Legislation and Incarceration in United States

956 WordsJan 29, 20184 Pages
Legislation and Incarceration (Order #A2068178) The incarceration rate in the United States has steadily risen since 1973, and Franklin Zimring has examined the relationship between penal legislation and the incarceration rate. He has discovered three distinct periods which demonstrate three differences in the way legislation effects penal practices. During the first period in which there was a major rise in incarceration rates, 1973-1985, Zimring asserted that there was no relationship between penal legislation and the increase in incarceration rates. However, in the second period, from 1985-1993, the government's "War on Drugs," and the subsequent legislation designed to increase sentences for drug-related activities, there was a distinct relationship between penal legislation and incarceration rates. But in the final period, 1993-2002, Zimring concluded that penal legislation has not only had an influence on incarceration rates, but that this influence has demonstrably increased. In other words, over the last generation, the influence that penal legislation plays on incarceration rates has increased from practically nothing into a major influence. Because the United States has fifty individual states, each proscribed by the Constitution to be responsible for its own criminal justice system, there are a large number of individual legal jurisdictions. And this many jurisdictions would lead many to believe that there is not a uniform set of principles that guides

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