat theory written in Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton book The Rich Get Richer and the Poor get Prison Ideology, class and Criminal Justice. The Pyrrhic defeat theory emphasizes the failure of the criminal justice is the consequence of success for those in power, who are taking advantage of the system.
For being such an advanced country, America’s biggest issue stays unresolved. That issue is its justice system. In the book Just Mercy, the author Bryan Stevenson writes, “We have to reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent.” The majority of prisoners in the U.S. are black, mentally ill, or poor. Minorities are treated harshly by the justice system in the United States because it’s built to benefit the rich, guilty, and white.
Her central thesis is that mass incarceration is “The New Jim Crow,” or the new system of control used by the government to uphold racial class in the U.S. This book will be helpful to my research because it directly discusses the topic of race and the criminal justice system. Amnesty International. (2003). United States of America: Death by discrimination
The prison-industrial complex is a corrupt political system that consists of overpowered politicians whose sole ambition is exploiting poor, uneducated, and under-privileged Americans to make money. Although, it wasn’t initially the purpose when Rockefeller started the war on drugs, but he started something bigger than he could’ve imagined at that time. The prison system has been proven to be ineffective, and costly waste of resources. However, it probably won’t be abolished due to the cash flow that it brings to some of the largest corporations in the