The criminal justice system focuses more on criminalization and incarceration than it does on rehabilitation. The United States of America wins the award for the highest incarceration rate in the world with over 2.3 million people in correctional facilities. America itself contains only about five percent of the world population, but accounts for twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners (American Civil Liberties Union). With a longstanding history of mass incarceration and
The American Criminal Justice System are sets of agencies and process made by the government to control crime and to penalize those who commit it. The justice system is different based one’s jurisdiction, meaning city, state, federal or tribal government or military installation. The Criminal System is divided into two main parts, the state and the federal. The state portion handles crimes within its state boundaries. The federal portion handles crime committed on Federal property or in two or more states (“Criminal Justice” 1). The American Criminal Justice System needs reform because of its emphasizes on incarceration punishment rather than Rehabilitation. Our justice system especially enforces punishment on blacks and Latinos resulting of overpopulation of prisons like Rikers Island for petty crimes. Also, another reform needed the juvenile cases. For example, juveniles who commit petty crimes shouldn’t be sent to adult prison and shouldn’t be near more dangerous and serious inmates.
The United States’ prison population is currently number one in the world. As a nation that proclaims freedom for citizens, the United States houses more than one million more persons than Russian and almost one million more persons than China. Currently, the United States makes up five percent of the world’s population and imprisons twenty-five percent of the world’s inmate population. Drug offenders who committed no act of violence make up a large portion of the inmates in the United States. County, State, and Federal prisons are so over populated that the private sector has opened up corporate facilities to house convicted persons. The cost each year to hold a person rises, placing larger financial demands on the judicial system. The Judicial System of the United States should reevaluate the sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug offenders to alleviate the high number of people in the prison system.
Hillary Clinton said, "We can do better. We can not ignore the inequalities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality." She was correct in her statement, we need to reform our criminal justice system because it is highly lacking in fairness and equality. 2.38 million Americans are in prison, with another five million on probation or parole. 1 in 31 adults in the United States are in jail, prison, or on probation or parole. (Ferner) The populations of our prison are increasing, while trust in law enforcers is declining, and if we want to solve the inequalities we must reform parts of our criminal justice system. We should reform our criminal justice system to fix the inequalities of mandatory sentences, bail, and we should create reentry programs to help released inmates stay crime free.
The criminal justice system in America is a system designed to work in three distinct steps. The first being to fairly identify those breaking the law, second, create a process through which to both punish and rehabilitate criminals, and lastly integrate them back into society. The current system typically goes unquestioned, as those in the system seem to be deserving of what ever happens while they are in it, even once they have served their prison sentence. It is only upon deeper inspection that we begin to realize the discrimination and unfair tactics used to introduce certain groups of society into the criminal justice system and proceed to trap them there. This is the issue addressed in Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, and it is through arrests, sentencing and further upon release from jail that this oppressive system is created and maintained.
The United States prison population has grown seven-fold over the past forty years, and many Americans today tend to believe that the high levels of incarceration in our country stem from factors such as racism, socioeconomic differences, and drugs. While these factors have contributed to the incarceration rate present in our country today, I argue that the most important reason our country has such a high incarceration rate is the policy changes that have occurred since the 1970s. During this time, the United States has enacted policy changes that have produced an astounding rise in the use of imprisonment for social control. These policy changes were enacted in order to achieve greater consistency, certainty, and severity and include sentencing laws such as determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing, mandatory minimum sentencing, and three strikes laws (National Research Council 2014). Furthermore, I argue that mandatory sentencing has had the most significant effect on the incarceration rate.
