Mass Incarceration Essay

someone is exposed to so much antisocial behavior, it becomes a part their psyche, putting them at a higher risk of offending again (322). Todd Clear, Doctor of Criminal Justice from The University at Albany and Natasha Frost, Doctor in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, state, “If we are to make headway in reducing mass incarceration, mandatory sentencing must be eliminated, especially for drug crime” (163). Not only are mandatory minimums overly harsh and highly unjust, many of the people affected by these laws are drug user—drug users need treatment, not incarceration.
Drug-related crimes are the leading cause of arrest in America; however, warehousing people in prison for drug addiction does not stop them from using
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But, “The most obvious tool for preventing mass incarceration is addressing the system of drug laws that account for the incarceration of so many new cases” (Drucker 168). Lowering new commitments to prison by a little over 29% can be achieved by giving the judge the ability to evaluate each court process on a case by case basis; namely, so that he can decide if the offender should get a second chance or not (Drucker 167). One way to remedy this huge growth of prisons is to repeal mandatory minimum sentencing laws and give the judges the option of sending new offenders to drug programs. Sending people to drug treatment centers instead of jail could dramatically lower the number of people locked away in prison cells. “The solution is access to quality drug treatment programs” (Hattery and Smith 44). Inmates, after being treated for their drug addictions while in prison, prisoners were able to stay out of prison more often. Drug addiction needs to be treated and the mass incarceration binge can be broken, resulting in a decreased prison population. Education also matters in correcting this epidemic of

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