Punishment And Inequality By Bruce Western Essay

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For my analysis, I decided to read the 2006 book Punishment and Inequality in America by author Bruce Western. The book takes a look into the relationship among crime, incarceration, and inequality and what really connects them together. Western shows that although there was a decrease in crime rates about 20 years ago, the reason behind this decrease is not what it may seem and that the decrease may of even come at a significant cost to those effected by the prison boom. Through my analysis, I hope to explore and convey what Western has claimed and examine if his arguments hold truth or not in dealing with our prison systems. On top of this, I will attempt to connect a few theories we as a class have learned about throughout the semester to what Western has has claimed in his book. Punishment and Inequality in America starts off by informing the reader of how much of a mass imprisonment problem we have here in America. The first chapter is riddled with statistics of who is being imprisoned, for what reasons are they being jailed, and inequality we see within our prison systems. Such statistics include that black men are six to eight times more likely to be in prison than whites, and that close to one-third of black high school dropouts were incarcerated in the year 2000. Although the statistics are eye-opening, it by no means explains to us why these numbers are the way they are. What Western does try and explain through these numbers is a what he refers to as the risk

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