Mass incarceration is somewhat overlooked by those on the outside and those who are on the inside are considered forgotten about and viewed as less than. But the reality is, these high rates of imprisonment effect many areas of the community. Not to mention the social costs linked to the communities from which these immense population of felons come from. Pattillo, Weiman, & Western, 2006 analyzes how this disregarded population can sometimes increase criminal statistics after the prisoners return into the same community they left – which is another point rarely ever talked about. Other than the invisible consequences that mass incarceration provides, there are even more myriad studies offered surrounding this topic, identified in The Prison
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
The blunt facts of mass incarceration for criminal offenders in United are very well known as they house the world’s largest prison population (Raphael & Stoll 2011). As of March 2010, the incarceration population in United States are as high as 2.3 million, making them the world leader in incarcerating its citizens. The jurisdiction believes that prison has an important role to play in protecting the community against offenders and in punishing them for their crime (Foucault, 2009). However, research and evidence have shown that the use of imprisonment has many disadvantages. The rate of growth in criminal justice system has slowed in recent years and the call for prison reforms have largely fallen on deaf ears (Raphael & Stoll, 2011).
For the Application of the Criminal Justice System project of the Criminal Justice course, I chose the arrest of John Burke. This case is about the arrest and sentencing of John Burke who had shot and killed Joseph Ronan. Twenty-five year old John Burke agreed to meet with 22 year old Joseph Ronan at Ronans home, in Reading, Massachusetts on Monday, August 15, 2011 around 1pm, with the intent of purchasing Percocet pills. (Boston.com, 2013) However, shortly after entering Ronans home, Burke opened fire (News, 2011), and after shooting Joseph Ronan several times, with the belief that Ronan was involved in a robbery at Burkes apartment in April 2011 (Boston.com, 2013), fled the home.
The story of Troy Davis and his conviction can be seen as an example of how the criminal justice system has been manipulated into a system of racial segregation. In this situation, Davis was convicted as the shooter when evidence of his innocence was provided. In addition, a lack of evidence against Davis, including the lack of a murder weapon, one of the most crucial pieces of evidence in a murder case, generates further curiosity as to how Davis was found guilty of the shooting. The fact that the officer killed in this situation was white almost certainly increases the significance of the case. A white officer, serving his country, shot and killed by a black man, made the headlines and further portrayed the image that all black men are criminals.
In the article, Unwinding Mass Incarceration by Stefan Lobuglio and Anne Piehl, they argue that unwinding the mass incarceration “well neither be cheap nor easy, and to be done responsibly will require a new infrastructure of coordinated community-based facilities and services that can meet evidence-based incarceration needs while also ensuring public safety.” Hence, their argument is clean-cut with evidence in the article to back up their argument of unwinding the mass incarceration. Similarly, a solid fill of a concluding statement upon the unwinding of the mass incarceration as stated in the article, “requires much more than stopping current practices or reversing course by mass commutations and early release programs.” Subsequently, from this article, there are numerous interesting key points, and perspective of unwinding the mass incarceration.
On my way back to Miami, waiting for my flight at La Guardia Airport in New York and was eager to board my plane, I decided to watch the nearby television to pass time. That’s when I learned about who Michael Brown was. He was an unarmed black teenager, shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. On the TV screen were countless vivid images of the scene of Brown’s death and almost instantly it became ground zero for local outrage. Devastated to hear that yet another another teenage boy was killed by law enforcement, it was clear to me that there was an urgent need for justice in the US.
There are currently around 37,000 prisoners in Australia and over 2, 200, 000 in America, populations that have both been increasing greatly in the past decade. 1 2 Therefore more people every year face the immediate concern of rebuilding life, upon release from correctional facilities, and the stigma that will follow them forever. It is the government’s duty to make the transition from prison to society as effective as possible, and to help prisoners become active members of society. Although both America and Australia have strategies that function both inside and out of prisons there are many flaws that are present in these systems. One thing both countries have realised is that it is important to start the process of reintegration
Consider with me for a moment that you have been wrongfully convicted or accused of a crime. From the first arrest to the closing of those cell bars you have tried your best to prove your innocence but you weren’t able to and felt that no one would know the truth. You felt helpless because no one would listen let alone believe you. Every night you would lay in the cell hoping that someone would soon realize you are innocent of the accused crimes and do not deserve to be incarcerated. Eventually, you were exonerated maybe days, weeks, months, or years after the initial incarceration; no matter the length of time the damage is still done both mentally and physically.
There are many reasons where incarceration may lead to higher crime in a community. High incarceration rates damage a community’s stability, and these high rates weaken the power of informal social control in ways that cause an increase in crime. When people are released back into the community, but are then sent back to prison, this cycle keeps going, which causes residential insecurity, which is also associated with social disorganization theory. High imprisonment rates breaks down neighborhood dynamics, which also increases crime. Families become unstable, political and economic systems become weakened, and social networks are broken down.
A shift is happening in America. The pendulum is swinging from the ideals of get tough and mass incarceration. The swing has both positive and negative affects on the prison system. On the plus side, prison populations are decreasing. By shifting away from incarcerating any who break the law, there are fewer drug dealers and fewer violent offenders in the system.
To begin with, the overall rates of incarceration in America is staggering as a whole. The population has grown exponentially during the last few decades, raising each and every year due to more opportunities in crime committing. Not only the raising rates occur on a federal level, but a state level as well. Discovered by John Hagan, a research professor and co-director of the center on law and globalization at the American Bar Foundation, and Traci Burch, assistant professor in political science at Northwestern University and Research professor at American Bar Foundation, that between the years 1920 and 1975, the state and federal prison population represented about 1 in 1,000, where as by 2001, .69 percent of the population was in prison
Incarceration has long been part of our corrections facilities in maintaining and holding criminals confined to themselves and harmless to the outside world. That’s not the exactly the way it is anymore, now they are creating treatment programs to rehabilitate people into better normal class citizens in prison because of the effects it has on prisoners in and outside the walls along with people they are associated with. For instance one article stated how in Germany they created state of the art treatment programs to help treat the criminals with their addictions. It was said to have great results in the treatments, but the program was very costly, so it was shut down. While another program in New York is trying to help the incarcerated fathers, by letting them portray the father