Incarceration Of The United States Prisons

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The United States prison population has expanded at an increasingly rapid rate over that past several decades. Each day, more and more criminal offenders are sent to prisons; most of which were designed to house fewer inmates but are now packed to their limits. This “mass- incarceration era” as many scholars and commentators of the Criminal Justice System call it, is a result of several key issues that have created an environment within the correctional system that forces many inmates to serve longer prison sentences while increasing recidivism rates. Current federal and state sentencing policies have resulted in historically high rates of offender recidivism and the highest incarceration rates in the world (Warren, 2007). As a result, prison population and overcrowding has rapidly increased and has become a serious issue across the country however, a reform in sentencing policies, more early-release incentives, and reintegration back into society through rehabilitation will help reduce recidivism and prevent the continuing rise of prison populations. (change once paper is complete) The United States houses the largest prison population of the world at 25 percent and returns the greatest amount of inmates back into society. Currently, there are over two million people incarcerated in the U.S. with approximately the same number of inmates being released each year (Haney, 2015 p. 416). Many people wonder why prison overcrowding has become such a big issue when there is an
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