Mass Incarceration In Prison

940 Words 4 Pages
America’s prison culture has been targeting minorities, underclass people, and drug addicts unfairly and for far too long. Mass incarceration is a system that captures people, then labels them as criminals and felons, keeping them locked up for extensive periods of times only to release them into the underclass where there is no hope to achieve higher living. Since the introduction of the War on Drugs in the 1970’s by Ronald Reagan, where “over four decades, the [Drug Policy Agency} says, American taxpayers have dished out $1 trillion on the drug war”, the influx of prisoners increased 700 percent. Black Men are singled out for imprisonment 5 times more than white males. On a global scale comparison, America accounts for 25% of incarceration …show more content…
Education plays a huge role, whereas those with less income and education are go to targets for imprisonment. As of 2008, more than half of inmates are high school dropouts. Those at the bottom are forced to stay at the bottom, with little means to be able to excel. These people are then labeled as criminals, hurting their chances at getting a worthwhile career. On job applications they must indicate whether or not they are registered felons, making other applicants garnish an extra edge on these people. As further proof, when looking at 20-year earnings, those incarcerated only have a 20 percent chance of moving out of the bottom quintile of economic status, showing how imprisonment affects people who are already at the bottom, and how their prison sentence can hurt their chances of ever gaining a better quality of life. Essentially, those socioeconomically deficient are put into an unfair position with high chance of being incarcerated based simply upon where they are at economically speaking. However, once race is put into the equation, the inequality is much more …show more content…
Since the declaration of the war on drugs in America during the 1970s, incredible growth has been seen in prison population, as stated above with 700 percent increase in prisoners in our country. Even during 1982 when President Reagan officially called for a war on drugs, drug crime was on the decline. Many people think that the decision was based upon the introduction of crack cocaine and its extensive popularity in inner cities, although in reality the crack epidemic came after Reagans announcement of the “war.” Early on in the ordeal, there was a minimum sentencing placed on people who possessed drugs, punishing not a crime but a disease: addiction. Even after the initial hysteria caused by the war on drugs, some cases can result in a drug sentence longer than that of murderers and rapists. Where a murderer can get around 20 years for his or her crime, drug trafficking can reach an outcome of 25 years in prison. Some people, like in one Mississippi man’s case, a felony drug offense gave him 100 years of imprisonment. Others may think that this is fair and justified, as people distributing drugs should be held highly accountable for their actions since they put other people’s lives in danger. However, it can be said that choosing to incarcerate these people does not really teach them a lesson, nor does it drive them away from the life that they live and may continue to live after being locked

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