In 1971, 1 out of 12 Americans were incarcerated. Since that time, the prisoner ratio has exponentially increased; today, that ratio is 1 out of 51. With that number continuing to rise, many problems result out of it. Prison overcrowding is a growing problem in the United States. The number of people being taken in has regressive effects on the purpose behind imprisonment. Though the prisoners are not there for a comfortable and enjoyable stay, ethical rights are being ignored. How can a someone carry out their sentence rightfully if the focus is taken away from them and put on the judgment of the courts and justice system? Prison overcrowding is without a doubt problematic and inhumane. The mandatory sentencing laws, lack of attention on
Prison Problems in the U.S. The United States have the biggest incarceration rate in the world. Our prisons are full of convicts, rapists, and murderers. One of our biggest problems are is that we don't have enough money too feed them and keep a roof over their heads. Another issue is the proportion of middle aged men in our country are either black or hispanic. It causes issues because colored people think white people (esspecially white police officers) are racist. There has been a lot of police brutality toward colored people yet white people have to endure that too, we are all equal. The U.S. needs to ensure officers aren't being to violent yet keep it so we know we are safe. Another conflict is prison violence,
The overcrowding of prisons in California and the rest of America is the result of “manufactured crime”. These are crimes which have no victim yet are considered felonies and follow the three strike law. Many people do not know that there are more incarcerated people in America than any other country on earth. According to the American Civil Liberties Union “America contains 5% of the world 's human population while also containing 25% of the world’s prison population. Since 1970, our prison population has risen by some 700% - an increase far outpacing rates of population growth and crime1”. The reason America has so many incarcerated people is not because Americans commit more crimes or the police are just better at finding criminals,
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.
The amount of mass incarceration in the United States as reached an all time high over the years. Mass Incarceration is the incarceration of a person or race based off of them being different and can be identified as a trend among law enforcements.These tensions have reached a certain extent and has received the attention of American citizens and the nation’s government. The laws of the United States seems fair, however with the enforcement of these laws, specific groups are targeted and abused by them daily.
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
In America, the private prison industry was made for necessary profit based off of the management of prisons by large, private companies. In David Shapiro’s insightful report “Banking on Bondage”, he discusses the logistics of the United States prison system, saying “In America, our criminal justice system should keep us safe, operate fairly, and be cost-effective”. Today, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran. Alongside the issues of private prisons, the increasingly apparent problem of mass incarceration has stripped record numbers of American citizens of their freedom, has a minimal effect on public
Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences.
This issue led to what is now resulting in mass incarceration. Mass incarceration has been shown to affect mostly poor and minorities. Individuals living in poverty are not afforded the same royalties as those who are not in poverty. They are more willing to commit crimes because of their lack of fortune. The crime rate is more prone to be in urban communities, which hold a significant number of minorities. Within the urban communities, negative perceptions are magnified. Adolescents are more prone to be a product of their environment, especially those whose parents are incarcerated. Because of this trend adolescents are being incarcerated at an alarming rate and sentenced to adult facilities. Lambie & Randall (2013) states, the United States have imposed harsher penalties on serious young offenders, and have consequently increased rates of incarcerated youth and made it easier for youth to be treated and incarcerated as adults within the justice
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.”
Mass incarceration is a product of our nations century long historical process that began with a group of people defined by race. Slavery was the economic backbone of the South and after the South’s economic system was destroyed by the ratification of the 13th amendment, they needed to rebuild. But what was consequently seen was a transition from slavery to incarceration. By labeling newly freed slaves as criminals we saw the government legally restricting their freedoms leaving them held back socially, politically, and economically. The thirteenth amendment did in fact abolish slavery and involuntary servitude but it did in a way with the exception as Through this blacks were criminalized through legislations made by former slave states ranging from absence of work, loitering, possession of firearms, public display of intoxication etc. (Wilson 177) This caused our nations first prison boom. Some of the crimes were even placed in a way where only black people could be “duly convicted”, essentially reviving slavery in disguise at a time where the south needed black bodies working. Efforts to label black people as criminals were also seen through racist propaganda and the way people were describing them at the time, characterized as a menace or threat to society. The insidious nature of slanted imagery had rippling effects, even leading to the rebirth of the Klu Klux Klan with films such as “The Birth of a Nation” which was viewed in a romantic light and seen as a positive portrait of America at the time, even screened at the White House. (Randy 128) When in reality the “The Birth of a Nation” director, D.W. Griffith, actually fed to the efforts at identifying blacks with crime by evoking fear as a tool to solidify white supremacy in the U.S. This film and many other efforts to portray black people as criminals led to a new wave of terrorism and violence against them, to the point where geographic demography was shaped by this
In the 60’s the population did not sentence people unless the crime was really intolerable for example rape, murder and grand theft, however in the 21st century people are incarcerated for the possession of drug such as marijuana although some states already legalized and it does not matter how much of it was found on the person if it is of large quantity or even in small quantity. I find this ridiculous for the reason being for those who are incarcerated it goes on their record such that if they apply for a job they will have to state that they have been in jail and this usually risks their chances of getting the job which means they will be unemployed and they will do whatever it takes to make ends meet. This usually means they will upgrade up their crime such as armed robbery or even selling cocaine and this brings us full circle of what is wrong with the justice system
From healthcare to personal safety, inmates are suffering illnesses, abuse, excessive sentences, and maltreatment at an astronomical rate. There has been a vast debate on the issue. There are many arguments for lesser prison sentences and better prison conditions. Mass Incarceration on Trial, A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America, written by Jonathan Simon, illustrates how our nation has become far removed from treating prisoners as human beings who deserving dignity and our nation has failed to properly address this grossly flawed prison system; particularly California.
My findings focused on the points that mass incarceration substantially affects families and jobs, which then become factors in the issue of recidivism. Moreover, these problems especially target minorities at high rates. To strengthen these points, I could have done more interviews, especially with past convicts or convicts who have returned to jail in order to get more first-hand experiences. As well as interviews with different ages of children exposed to incarceration to see if or how the effects differed. In the future, I hope to expand on the other ways incarceration affects lives, such as through health, especially mental health, or college opportunities. Maybe even focusing specifically on the effects of incarceration on younger people,
However, the construction of new prison facilities has not provided a sustainable solution for the reduction in crime rates in the society. Incarceration has also proven to be expensive. There are several costs associated with incarceration. These include costs of building new facilities, costs of paying prison staff, maintaining the prisons and costs of treating particular classes of prisoners such as elderly and mentally ill inmates. The United States spends billions of dollars on incarceration each year with the average yearly increase in state spending on prisons from 1999 to 2009 being approximately 3 percent (James, 2011, p.632). With the number of incarcerated offenders growing each year, the cost of incarceration is expected to continue rising. According to the National Association of State Budget Office, correctional spending by state governments by 2011 was estimated to be at $50 billion annually (Collier, 2014,