The criminal justice system used today is to follow principles that protect and establish equality for all and while the United States criminal justice system may strive to follow these right of the people, but unfortunately, this is where the system falls short of fundamental American principles. Repeatedly the criminal justice system does the adverse of what it’s supposed to do. It does not protect the many liberties the people should have. Some may argue that the criminal justice system is indeed fair for
The prison population in the United states has increased 500% in thirty years. Since the 1970s social inequality has impacted the American prison system. America has 2.3 million people in prison which is “five times more than England and twelve times more than Japan.” We want to know why our prison population is growing and what are the core reasons. Has our society caused mass incarceration? Is it based on conflict theory or social stratification? Our research will include a comprehensive analysis of sentencing guidelines from the war on drugs , race, and poverty and respectively its impact on mass incarceration. “The United States has the dubious distinction of leading every other nation in both the largest total
In reports on the daily news showed that, “ In 1989 there were 3,254 reported rapes in New York City one made us question our whole system of justice.” The many rapes that took place, but out of over 3,000 only 1 made individuals question the justice system. Why is it that when judges wrongfully convicts someone it’s in the nature to apologize when no proper investigation was done. These young men are innocent it took so much years just to prove that these men went away because of a system that failed them. Why should a black man be afraid to walk next to a white female in a park without her thinking he’s not going to harm her. The cases only arise mental issues that will later causes individuals to fear their own lives because they’re not
American prison systems encompass all three spheres of criminal justice: law enforcement, judiciary, corrections. Within this system, a massive problem exists. America is known as the “mass incarceration nation” (Hamilton, 2014, p. 1271). Comparatively, the United States encompasses the majority of global prisoners, yet the population is nowhere near that proportion. Just how “free and equal” is this system? Since Gideon v. Wainwright, the racial divide in the criminal justice system has grown, which is contradictory to its intentions. The American criminal justice system has failed to provide the justice and protections it promises. There are many injustices caused by the mass incarceration of American citizens, especially those of minority descent. More harm is done by incarceration to the individual, their community, and the nation, than if other forms of justice were used. The criminal justice system is divided, with racial and income disparities defining the nation in way never intended.
Mass incarceration is the racial caste system which has resulted in millions of African Americans imprisoned. Much of black men in urban areas are incumbered with criminal records which deprives them of basic human rights; such as: the right to vote and serve on juries, and the right to be free of legal discrimination. Convicted felons are subject to forms of discrimination eerily like slavery and Jim Crow practices. Truly, the United States criminal justice system functions as a racial formation, where it mainly focuses on the socio-historical process by which racial categories are inhabited. Ultimately, the nation has been reluctant to face the racial formation society abides by.
Michelle Alexander argues that the New Jim Crow exists because, technically, once you’re a felon you lose many of the rights you had, such as employment, housing, voting, and exclusion from the jury (Alexander, 2011). Many of these rights are the rights that were fought for during the Civil Rights Movement. Seeing as the majority of the prison population are non-violent minorities that were arrested for drugs, one can see how the criminal justice system now, despite its better qualities, is being used to control the minorities.
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.
For example, the incident that took place back in April where four on duty African Americans parole officers were pulled over and held at gun point by white police officers. According to CNN.com “On the morning of April 21, 2014, the parole officers were on their way back from attempting to execute an arrest warrant when they were stopped on the side of the road by police officers, some of whom had their weapons drawn. The parole officers stated they were all wearing their department-issued bullet proof vests with their gold badges displayed prominently around their necks. Additionally, they said their car had an official New York State placard displayed conspicuously on the dashboard, according to court documents.” This incident displays
The mass incarceration of part of the U.S population is propelled mainly by the practices of politicians with regards to business. This is justified as legal by politicians stating they are trying to do what is best for the people by being “tough on crime”. By making the statement that they are being tough on crime, politicians typically earn public support while supporting private companies in terms of detention. Another justification that is used is the statement of leading the war on drugs by creating harsh punishments for drug offenders. One fact that shows how irrational harsh punishment for everyone is that only 10 percent percent of federal drug offenders are classified as high-level offenders, but all face the same harsh minimum punishments (Battaglia, drugpolicy.org). The problem with this policy is that most drug offenders are nonviolent, and end up getting sucked into a cycle of violent behavior due to the long terms they are being forced to serve due to laws. By shifting towards private contracting the focus is truly on profits, so corners are cut and the focus on rehabilitation is lost, punishing both the imprisoned and the public which could be benefitting from individuals saved through the justice