The Causes And Effects Of Mass Incarceration

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Mass incarceration has created racial discrepancies among those being incarcerated. Many studies have been conducted to study the causes of these discrepancies and almost all of these studies have found that African Americans and other minority groups accounts for the vast majority of the prison population. In 1991 Albonetti found on her study that African Americans are more likely to be convicted and received longer sentences than their Caucasian counterparts (Kamalu, 2010, p. 2). Another study by Spohn found that when African Americans are male, unemployed, young, and the offense is not serious, then they are more likely to be convicted than Caucasians that fit the same characteristics of those African Americans (Kamalu, 2010, p. 3). Part …show more content…
68). This 700 percent increased has put a huge burden on taxpayers in order to be able to afford, maintain, and keep running prisons and jails nation-wide. In addition to the cost of mass incarceration, mass incarceration also increases the amount of people who applies for social benefits such as welfare and food stamps (Henrichson, 2013, p. 69). These benefits are also paid by taxpayers; therefore, this increases the cost of incarceration as well as the burden on taxpayers. In addition, taxpayers are also responsible for paying for the healthcare as well as for the education and training that many inmates receive while they are being incarcerated (Henrichson, 2013, p. …show more content…
71). Some states are taking initiatives to reduce their prison population by creating comprehensive release programs. These programs allow non-violent inmates to serve only a portion of their sentence in prison while the other portion is served in the community (Henrichson, 2013, p. 73). Other states have shortened the length of the prison sentences, thus reducing the prison population, which will reduce the prison cost (Henrichson, 2013, p. 73). Reducing recidivism can also reduce the cost of prisons. Many of the inmates who are released from prison usually return back, in order to combat this problem prisons have created more effective rehabilitation programs while they are incarcerated and tougher probations and parole guidelines that can reduce recidivism (Henrichson, 2013, p. 73). Rehabilitation was starting to disappear in the corrections systems but thankfully it is coming back since many studies have shown the benefits of rehabilitation programs for inmates while they are incarcerated (Cullen, 2015, p. 4). In conclusion, mass incarceration has been an ongoing issue that surged from the get tough reforms in the hopes that it would lower the crime rate. African Americans and other minority groups are the ones who have been affected the most from this problem. Finally, Taxpayers have been the ones who have had to pick up this expensive tab for many years as

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