Summary Of The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Get Prison

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The criminal justice system may be more corrupt than the people who fill our prisons. It is amazing to see the many ways that certain parts of society actually benefit from the current system we support. This book,The Rich Get Richer and The Poor Get Prison, by authors Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton, has open my eyes to a very corrupt idealism. They are very precise in their supporting examples as well by walking the reader through each step and analogy. One of the theories it speaks of is the Pyrrhic defeat theory. This theory states that the criminal justice system is created to function in a particular fashion in order to create an image of crime where crime is actually seen as the “threat from the poor”.(Reiman, 2010, p.5) “Reimans’s theory suggests that those who have power to change the system benefit from the way it operates: they can go on committing harms and accumulating wealth without punishment, while the country remains focused on street crime and poor minority criminals.”(Leighton 2010) In order to accomplish this “The system must actually fight crime-or at least some crime-but only enough to keep it from getting out of hand and to keep the struggle to substantially reduce or eliminate crime.”(Reiman, 2010, p.5) This means that by creating an image that our system is trying to fight crime, but at the same time allowing certain crimes to exist and scare society, it benefits the wealthy in several ways. First, it promotes that the wealthy population is
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