Pros And Cons Of Mass Incarceration

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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 …show more content…

These tactic was utilized by the United States to combat alcohol and drug abuse. Conservatives believe that the experience of prison, along with harsh sentences and punishments for minor crimes, serves to discourage prisoner who are released from breaking the law once again. In 2017, 1 in every 5 people in prison were locked up for a drug offense. 6.7 million people were under correctional supervision as of 2015. 3.7 million are on probation, 2.3 million are in correctional facilities, and 840,000 are on parole. 70 percent of people who in local jails are not convicted of any crime. What drives mass incarceration is state policy, as the number of people incarcerated by state prisons is over 1,250,000. People in local jails are about 750,000, and people in federal prisons are less than 250,000. The War on Drugs also contributed massively to high incarceration rates. New York, who has mostly ended their War on Drugs, have seen incarceration numbers plummet. In Oklahoma however, drug offenders share about 30 percent of their prison population. Ending the War on Drugs will not end mass incarceration alone. The federal government and a handful of states have successfully reduced their incarcerated populations by reforming their drug policies, and these can also work with other policies as …show more content…

Longer sentences can also lead to overcrowding, which prevents prisoners access to rehabilitative programs have have a greater chance that mental health issues will worsen for these prisoners. Many other states have create similar innovative programs to lower incarceration and crime rates. Legislation in Texas for example provided $241 million dollars to develop many different alternatives to prison, including additional substance abuse treatment beds, drug courts, and mental illness treatment programs. Another state is South Carolina, who put an end to its mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession and also expanded prison alternative and parole eligibility. Similar to this, the state of New Jersey lowered its prison population by upgrading its parole process and putting an increase on how flexible sentencing of low-level drug offenders is. As well as helping to reduce crime, these measures have also proven to give in major savings. To encourage the rest of the country to follow in these states footsteps, experts are pleading for the passing of the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act, which would give states incentives to reduce their prison rates and population. This act would provide $20 billion dollars

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