History Of Incarceration

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The United States makes up five percent of the world’s population, yet makes up twenty-five percent of the world’s incarceration rate. The United States has a large and long history of incarceration that far passes many other countries. This large history has resulted in negatives effect on many americans today resulting in it being a hot topic in this year's election. Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump it is obvious more than ever that american citizens do not care about who you are or about your political attributes, but they are more concerned with what you stand for and what issues you consider to be a priority. In this election where a perspective on an important issue like abortion, Black Lives Matter and…show more content…
Incarceration has been on a constant rise since the end of the civil war and continues to rise generation after generation. Throughout time mass incarceration has taken on many names and masks. Including “The War on Drugs” , “Get Tough on Crime”, mandatory sentencing and the three strike rule. In recent years we have finally come to call the monster for what it is, but it has not always been that way. During Richard Nixon’s presidency is where we begin to see the first form of mass incarceration. In 1971 when Nixon declared drugs public enemy No.1 and created the term “War on Drugs” is where the United States began to see a rapid increase in the incarceration rate. Though Nixon created the term, it was not until 1981 when Ronald Reagan officially declared the War on Drugs, turning a rhetorical war into a literal one. In addition to the war he created the Just Say No campaign and the D.A.R.E program. Later on in history in effort to follow in the footsteps of former presidents, presidential candidates focused heavily on crime and drugs. For example during Bill Clinton's Presidency he created the “Get Tough on Crime” campaign. As a result more people were incarcerated. According to The Guardian “When he won his first presidential election in 1992 there were 847,000 people in prison. By the time he ended his second term in 2000 that population had grown to…show more content…
Most tend to justify the mass incarceration rate by arguing that there is simply more crime in America than there is other first world country. In addition the reason why the United States incarceration rate tops other countries like the United Kingdom and Germany this is partly due to the fact that the United States has a larger population than both countries, therefore the high incarceration rate is justified. Another factor that many people disagree with is mass incarceration in comparison to people of color and minorities. Due to the evidence that shows how overly represented black and brown males are in the system. Many have concluded, that due to their history and in most cases socioeconomic background, people of color and minorities just commit crimes more often than whites. Though the claims of critics are understandable they are false. In terms of drug offences, according to The Huffington Post”White Americans are more likely than black Americans to have used most kinds of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and LSD. Yet blacks are far more likely to go to prison for drug offenses” (The Huffington Post) In fact blacks are twelve times more likely to be caught and convicted of a non violent drug crime. This statistic should lead critics to analyze and ask if the system does in fact discriminate against people of color. In regards to the claim due to a larger

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