Essay on The Incarceration Of The Prison System

1152 Words Mar 14th, 2016 5 Pages
According to Al-Khatib, a writer for Discovery News, the United States has just five percent of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. While prisons did not gain popularity until America was established as a country, the mass incarceration most see today is a relatively recent phenomenon. (Al-Khatib). Mass incarceration is defined as the imprisonment of a large number of people. Although this may seem beneficial, the prison system is very heinous. Ethics are questionable in America’s prison systems. Racial discrimination is very prevalent in prison, along with rape and other deplorable situations, and thus, the ineffective yet costly American prison system has been a growing injustice over the past few decades.
The concept of prison as a common means of punishment was not well-known prior to the 18th century. As Al-Khatib states, “Jails did exist, but they were a means of holding criminals temporarily until a trial or punishment could be meted out. Political prisoners and debtors were the only ones who saw any kind of extended stay.” Following the civil war, the Southern states faced a high demand for labor that was eventually satisfied by the use of prisoners. African Americans were caught on very minor offenses, imprisoned, then leased to private handlers until their sentences were over. Such a practice circumvented slavery laws (Al-Khatib). This is arguably the start of racial discrimination related to prisons. Later in the 1970’s, a war on drugs was…

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