There is no question that mass incarceration is a worldwide epidemic that needs to be discussed and addressed. America has five percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prison population (Just Leadership USA, 2017) Various policies dated back centuries helped to create this problem of mass incarceration (Just Leadership USA, 2017). Today there are 2.3 million Americans incarcerated throughout the state, local, and federal jails (Just Leadership USA, 2017). New York City (NYC) houses approximately 10,000 inmates per year; 43.7% of these inmates are diagnosed with having a mental health disability (New York City Department of Corrections, 2017). 54% of the inmates on Rikers Island are arrested for a minor offense and should be able to fight their cases from home; however, in many instances the family members are of low socio-economic status and unable to post bail (New York City Department of Corrections, 2017). Minor offenses include loitering, jumping the turnstiles, unnecessary Parole / Probation violations, and trespassing. In many instances, it is the mentally ill and homeless individuals who are arrested for trespassing as they elect to sleep in the subways instead of taking residency in a shelter. Moreover, many of these offenses does not have to result in an arrest. Police officers have the autonym to let some of these individuals go with a warning, desk ticket, and/or summons.
The epidemic of mass incarceration affects many families within the United States. The problems of mass incarceration have been echoed far and wide, but it was not until recent years that the issue has been acknowledged, let alone fully addressed. Authors such as MK Asante and Bryan Stevenson, and filmmakers such as Ava Duvernay, have all discussed mass incarceration and its common threads such as the collapse of family structures, damage to mental, physical, and communal health, amongst other lasting impacts. Despite the commonalities, each artist takes on a different perspective on the issue and presents it in a different light.
Over the past few decades, the United States has witnessed a huge surge in the number of individuals in jail and in prison. Evidence suggests the mass imprisonment policy from the last 40 years was a horrible catastrophe. Putting more people in prison not only ruined lives, it disrupted families, prevented ex-prisoners to find housing, to get an education, or even a good job. Regrettably, the United States has a higher percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is increasing exponentially. The expense produced by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. Although people are incarcerated for a number of reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. By researching mass incarceration, I hope to get society to understand that incarcerating an individual not only effects the family, but we will look at the long term consequences on society and how the United States can remain safe and, at the same time, undo much of the damage that results from large-scale imprisonment.
America has a major problem with overcrowding in its prisons, and action needs to be taken. Since 1970, the inmate population in the United States has increased over 700%, far greater than the general population as a whole. This has led to declining quality of life within the prison system including 8th Amendment violations and it represents a needless drain on state finances. There is simply no value in keeping non-violent convicts in the prison system, sometimes for years. The costs are high, and there is very little benefit to America. The justice system needs to be overhauled to relieve the massive crowding in US prisons.
Mass Incarceration is a predicament in the U.S. because in the land of the free, there are more than two million people in prison. Prisons are homes to the majority of twenty-two percent of the U.S. population. The U.S. has a massive incarceration rate, seven hundred and sixteen per every one hundred thousand. The U.S. makes five percent of the world’s population and the third country in which most people live in but number one incarcerating humans.
Mass incarceration is a real problem that is currently affecting minority groups across America. Even though the U.S. is a country where everyone is equal to the eyes of the law no matter their race, it seems that is not the case anymore. Throughout, its history the U.S. government has taken advantage of minority groups and has manipulated its laws in order cast out those who aren’t considered worthy enough to belong to the American society. The time has come to put a stop to this discriminatory government and the time has come for the judicial system to change its laws and policies to give an equal opportunity to any human being. Race shouldn't define your future or the probabilities of someone going to prison. Everyone should be given an
The United states has a mass incarceration problem with 1 out of 4 of the total population being incarcerated. With the highest incarceration rate in America makes up five percent of the world's population but holds twenty-five percent of the world's prisoners.The rate of incarceration has increased greatly over the last 50 years and continues to grow .The prison systems have become obstreperous, expensive, and destructive to society. African Americans account for fifty six percent of the people incarcerated. The discrimination of black men in the justice system has escalated in the last 50 years causing mass incarceration, broken family systems with distrust of the government, and increased mental health problems in the black community.
