Conquering a Solid and Wide Prison Reform: Why should the public be informed?

2057 Words 9 Pages
Few, such as Webb, are courageous enough to describe the United States prison system as “flawed” in its approach for targeting, punishing and releasing individuals identified as criminals. Truthfully, our current prison system unfairly incarcerates people who do not belong in jail and does an inefficient job at protecting its citizens from violent criminals. It is crucial, then, to devise a way in which to tackle the issues of crime such as drug trafficking and nonviolent criminal behavior, while working towards minimizing violent crime and large-scale gang activity in order to fix the current prison system (Webb 1). Currently, the voting public is largely uniformed regarding the criminal justice system. And it is this lack of education …show more content…
Three years later, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller launched a new tough on crime policy mandating strict punishment for drug trafficking convictions (Schlosser 1). While he had already shown his commitment to law and order in 1971, by crushing the Attica prison uprising, his proposition for the harshest drug laws in the U.S. took the lead on an issue that dominated the nation's political agenda (Schlosser 1). These laws, referred to as “the Rockefeller drug laws” which pertained to juveniles as well, gave no option for plea-bargaining (Schlosser 1). They were then enacted a few months later by the state legislature and he proudly declared that his state had enacted “the toughest anti-drug program in the country” (Schlosser 1). Eventually, other states also enacted strict mandatory-minimum sentences for drug offenses, setting in motion a profound shift in American sentencing policy (Schlosser 1).
Mario Cuomo was then elected governor of New York in 1982. Yet, because of Rockefeller’s new laws the prison population grew dramatically, and though Cuomo opposed these initiatives, the vocal public thought they were the answer (Schlosser 1). Feeling he had no other option, Cuomo started to pour funds into prison construction, relying on the state’s Urban