Mass Incarceration in the United States has been a large topic of choice because rapid growth in the prison and jail populations, the long sentences the inmates face, and the inability for some inmates to incorporate themselves back into society. Since the 1970’s the U.S. prison population quadrupled from 158 to 635 people per 100,000, causing the U.S. to gain the title of country with the highest incarceration rate. (Massoglia, Firebaugh, & Warner, 2013, p. 142; Muller, 2012) As the growth of the U.S prison and jail population rapidly increased, so did the growth of the three major contributors to that population – African Americans, Hispanics, and whites – with African American and
Over the past few decades, the United States has witnessed a huge surge in the number of individuals in jail and in prison. Evidence suggests the mass imprisonment policy from the last 40 years was a horrible catastrophe. Putting more people in prison not only ruined lives, it disrupted families, prevented ex-prisoners to find housing, to get an education, or even a good job. Regrettably, the United States has a higher 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 increasing exponentially. The expense produced by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. Although people are incarcerated for a number of 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. By researching mass incarceration, I hope to get society to understand that incarcerating an individual not only effects the family, but we will look at the long term consequences on society and how the United States can remain safe and, at the same time, undo much of the damage that results from large-scale imprisonment.
Society is dependent on mass incarceration to protect all institutions from the dysfunctions. Mass incarceration is a consequence for those that do not want to provide a positive role in society. The penal system’s purpose is to correct the behavior of individuals and return them back to society to provide positive role. It is dependent on the correction officers to maintain order. It is dependent on companies to provide food, medical, counseling, utilities and social services to operate effectively. Companies provide jobs to individuals to ensure that the demand for these necessities are met. Thus the responsibility is shared from all institutions to provide and sustain order in
Currently as a nation we use severity as our biggest form of deterrence; our threat of imprisonment has grown dramatically over time. In 1985 the average release time for a conviction of robbery was 32 months and in 2002 it jumped to a minimum of 53 months (Incarceration and Crime). We focus heavily on severity and longer incarceration rates; the idea is that a 10% increase in incarceration would lead to a 1.6%-5.5% decrease in crime (Lieka 2006) but this is not true. Prison rates have increased tenfold since 1970 and yet the crime rates have not dropped near those percents.The leading argument against increase in incarceration uses other states as examples of how ineffective it is; for example Florida heavily focuses on imprisonment to reduce crime with no effect (Incarceration and Crime). This idea would be great and a good mode of deterrence if those who go to prison actually learn their lessons and mend their future ways. Also if the unwanted effects of prison were at least tolerable this might deter crime but sadly even after experiment and evidence it is not a well functioning theory. The cost of funding our mass incarceration does balance out the decrease in overall crime. Besides when we have a nation who is majority hard on crimes compared to other crimes we end up severely punishing people who probably would respond better to rehabilitation than jail.
Mass incarceration became a public policy issue in the United States in the 2000s. Now in 2016, there are still many questions about America’s incarceration rate, 698 prisoners per 100,000 people, which is only surpassed by Seychelle’s at 868 for every 100,000. They concern the phenomenon’s beginning, purpose, development, and essentially resolution. In her book published this year, assistant professor of history and African and African-American studies at Harvard Elizabeth Hinton challenges popular belief that mass incarceration originated from Reagan’s War on Drugs. Mass incarceration’s function as a modern racial caste system is discussed in a 2010 book by Michelle Alexander, an associate professor of law at Ohio State University, civil
Part 1 of the book highlights chapter 1 and 2, which talks about politics and the consequences of incarceration while chapter 2 talks about the politics of being punished within the united states, some sub topics between chapter 1 and 2 include problem ownership, philosophies, historic changes with the corrections policy throughout time and the economic impact of being incarcerated. Chapter 2 talks about the process in which politics can affect the outcome on crime and punishment, throughout the 1960s the criminal justice system has changed a lot especially correctional professionals who have brought issues to crime and its political forefront.
