Mass Incarceration In America

Improved Essays
A Caged Country: Mass Incarceration in America
Mass incarceration is an indication of the downfall of America because too many people are carelessly thrown into jails and prisons, it prohibits progress amongst “minority” communities, and hinders the country’s economy by increasing unnecessary debt. Although some are opposed to limiting mass incarceration because they believe it may hinder public safety, it is not the most effective route to reaching public safety.
Mass incarceration has only become a major issue in the United States within the past 40 years. Once one is in the hands of the legal system you are forced to work for the prison, which is considered a legal form of slavery. For this reason, many believe that the rise in incarcerated
…show more content…
2.2 million men, women, and youth are incarcerated in the United States right now (The Sentencing Project). The U.S. accounts for 5% of the world’s population, yet 22% of the world’s imprisoned population (Mass Incarceration). Mass incarceration has reached an increase of over 500% within the last 40 years (The Sentencing Project). Not only are more people being carelessly thrown into jails and prisons, but the number of people that are being released is less and not nearly equal to the number of inmates coming in because people are also being sentenced to longer terms. The $12.5 billion given to states with the 1994 Crime Bill “required inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences” which is in part why sentences are longer served in the justice system (Brooke Eisen, Chettiar). These approaches aren’t significantly helping to achieve public safety, if there is any progress being made at all, but does, however, create overcrowding in jails and …show more content…
For example, 67% of black Americans make up the prison population, although 37% of blacks are accredited to the U.S. population (The Sentencing Project). Evidence shows that black Americans are more likely to be arrested, convicted, sentenced, and face harsher sentences than white Americans. Black males are nearly 6 times more likely to be incarcerated as white men and Hispanic men are 2.3 times more likely vs. the white male (The Sentencing

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    In 1980, only six percent of state prisoners had been convicted of a drug offense; today, the percentage is higher in both state prisons (14.4%) and federal prisons (51.4%) (Clear et al., 2013). This reform has strengthened differential criminality where white men reported they uses drug five times more than African American, but African American men get punished on drug 13.4 times more than whites (Clear et al.,…

    • 1638 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Sentencing in the criminal justice system shows how racism operates. Skin color makes a huge difference. African Americans disproportionately receive more mandatory sentences compared to whites and the death penalty. “On average, black men spent almost 20 per cent more time in prison between December 2007 and September 2011. In addition, white men were more likely to serve sentences below the sentencing guidelines while black men were 25 percent less likely, according to the commission”(Duke).…

    • 1811 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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.…

    • 1128 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Broken Aid When somebody in this country has broken the law they put in prison to learn from their mistakes in order to become a well adjusted citizen. This is not the outcome that is taking place at this moment; most people who are in prison are a worst state going out then they were going in. A quote by Gloria Steinem that sums up this idea of the prison system today; he states “ A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space”. Prisons in the United States is not longer helping our society it hurt the overall population. The topics of conversation that can invoke change is the over crowding effect on the prisoners, the negative habits that are made in prison, and the after effects of prisons.…

    • 1136 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Many people argue for tough-on-crime policies but many studies show that putting more people behind bars is not the solution. According to statistics, “though the United States has just 5 percent of the world’s prison population, it has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners” (Golberg). Despite these numbers reports show that such policies are ineffective in lowering crime rates. Long sentences can often do more harm than good. Prisons seem designed to keep people separated from society.…

    • 1343 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Education Vs Incarceration

    • 1706 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Incarceration The prison population has grown rapidly in the United States for the past thirty-five to forty years and it still continues to grow till this day. The growth in state spending on prisons and the criminal corrections has outpaced the growth of education spending. According to Steven Hawkins of the The American Prospect, he states that the prison population has grown exponentially from 500,000 to 2.3 million people in just three decades. Hawkins also shares that the United States almost spend $70 billion annually to keep adults in prison and jails, to confine youth in detention centers, and to supervise 7.3 million individuals on probation and parole. According to Lori Bezlaher in her article “Will California Choose Prisons Over School- Again?” (The Nation), she discusses how California’s Governor Brown and the legislature have come up with a plan with the money raised by Prop 30 (Proposition 30, officially titled Temporary Taxes to…

    • 1706 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Drug users make up a large group of inmates in United States prisons. ; the Bureau of Justice says about 16 percent of inmates in state prisons and 47 percent of inmates in federal prisons were incarcerated for drug-related crimes, and 65 percent of them meet medical criteria that can signify drug addiction, that is about 883,269 prisoners addicted to drugs (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse). Drug users are costing the United States millions of dollars a year just to be housed in jail for their addiction, whereas if drug addicts were sent to rehab the cost would immensely decrease. According to State Commission on Criminal Sentencing, Maryland has reduced the price of each inmate from $20,000 annually to $4,000 annually by reinstating them into rehab programs. Subsequently, a change in the United…

    • 1434 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Mass Incarceration, and how it effects Society Latricia W. Cunningham Upper Iowa University Social Problems This paper was prepared for Social Problems, taught by Professor Dave Haecker Mass Incarceration and how it’s a social problem? America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? How can this be possible if America is the leader out of every country in incarceration rates? There are 2.2 million people in prison or jail in America. (The Sentencing Project , 2014) Since 1970 the U.S. imprisonment rates have increased five-fold, with minorities and the poor being the most affected.…

    • 1268 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    The topic that will be discussed in this paper is the mass incarceration of African American males in the United States. However, before we can address the problem of the mass incarceration among African American males one needs to understand that mass incarceration is happening across the board for all groups in the United States. According to an article by Jim Webb, the US is only 5 percent of the world’s population but, this country now holds almost 25 percent of the worlds reported prisoners. So, going based off of that statistics it only makes since to say that the US has the highest rates of incarceration. Yet, out of a population of 2,220,300 adults who were incarcerated in the US, African American males make up 745,000 of that 2,220,300.…

    • 1251 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    Incarceration Vs Prison

    • 1872 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The United States is a prison society. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world – more than historically harsh societies such as Russia and China; we sentence people to longer sentences than other nations; and we are one of the only developed countries who still practice the death penalty. Our rate of incarceration increased a staggering 700% from 1970 to 2005 (banking on bondage pg 5, 11) and, as of 2013, 1 out of every 110 adults in the USA are in jail or prison, with a further 1 in 51 on probation or parole (Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013). The more one studies the prison system the more one sees just how unjust it is. We treat drug addicts and people with mental illnesses the same way as violent inmates,…

    • 1872 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays

Related Topics