The subject of homelessness is not universally discussed in society because many people are either ignorant or unwilling to get involved to help. Although it is taboo, every day people are faced with or see homelessness. Many times driving under freeway passes or through highly populated cities, the homeless population can be seen everywhere. California has the densest homeless population in the United States, which is Skid Row in Los Angeles. In the state of California, the effects of homelessness continue to be an ongoing challenge for not only citizens but law enforcement and elected officials. There are many causes for homelessness, but the biggest reasons include mental illness and incarceration, family and financial struggles, and substance abuse.
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
The legalization of drugs has been at the center of interminable debate. Drugs have widely been perceived as a dominant threat to the moral fabric of society. Drug use has been attributed as the source responsible for a myriad of key issues. For instance, it is believed that drugs have exacerbated the already weak status of mental health in the United States in which some individuals suffering from mental illness administer illicit substances such as heroin or cocaine in an attempt to self-medicate. Moreover, drugs are blamed for turning auspicious members of the community into worthless degenerates. Thus, vast efforts have been made to regulate the alleged drug problem through various avenues. For example, programs have been created to steer
America's prisons are overpopulated and the population is growing each year with increased drug activities. Low level drug offenders, comprised of 39 percent of the overall prison population. In the article " Department of Justice low-level drug offenders: a defense perspective" defines low-level drug offender as one who has been convicted drug trafficking offense but has no prior commitment, history of violence, known involvement of sophisticated criminal activity, significant "public risk factor," and pending detainer (Katz 28) . This group isn't hardened criminals and don't live a life of crime; rather they are motivated by profit. They are less likely to return to prison when compared to hardened criminals. The length of drug sentences
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,
The issue of prison overcrowding has been an increasing in America. There are about 2.2 million Americans in jail or prison. The number of people in prison have gotten so large that about one in every 100 adults are behind bars. The increase in inmate population in the United States is a concern to me because some of these people have committed non-violent crimes or have drug related crimes. These people should be placed in rehabilitation centers or be counseled about drug distributing. Also when it comes to the public, the money used for funding jails and prisons could be used to help college students pay for school. Governments grants only cover so much of a student’s tuition and money spent on prisons could be replaced with funding students.
The prison system itself is corrupted and unfair to those individuals in it. Even though there are reform programs within the prisons, many prisoners return to prison due to inconsistent follow ups and the absence of these programs outside of prison. This creates high recidivism rates because they have a place to sleep and guaranteed meals and outside of prison it’s harder from them to have access to all of that. Elliot Currie states, “As we have crammed more and more offenders into prison, we have simultaneously retreated from the already minimal commitment to help them reenter productive society.” When the Eastern State Penitentiary was first opened in 1829, its main focus was to rehabilitate prisoners so they could reenter society (Eastern State Penitentiary). Now, overcrowding is a major issue in the United States prison system. According to the FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2015, the most common crime was possession drug crimes, followed by property crimes. This shows that majority of those incarcerated in prison are there for nonviolent crimes. The government should change their drug law policies and instead of doing prison time, be forced to pay a hefty fine. This way, it can reduce jail and prison populations and thereby reducing recidivism
Mass incarceration is a phenomenon described by Ta Nehisi-Coates as a way to explain the increase in incarcerated people in the United States over the past 40 years. This phenomenon can be traced back most obviously to the early 70s, when Nixon started his presidential term (DRUGPOLICY.ORG). Nixon came into presidency when the rebellious 60s were starting to really pose a threat to the government of the United States. His two main enemies were the major proponents of revolution: liberals against the violence of Vietnam and black people (DRUGPOLICY.ORG). He understood that these groups, but especially the poor black communities, depended on black market drug trade for a lot of their income and therefore found an extremely effective way to quell
violent or nonviolent (1). It is hard to figure out who is a violent criminal due to the way they were charged under the justice system. There is no way of showing whether or not violence was used while they were dealing or drug using. These statistics prove that by focusing on other resolutions for non-violent crimes, the incarceration rates could be reduced. Along with rehabilitation for drug offenders, there is also a need for proper rehabilitation of mentally ill patients and prisoners to keep them from relapsing and ending up back in the system. Brooks states in his article that in the early 70s, a large majority of people were released from mental institutions. This caused an issue because a lot of these inmates released were not mentally
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.
In reference to, Tonry, (2014), almost half a million prisoners increased, even though during this time noticeable decline in crime was distinguished. One of the aspects which contributed to this is the federal government discussions on ways to reduce the rate.
Thesis: It is very important for the sake of Americans tax dollars that we change the way that prisons are run and increase the productivity of inmates so when they are released from jail they are ready to be a productive member in society and have the confidence to achieve new goals.
Prisons in in the United States of America are definitely overcrowded, they are understaffed and I believe put very little effort on rehabilitation. The U.S. prison system was set up to rehabilitate prisoners so they can blend back into society as good people. But the factors as high crime rate and of course, mandatory sentences have caused a very high over crowding in our jail systems. This have caused a high increase in the budget deficit. Some citizens will say, where was the rehabilitation that we once used and it has all but now disappeared in our prison and jail system today.
Does it make sense to lock up 2.4 million people on any given day, giving the U.S the highest incarceration rate in the world. More people are going to jail, this implies that people are taken to prison everyday for many facilities and many go for no reason. People go to jail and get treated the worst way as possible. This is a reason why the prison system needs to be changed. Inmates need to be treated better. The government treats prisoners as if they are nothing in this world. The U.S prison system needs to be reformed by building new and better prisons and making it more humane and fair.