The Causes Of Incarceration

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Life behind bars would be one of the lowest points in life for many Americans, but according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in one-hundred-and-ten adults are in a correctional facility. These people are putting themselves or others in harm’s way, and rightfully lose some civil rights due to their actions. I would say the majority of society would not want murderers or rapists roaming the streets, but what if someone was convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense? Are they just as much of a danger to society as the prior offenders mentioned? The “war on drugs” is made out to be one of the largest causes of mass incarcerations in the United States, but difficulties within legislation, the prison-industrial complex, and lack of…show more content…
Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, summarizes the justice and prison systems as an unfair institutions that push low-level offenders into detention centers with harsh sentences due to the “tough on crime” stance of major politicians on both sides of the aisle. Alexander brings up the case of Florida vs Bostick, where stop-and-frisk procedures have somewhat violated the fourth amendment. In Bostick’s case the US Supreme Court believed that if he were a “reasonable person”, he could have refused the search, but most do not realize that arrests can still take place, even in a reasonable situation, when someone does not comply with an officer. As crazy at it may seem, the innocent in some cases often go unheard because of the fear, power, and lack of resources to fight back. Many succumb to pleading guilty and never have the opportunity to speak with a lawyer or public defender. The war on drugs propagated by the prison-industrial complex is a failed draconian system that should be replaced with an emphasis on rehabilitation and removing the focus on low-level offenders that do not significant reduce the drugs on the market. The film The House I Live In by Eugene Jarecki, highlights similar problems that people, especially low-income minorities face when dealing with the justice system. Lack…show more content…
Through each resource we have covered different perspectives and solutions for mass incarceration. There is not one finite cause of mass incarceration, but a culmination of issues like the war on drugs, prison-industrial complex, and increase felony charges. Reforming the law and looking at cases individuality can help put checks on district attorneys and prosecutors. Educating the public can be one of the best methods to reduce the rate of incarceration, but until then the issue will remain
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