African American Incarceration Research

Incarceration rates in American has grown dramatically over the years. According to the American Psychological Association (2014), the United States makes up about 5 percent of the world’s population but has more than 20 percent of the world’s prison population thus making it the world’s largest jailer (America Psychological Association, 2014). The Unites States has relied on imprisonment as a form of punishment and rehabilitation for those who commit criminal offenses. Currently, there are 2.3 million Americans detained in state prisons, federal prisons, and local jails for violent and non-violent offenses (Rabuy & Wagner, 2016).
Research suggests that there are more African Americans under correctional control than any other race. According
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According to Clear (2008), incarceration damages social relationships, and increases economic strain on families (p. 102). Families of prisoners no longer have the freedoms of interacting with at their leisure. Communication between prisoners and families become limited to timed visitation and phone calls. In addition, families of inmates are susceptible to financial strain. In most families, men are the head of the household. When the man is removed, the resources that he provides to the family is no longer available. Families must now find ways to compensate for his …show more content…
African Americans experience high incarceration rates compared to any other race within the United States. According to a study conducted by E. Ann Carson, a Bureau of Justice Statistician (2015), an estimated 516,900 black males were in state or federal prisons at year end of 2014 which is roughly 37% of the male prison population (p. 15). Specifically, this study will focus on African American males between the ages of ages 18-30 in the United States and provide possible reasons behind their high incarceration rates. Research conducted by Ashley Nellis (2016), states that African Americans in the United States are 5.1 more times incarcerated in state prisons than their Caucasian counterparts (p. 1). However, those findings do not address the social factors that contribute to high incarceration rates. This research will focus on socio-economic status and racism as the primary contributors to African American males having high incarceration rates.
Furthermore, information gathered from this research study will be used to provide implications for social service professionals. Implementing programs and resources will assist with strengthening the African American community and help reduce the number of African American males entering the criminal justice system. In addition,

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