Incarceration And Decriminalization

Good Essays
Drugs, Money, and Society Many people say that the society that we live in today is drifting away from rehabilitation, and has moved in many aspects to over-criminalization and determined sentencing. While on the other hand, opponents to that perception believe that there are already many laws implemented in order to keep convictions and incarceration at a steady rate and that criminalization of certain offenses is needed to curve crime today. In California, the possession of an illegal substance can lead you to a lengthy prison sentence. From the arrest, to the trial, to the sentencing, your tax paying dollars are at work going towards what some call the never-ending cycle of the criminal justice system. Proposition 47, an attempt to reduce …show more content…
Today, a large portion of incarceration is due to the criminalization of drug possession and use. In terms of low-level offenses such as drug use and possession, many individuals believe that to solve our nations drug problems and overcrowding of prisons, the process of decriminalizing drug use needs to be implemented in order to stop focusing all the attention on getting convictions, and more focus on preventing addiction in the first place so that it will not result to mass incarceration in the first place. Proponents of decriminalization believe it would be more productive to treat people with addictions rather than handcuffing them. “Over 1.6 million people are arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated, and placed under criminal justice supervision and/or deported each year for a drug law violation”(McNamara). Yet instead of trying to reduce problematic drug use, drug-related disease transmission or overdose deaths, the drug war has actually done more harm to people than the drug use itself, by tearing apart families, putting millions of people in prisons and jails, burdening even more people with a life-long criminal record and knowing that they have to live with it, worsening the health prospects for people who use drugs and significantly compromising public health(McNamara). The consequences of any drug conviction are life-long and severe, and are not always experienced equally. Despite comparable drug use and selling rates across racial groups, African Americans and Latinos are for the most part disproportionately punished for drug law violations. Drug violations are an easy solution for police officers to meet their high arrest quotas, which ends up in thousands of wrongful arrests that overwhelmingly victimize communities of color. Many officials propose treating drug addiction as a health issue, rather than as a crime. Health based

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Prison System Ineffective

    • 1557 Words
    • 7 Pages

    One such argument is that since prisoners have reduced chances of employment upon release, some resort to criminal activities as their best option for survival. The issue of drug cartels is another problem that is currently plaguing most prison facilities in the United States. Many underground drug networks within prison systems promote criminal drug use, hence making it difficult for the government to fight drug and substance abuse (Cambers 19). Many criminal drug lords are serving terms in the United States and are still able to command their underworld army of drug cartels, which again illustrates that the prison system in the United States has not been effective in reducing crime and new alternatives need to be…

    • 1557 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Name: Institution: Lecturer: Date: California’s Prison Policy Introduction The problem of over population in California has become a very big issue for a very long time. Crime rate in California has increased over the past years. Some of these crimes include non-violent and non-serious offenses such as drug possession. According to Philip and Jens, prison is not the only option for controlling crime but making the case for alternative approaches has historically been an uphill crime. (2011) In addition other policies are arguing if you reduce the sentences of some prisoners will lead to more crimes in the communities.…

    • 1752 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Secondly, with more addicts being able to find help, the number of overdose related deaths would also decrease. Lastly, decriminalization would cease all unnecessary drug related arrests. Law enforcement would be able to focus on going after drug suppliers, rather than users. As a result of the 1994 crime bills, many people were arrested for non-violent drug related crimes. The nation can learn from that experience, every time someone was caught with possession, we added to the incarceration rates, which overcrowded our jails, costing our government millions of dollars.…

    • 1023 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The irony in mass incarceration in the United States is that its purpose is to deter crime, yet it does the exact opposite. Contrary to modern belief, mass incarceration in the United States has increased drastically. Many factors can contribute to the uprising in incarceration. Though prison’s sole purpose is to deter crime, it in fact increases it. Sources suggest that first time offenders, and ex-convicts are highly likely to commit another crime after leaving prison, thus depicting the prison system’s failure in deterring crime.…

    • 2094 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Using what has happened in Mexico, crimes will always happen whether drugs are or are not decriminalized. There are so many drug addicts in jail because there is a big association between drug use and offending. Although decriminalization will lessen the amount of people sent to jail for personal use. Criminal punishment for drugs will more so focus on the trafficking aspect, as it should. What needs to happen is rather then decriminalizing all drugs, I think reducing the severity of the charges would work exceptionally.…

    • 1596 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Drug addiction is a large and vastly growing concern in today’s world. While so many people are affected by being addicted to drugs the debate has grown on whether it is caused by a brain disease or if it is caused by a person’s behavior patterns and choices. The importance of deciding between the two has a large impact on what legal and medical personnel are supposed to do with drug addicts. My own personal opinion I believe that drug addiction is a choice rather than a disease. As you will see in this paper I do not doubt that drugs do in some way affect ones brain, but not to the extent to classify it as a disease.…

    • 994 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I have found that those who commit property crimes are often suffering from substance abuse problems. Prisons across the country have notoriously had issues concerning the introduction and use of drugs by inmates. Implementing programs to address the substance abuse issues with property crimes offenders would address the reason for them stealing, which is often to gain money or property to sell or trade for drugs. While longer prison sentences would keep the criminals incarcerated, and thus prevent them from committing crimes, it also costs Americans a large amount to house them in prisons. A sentence of prison time and early release only after a series of random drug testing would encourage the inmates to break away from their addictions.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Punishment, especially punishment on those caught doing drugs, should be evaluated through Deontology this because it focuses on the rights, duties, and consequences of drug punishments rather than only focus on the consequences. Since the War on Drugs was established the amount of incarcerations also heavily increased. It is the governments right to protect citizens from drugs and drug users, however, it is also their duty to use the drug punishment to deter others from doing them and rehabilitating offenders. Yet, the War on Drugs has not done that. Instead of having less drug offenders and incarcerations, we have increased the number of incarcerations and the recidivism rate.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I think that the government needs to give more of the people’s taxes towards law enforcement so that police force can increase in size and money can go towards supplies to stop drug deals. There are many drug busts that are huge, but people are forgetting about the many small drug deals that happen right in the streets. I think that if more money is given to law enforcement, they can focus on the many small drug deals that happen every day. Furthermore, punishments need to be harsher on people that abuse drugs. Punishments can be made worse by giving drug abusers and dealers longer sentences in prison.…

    • 902 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Importance Of Rehab

    • 1490 Words
    • 6 Pages

    There is a considerable amount of disagreements about supplying rehab to those who are arrested instead of letting them go through jail time. Rehab would often be supplied to those that are arrested that suffer through drug addiction. Therefore, the topic is of high value today because it examines a possible way to reduce crimes throughout countries. There are a variety of arguments on the issue, such as that it is unsafe to use rehab as a reason to put a criminal back into public. Some believe that rehab does not work or that jail already teaches enough lessons to convicts.…

    • 1490 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics