Incarceration Of The United States Essay

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"Even though the United States makes up just 5% of the world’s population, it houses 25% of the world’s prison population” (Walmsley, 2009). The United States prides itself in being a worldwide leader in just about every category; however, being the world leader in incarceration rights might not be something the United States would be proud about. Incarceration rates in the United States have grown at alarming rates in the past forty years specifically and it has resulted in major overcrowding issues in nearly every prison and jail within the country. Although it is evident that incarceration is a major problem within our country the issues with incarceration do not end at just overcrowding. It is clear and evident through statistical data and research that incarceration does not affect everyone the same.
The incarceration rates of minorities are much higher than that of white Americans within the United States. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics minorities make up 37% of the general population but nearly 70% of the prison population. The high number of minorities in the prison system can be directly attributed to the fact that minorities often face harsher sentencing more specifically the African American population tends to receive the harshest of sentences. “At the federal level, black drug offenders received harsher punishments than similarly situated whites, even while taking socioeconomic status, offense severity, criminal history, plea agreements, and

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