Pros And Cons Of Mass Incarceration

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Pros and Cons There are two common viewpoints when discussing mass incarceration. The first of the two revolves around the idea that the system of criminal justice is working, while the second provides that the word “justice” means “just us” – referring to the profiling of people of color (Brown, 2008, p. 53). Looking at the statistics at face value may seem staggering, but there are important aspects to consider before determining whether mass incarceration is justified. For those who believe that mass incarceration is justified, there are facts that may provide some truth. It is true that blacks disproportionally commit street crimes (Russell-Brown, 2008). On average, as seen in the 2015 Uniform Crime Report, blacks tend to commit more murder …show more content…

Regardless of the side when examining mass incarceration, it conceded that black people are disproportionately imprisoned. The higher numbers incarceration of blacks due to violent crime can tip the scale when looking at crime overall. However, in 2015, when looking at both state and federal prisons, more than 51% of the population of criminals were incarcerated for something other than violent crime (Wagner and Rabuy, 2016). These other crimes included property crime and drug charges; both of which are committed at a much higher rate by whites than blacks. Bisto (2018) provided there are four to ten times more illicit drug users than any other demographic. Therefore, if proportionality remained consistent, there would be many more white people incarcerated than black people. For many people on this side of the argument, there are reasons beyond the simple concept of racism. Mainly, much discretion is left to the police officer when determining charges for arrests (Russell-Brown, 2008, p. 57). Such discretion may prove to be cumbersome especially when the police officers patrolling these areas have no experience with the living …show more content…

Many of this street crime is coming directly from gang violence in many inner-city communities. Gang violence cannot be attributed to the nature of the black community, but rather the conditions forced upon them. The answer to stopping gang violence is not to prey upon the individuals participating in it, but to address the issues that can cause them. Many of the individuals participating in this behavior have no choice. The schools and job resources are slim to none, leaving these individuals to make a living elsewhere. Since the drug economy is prevalent in these communities, it makes sense for these individuals to turn to them. The final issue to address on the topic of mass incarceration of minorities is the policy change that is needed to fix the issues. First, localized policing has been a solution called for since the Black Panther Party in the 1970s. Having better control of communities could help prevent police shootings and backlash like seen in the riots in Ferguson, MO. Secondly, passing policy mandating ethnic studies for police could be a viable option. Understanding the pressures minority communities can have could have an influence on the tolerance police have with the

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