Mass Incarceration Research Paper

715 Words3 Pages
Amidst the ever-occurring tragedies that now seem to be part of our daily routine lies an ongoing affliction that tends to go unnoticed. Although it has been increasing drastically in the last few decades, substance abuse continues to fly under the radar of the average American citizen. Yet, for many of us, it is an unavoidable sight. As citizens of Seattle, we need to find a way to reach out to those that need our help. In general, the United States has 2.3 million people imprisoned in over 6,000 correctional facilities, with over 1,000,000 drug arrests made every year (Wagner, 2017). Washington state alone has 36,000 people jailed (Wagner, 2017). Although our rate is lower than the national average, there is still progress to be made. I, for one, do not believe that mass incarceration is the way to fix our country. President Nixon…show more content…
Social norms, however ridiculous they may seem, seem to affect all of us. This even includes those who society already sees as outcasts. When drug users feel more comfortable admitting their abuse, they tend to seek help more often. Reducing stigma allows them to access resources that they otherwise would have been too ashamed to pursue. Another way to reduce drug abuse is by creating syringe exchange policies where users can take their dirty syringes and get clean ones in return. This not only decreases the disease transmission ("HIV/AIDS", 2018), it also lowers the stigma around drug use and provides a safe space where they feel welcome (Meyerson, 2017). Some may say that both of these interventions would just make drugs more accessible, therefore more predominant. However, research has shown that reducing stigma actually decreases the number of drug related incarcerations and overdoses (Villa). If we were to increase support around these individuals instead of passing judgement, we would see a significant difference in our
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