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.
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. There are several different ways to effectively reduce crime other than these two strategies, such as reforming certain policies
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
Several peculiar institutions have had the ability to effectively control, confine, and define blacks in America’s history. Systems included chattel slavery, which was the turning point of the plantation economy, the Jim Crow era legally upheld segregation and discrimination, and the mechanism of ghettos which are comprised of minorities, parallel to the collective proletarianization and urbanization of blacks. Lastly but not least, the carceral apparatus has helped to perpetuate a social and economic hierarchy, due to the subjugation of minorities, within the US directly affecting life outcomes of those who are directly and indirectly affected.
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. Maybe even focusing specifically on the effects of incarceration on younger people,
Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration–The Problem of the United States In America, the private prison industry was made for necessary profit based off of the management of prisons by large, private companies. In David Shapiro’s insightful report “Banking on Bondage”, he discusses the logistics of the United States prison system, saying “In America, our criminal justice system should keep us safe, operate fairly, and be cost-effective”. Today, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran.
The overcrowding of prisons in California and the rest of America is the result of “manufactured crime”. These are crimes which have no victim yet are considered felonies and follow the three strike law. Many people do not know that there are more incarcerated people in America than any other country on earth. According to the American Civil Liberties Union “America contains 5% of the world 's human population while also containing 25% of the world’s prison population. 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,
In America, 2.3 million people are in prison. American has the highest prison population in the world. This is due to “tough on crime laws” that have been enforced since the 1960’s. Although these laws do help keep crime off the street, they have done more harm than good for our country. Mass incarceration is a major issues in America, it leads to poverty, broken families, money wasted, and many other problems. Although everyone can recognize mass incarceration is a problem, they are different ways people think it should be dealt with.
Many of the prisoners who participate in prison sponsored programs are more likely to return. The government and administrators believe prison is the best option to better rehabilitate them into the general public. Treatment centers and drug courts are the preferred way to rehabilitate for families, individuals and some of the government. Statistics show that low level drug criminals in treatment centers are less likely to commit crimes than those who were treated in
51% of all prisoners released are returned to the prison system and nearly 30% are returned within the first six months of their release (Pinard, 2006). Roughly two-thirds of all prisoners are rearrested within three years (Pinard, 2006). The high rates of incarceration and recidivism have reinvigorated debate about the purpose of the prison. The time is ripe to debate prison reform. "America 's penal system needs a top-to-bottom overhaul - and a movement of people ready to do something about it is taking shape nicely" (McCarthy,
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
Racial profiling in poor neighborhoods led to skyrocketing arrests of young black males, completely reversing the black to white ratio of incarcerated individuals. Prison overcrowding is a real issue in our nation, and we are five percent of the world’s population, yet house twenty-five percent of the world’s inmates (Austin, Irwin,
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
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.
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.