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. …show more content…
This issue led to what is now resulting in mass incarceration. Mass incarceration has been shown to affect mostly poor and minorities. Individuals living in poverty are not afforded the same royalties as those who are not in poverty. They are more willing to commit crimes because of their lack of fortune. The crime rate is more prone to be in urban communities, which hold a significant number of minorities. Within the urban communities, negative perceptions are magnified. Adolescents are more prone to be a product of their environment, especially those whose parents are incarcerated. Because of this trend adolescents are being incarcerated at an alarming rate and sentenced to adult facilities. Lambie & Randall (2013) states, the United States have imposed harsher penalties on serious young offenders, and have consequently increased rates of incarcerated youth and made it easier for youth to be treated and incarcerated as adults within the justice …show more content…
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). The Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison Program is another attempt to provide better treatment for people who are convicted. The study showed that drug offenders who underwent a treatment program outside of prison had a 26 percent less rate of re-arrest after two years than a control group that was sent to prison (Justice Policy Institute, 2010). Rehabilitative programs like the Second Chance Act and the Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison Program has shown to growth and positive
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It is believed that letting a criminal free from incarceration puts society at risk. Before the reform recidivism rates were high, scaring the public with the idea that criminals can reenter society. When comparing individuals who were sentenced to prison to those in diversion programs, those in diversion programs were more likely to stay out of jail while those who went to jail were more likely to have re-arrests. It was reported that 64% of the treatment sample were arrest-free over a two-year follow up period. Those in the diversion program had recidivism rates as low as 36%; this compares to the group who were given jail time with a recidivism rate of 54% (Parsons, Wei, Henrichson, Drucker, & Trone, 2015).
Today in the United States, there is more than 7.1 million individuals under correctional supervision. For every 100,000 people, there is approximately 737 people incarcerated, nearly seven times higher than the world average incarceration rate of 166 per 100,000 people. This rapid explosion of prison populations over the past 25 years can largely be attributed to The War on Drugs and mandatory minimums which have primarily target the African-American community. Mandatory sentencing guides have led to many individuals being locked up for minor drug offences and non-violent crimes. As a result, prisons are overflowing with incarcerated individuals.
Quick Write Essay Mass incarceration is a horrible failure. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Even though America is home to about one-twentieth of the population , America has half of the world as prisoners. Incarceration is still high and not lowering no time soon.
My findings focused on the points that mass incarceration substantially affects families and jobs, which then become factors in the issue of recidivism. Moreover, these problems especially target minorities at high rates. To strengthen these points, I could have done more interviews, especially with past convicts or convicts who have returned to jail in order to get more first-hand experiences. As well as interviews with different ages of children exposed to incarceration to see if or how the effects differed. In the future, I hope to expand on the other ways incarceration affects lives, such as through health, especially mental health, or college opportunities.
Mass incarceration is somewhat overlooked by those on the outside and those who are on the inside are considered forgotten about and viewed as less than. But the reality is, these high rates of imprisonment effect many areas of the community. Not to mention the social costs linked to the communities from which these immense population of felons come from. Pattillo, Weiman, & Western, 2006 analyzes how this disregarded population can sometimes increase criminal statistics after the prisoners return into the same community they left – which is another point rarely ever talked about. Other than the invisible consequences that mass incarceration provides, there are even more myriad studies offered surrounding this topic, identified in The Prison
The literature answers the issues of incarceration rates increasing by giving us the product such as legislative decisions that were the primary reason that led to the increase of charging and imprisoning more offenders as well as increasing sentences, limiting prison release, and expanding the prison capacity. Higher incarceration rates were not the sole reason for the increase in crime. Prisons were continuing to be built even though crime had been declining. Later resulting in the sharpest decrease in crime in American history. Essentially every states incarceration rate was increased by 150 percent from 1970 to 2000, and the median state increasewas 390 percent, which was taken from the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2012.
Mass incarceration is a phenomenon described by Ta Nehisi-Coates as a way to explain the increase in incarcerated people in the United States over the past 40 years. This phenomenon can be traced back most obviously to the early 70s, when Nixon started his presidential term (DRUGPOLICY.ORG). Nixon came into presidency when the rebellious 60s were starting to really pose a threat to the government of the United States. His two main enemies were the major proponents of revolution: liberals against the violence of Vietnam and black people (DRUGPOLICY.ORG). He understood that these groups, but especially the poor black communities, depended on black market drug trade for a lot of their income and therefore found an extremely effective way to quell
It is, as Alexander explains, “a gateway into a larger system of racial stigmatization and permanent marginalization” (Alexander, 12). Mass incarceration is a larger system in which functions like Jim Crow laws that mesh people of color into a second class citizenship. Mass incarceration isn 't a term only applicable to the criminal justice system, but like past regimes, enables former prisoners, mainly people of color to be subject to “legalized discrimination and permanent social exclusion” (Alexander, 14). For example Operation Pipeline is an example of legalized discrimination that is a federally run general search program that targets people without cause for suspicion, mainly being people of color (Alexander, 71). This gives officers the consent to target and suspect people of color more than White individuals, even though they are just as likely to commit a drug offense or
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.
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.
As America got tough on crime and launched its war on drugs in the 1980s incarceration rates soared. People believed just locking criminals up for all crimes, even non-violent drug offenses was the best option for fighting crime. However, the rate of recidivism would say this ‘lock them up and they will learn their lesson’ philosophy is not working. A 2014 BJS report showed that 76.6% of offenders released from prison in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within five years. In that same time frame 76.9% of drug offenders released in 2005 were re-arrested.
In this day and age, There are five times as many people in jail as there were in the 1970s. Almost 5 percent of the population of the United States will go to prison at in point of their life. Conservatives believe that imprisonment reduces crime in two ways: it removes criminals from the public so they can not commit more crimes, and it also discourages people who would commit a crime as they consider the consequences. Unfortunately, neither of these outcomes have come to be true. In fact, mass incarceration and “tough on crime” laws have been extremely ineffective that instead of reducing crime, it increases it.
One of the more obvious effects is the amount of money spent on our prisons, the United States prison system cost $80 billion annually. This is taxpayer money that can be used for schools, drug rehabilitation programs, supporting infrastructure and other things. The other effects of mass incarceration lie in the hands of those directly affected; the prisoners and their families. Former prisoners have harder times finding houses, jobs, and making a sustainable salary. This creates a sub-class of citizens that are likely to fall into the manmade cycle of criminal behavior again.
In poor and disadvantaged communities, there may well be a turning point at which meticulous crime policies and practices can do more harm than good; affecting children, families, and particularly neighborhoods of color. These policies promote the evolving issue of mass incarceration that can potentially lead people within these communities to poverty, homelessness, unemployment, back behind bars or dead; this is what criminologist refer to as the “coercive mobility thesis.” With the astonishing statistics and data reported on imprisonment, mass incarceration will continue to thrive in our country, unless we lessen mass incarceration through policies and legal reforms to create a more rational and equal system that protects public safety and