In his book “Punishment and Inequality in America” Western discusses the underlying racial disparities that have lead to a mass incarceration in the United States. He states that incarceration rates have increased by a substantial amount. The race and class disparities viewed in impromesment are very large and class disparities have grown by a dramatic amount. In his book he argues that an increase in mass incarceration occured due to a significant increase in crime. The increase in mass incarceration can also be correlated with urban street crime that proliferated as joblessness in inner-city communities increased (Western, 2006). He also states that an increase in incarceration rates may be due to the changes in politics and policy which have intensified criminal punishment even though criminal offending did not increase. Although these are substantial reasons as to why incarceration has increased significantly in the US there are many underlying issues. The incarceration rates amongst young black men have increased the most in the United states, black men are more likely to go to prison than white and Hispanic men (Western, 2006). This may be largely due to factors such as unemployment, family instability, and neighborhood disorder which combine to produce especially high rates of violence among young black men in the United States (Western, 2006). A rise in incarceration rates may also be largely due to to increased drug arrests which represent the racial disparity.
Once upon a time, Americans could proudly say that America was the land of freedom and opportunity. As the Pledge of Allegiance states, “One nation under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” However, under the current criminal justice system, more and more people lose their liberties because of the crimes they have committed. According to Roy Walmsley, a consultant of the United Nations and Associate of the International Center for prison studies, “In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represent about 4.4 percent of the world 's population, it houses
Second, mass incarceration impacts society by aleinating the convict and his or her family in numerous ways. For example, Professor Gottschauk argues that mass incarceration negatively impacts the convict and the family unit in the following four areas: (1) Disturbance of free and fair elections; (2) Loss of the promise of the American dream; (3) Forfeiture of pensions, disability benefits, and veerans’ benefits; and (4) Failure to achieve future job potential in
For my analysis, I decided to read the 2006 book Punishment and Inequality in America by author Bruce Western. The book takes a look into the relationship among crime, incarceration, and inequality and what really connects them together. Western shows that although there was a decrease in crime rates about 20 years ago, the reason behind this decrease is not what it may seem and that the decrease may of even come at a significant cost to those effected by the prison boom. Through my analysis, I hope to explore and convey what Western has claimed and examine if his arguments hold truth or not in dealing with our prison systems. On top of this, I will attempt to connect a few theories we as a class have learned about throughout the semester to what Western has has claimed in his book.
Our group chose the topic of mass incarceration because it is extremely relevant in this day and age. There are hundreds of thousands of American citizens that have been incarcerated for a variety of crimes. When mass incarceration was first introduced it was unknowingly supporting the “War on Drugs”, which we will go into more detail in the paper. The war on drugs inevitably became a war on people. The penalties of carrying different types of drugs became more severe, and those who were caught by the police were minority groups especially young African American men. The consequences of mass incarceration occur in more than just a jail cell. Once prisoners are released, it is extremely difficult to become employed once there is a conviction following your name. Even as supporters of The Black Lives Matter Movement protested against the unfair treatment of African Americans, those who resisted against authorities were imprisoned. Throughout this paper we will see the sociological perspective of mass incarceration on todays society.
The incarceration rates have grown tremendously since the last time someone can remember. The largest jailer in the world is the United States. Philadelphia, however, has the nation’s highest incarceration rates. Surprisingly, 60% of them are still awaiting trial but 72% of them are black. Research has show’s that mass incarceration rates goes hand in hand with segregated cities.
Mass Incarceration is a predicament in the U.S. because in the land of the free, there are more than two million people in prison. Prisons are homes to the majority of twenty-two percent of the U.S. population. The U.S. has a massive incarceration rate, seven hundred and sixteen per every one hundred thousand. The U.S. makes five percent of the world’s population and the third country in which most people live in but number one incarcerating humans.
The past quarter century has seen an enormous growth in the American incarceration rate. Importantly, some scholars have suggested that the rate of prison growth has little to do with the theme of crime itself, but it is the end result of particular U.S. policy choices. Clear (2007) posits that "these policy choices have had well-defined implications for the way prison populations have come to replicate a concentrated occurrence among specified subgroups in the United States population in particular young black men from deprived communities" (p. 49).
Mass incarceration is a problem around the world, but nowhere else is it more plague than the United States of America, which has one-fourth of its population locked up behind bars. The cause for this problem in the U.S. can be blamed on many things, the "war on drug", private prison facility, tough laws, and mandatory sentencing. However, there are programs that are in place to help reduce the number of individuals in prison, like the "Texas experiment (Justice reinvestment)", and other rehabilitation programs. But those efforts alone cant fix the problem. To decrease the mass incarceration in the U.S. a new approach must be taken, such as; eliminate prison time for low-level crimes, "the three-strike law”, expand parole and probation, and reform private prison.