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
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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

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