The Incarceration System Of The United States

1025 Words Oct 12th, 2015 5 Pages
Indeed, once upon a time the incarceration system was set in place with two firm duties: retribution and rehabilitation. When did these institutions, once considered virtuous and just, become the hallmark of inequality? On September 27th, 2015, Pope Francis remarked on a visit to a Philadelphia jail “It is painful when we see prison systems, which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities,” a moving sentiment that would soon resonate with the American population. Unbeknownst to many listening to his gripping words, ⅓ of the world 's female prison population is incarcerated in the United States. And if the magnitude of that figure does not astound you, maybe the fact that every 1 in 15 American prisoners are black, while only 1 in 106 prisoners are white, will. These statistics reported by Harper’s Index embody the blatant corruption of the American incarceration system and the innate institutionalized racism the U.S has sustained throughout history. Since the inception of the United States, the government has had one definitive purpose: to protect the people’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These prerogatives established a framework for the optimal democratic society, one that would be impartial and benevolent. However, the entire non-white population is barred from sharing in these rights. One of the major ways these rights are denied is through incarceration. A look at our high rates of imprisonment might,…
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