Mass Incarceration And Drug Criminalization

892 WordsDec 1, 20154 Pages
In recent decades, low-income Americans have been facing the consequences of living in a country whose criminal justice system is greatly influenced by skewed prosecution dynamics, and whose structural discrepancies continue to encourage the mass incarceration phenomenon that affects millions of individuals today. At rates higher than Russia and China, the U.S is incarcerating an entire portion of its population based on irrelevant criteria such as affluence and race. The harsh reality that both, poverty-stricken individuals and prison inmates face today, indicate a dire need for systematic change, and should encourage citizens to become informed members of society. As citizens have come together, and government officials become involved, many reforms have been introduced and passed which are conducive to a more restorative approach to justice. Addressing every existent disparity in the criminal justice system is an extensive pursuit that limits the exploration of pioneering reforms via overload of information rather than focusing on the systemic approach that corresponds to one or two issues. I have chosen to focus on two major disparities that are profoundly correlated: mass incarceration and drug criminalization. By exploring the history behind each of them, and by exposing the constructs that seem to have taken the term justice out of our law enforcement practices and policies, I aim to build a platform that will lead to the exploration of current initiatives and reforms
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