The Irony Of Mass Incarceration Essay

2094 Words Aug 9th, 2016 null Page
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. Many question whether prison is an effective punishment for criminals because its aftereffect causes ex-convicts to commit more crime.
In comparison to other countries, the incarceration rate of the United States is infamously high. Statistically speaking, “in the United States, 1 resident per 150 is imprisoned,” in comparison to England, where “1 resident per 800 is imprisoned,” (Tonry, 1999). Those numbers recorded were from 1998, but studies shown that by 2003 imprisonment rates skyrocketed, showing that “seven-tenths of 1 percent of the U.S. population was locked up by 2003 . . . incarceration rate reflects a penal population of 2.1 million inmates,” (Western, 2006). The numbers above still suggest that the United States incarceration rate is still alarmingly high compared to other countries. Though Tonry mentioned that England had one of the highest rates, America still outnumbered those incarcerated. Furthermore, though America only…

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