A Critique Of America 's Correctional System

1444 WordsMar 23, 20166 Pages
A Critique of America’s Correctional System: from prisonization to reform Imprisonment is a rising social issue in America. To put in a numerical perspective, America at only 4% of the world’s population of 7.1 billion is surprisingly the world’s largest jailer at an overwhelming 22 % of the global prison population (Lee 2015). Currently the prison system costs American’s nearly 70 billion dollars (Borowski 2015). With this amount of federal funds going towards housing and feeding inmates, questions begin forming about the effectiveness of the correctional system. Do the punishments fit the crimes, and if so, is it economically beneficial? This paper discusses the benefits and problems of the correctional system in the United States, and…show more content…
One undeniably true statement remains: the American criminal justice system’s purpose is to provide fair and just judicial review for all, affordability to those that need it (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Discussions about correctional system reform take place not only for the aforementioned reasons, but also for the reason that evidence shows incarceration simply does not work. Two thirds (2/3) of prisoners re-offend. With statistics like these, incarceration appears to simply provide a place away from society to cast away criminals, all while costing citizens billions of dollars each year. Should the current methods continue, or is reform a feasible option? I think the numbers speak for themselves. America clearly has a problem with its correctional system. First, when looking at the numerical data about the prison population there is an overwhelming amount of minorities. Selke and Andersson state, “sociodemographic variables such as crime trends, unemployment rates, levels of urbanization, per capita incomes, educational opportunities, poverty levels, and the racial makeup of the population” all positively influence incarceration rates (2003). The idea behind the social stress theory suggests when multiple social stressors infiltrate an area that crime will also increase, leading to incarceration. Selke and Andersson’s study investigates imprisonment rates using the social stress theory which evaluates social
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