Michelle Alexander starts by giving some insight of the history in our country as it relates to race and racism. She talked about slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, support for concern of ordinary people, the end of Jim Crow Board vs Brown and the Civil Rights Movement. Alexander’s noted that Jim Crow laws of the past is represented today by mass incarceration they are not 100% but very similar. Jim Crow was all about segregation of blacks from whites in schools, public places, neighborhoods and even drinking fountains. The mass incarceration is based on charging people of color with drug charges to keep control of them and ensure their economic, political and social status remain less than other groups. This mass incarceration locked
In the world because some crimes are more severe than others, human beings decided that deprivation of liberty was the best form of punishment. The idea was to make prison a system for corrections, rather than detention alone. These ideas soon manifested in schools of philosophy and criminology were the notion was defended that punishment should be more lenient only at the cost of the greater good and aimed to change the behavior itself. Eventually these ideas gave birth to a new form of incarcerations designed to deter both rise in crime and to reform, based on self-reflection over the prisoner’s choices. Well then why are the incarcerations in the United States so high one might ask? In the United States
Jonathan Simons “Mass imprisonment on trial: A remarkable court decision and the future of prisons in American landmark”, focuses on the decision made from case Brown v. Plata, where it was discovered that the overcrowding of prisoners was causing prisoners to suffer from chronic illness and inhumane treatment. As per the 8th amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment the court ordered the release of more prisoners than ever before. Mass incarceration resulted from laws like the three strikes laws or use a gun and you’re done created situations on inhumane treatment such as denial of healthcare which caused death behind bars this calls for reforms. In Massachusetts the three strike laws must be enforced with a different approach
Mass incarceration has had a huge impact in the United States on a multitude of levels. The costs of many people in jail has had a huge impact on the U.S. economy. Using taxpayers money for funding mass incarceration has left less money for other programs much needed in our society, such as higher education and health care. Mass incarceration has broken up families and led to the decay of communities. Without a doubt, mass incarceration has impacted the lives of African Americans. This group of people has been the most affected by this phenomenon. (Human Rights Watch & Golvin, 2008).
The United States is five percent of the world’s population and has twenty five percent of the world’s people incarcerated. This is the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Mass incarceration has been a problem in this country for decades. The war on drugs has increased the odds of incarceration and the length of sentences for non-violent offenders. Ninety five percent of prisoners have plead guilty and one out of five are serving sentences for drug related charges (REF).
In the 1970s and 1980s, a massive amount of inmates began fillin up the United States prison systems. This huge rate of growth in this short amount of time, has greatly contributed to the prison overcrowding that the United States faces today. In fact, the prisons are still filled to the seams. This enormous flood of inmates has made it practically impossible for prison officials to keep up with their facilities and supervise their inmates. One of the main reasons why many prisons have become overcrowded is because of states’ harsh criminal laws and parole practices (Cohen). “One in every 100 American adults is behind bars, the highest incarceration rate in the world” (Cohen). The amount of inmates in corrections systems, throughout the
America has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, surpassing countries like China, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Though the United States is home to roughly a small percent of the global population, it holds at least a quarter of prison inmates. And the decreasing rate of incarceration appears to be underwhelming in the circumstances of the last few decades. In his book, Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and The Future of Prisons in America, Jonathan Simon, who is a professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, explores the policies that led to the mass imprisonments rates through the stories of prison conditions in California. Simon examines California court decisions by using Brown vs
Today, in America, some prisoners are living worse than some third world countries are for little crimes such as thief. Overcrowded prisons can literally be defined as placing more prisoners in a prison facility than the prison was built to maintain. Every prison has a recommended capacity for which they are to hold prisoners, since there is such an increase in offenders going to prison, these capacities are being ignored and the population of these prisons are significantly increased, making them overcrowded. Too many prisoners and not enough room. This country needs to spend more money to build new prisons. New prisons cost too much to build. There are more prisoners than the guards can control safely. Because of overcrowding some state prisons are sends their inmates down to local prisons. Some prison inmates are sleeping in hallways, storage rooms and even lavatories. Due to overcrowding some prisons are producing conditions so unhealthy it is against the constitution. Because the new prisons won’t be built for a while some prisons are doing the only thing they can, freeing inmates early. Another reason for overcrowding is that more people are going to jail for smaller, less offensive crimes. Because the number of people in prison, the educational programs are limited. Before the inmate was placed near his or her program but now they are placed where ever there is a bed. Some prisons are placing inmate wherever there can. Some prisoners need special education that is not