The Punishment Vs. Reformation Essay example

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Retribution vs Reformation Beginning in the 1970’s, prison reform in the United States lead to trend of soaring incarceration rates. These reforms, which took place through the 1990’s, led to stricter federal sentencing laws and guidelines, which in turn increased enforcement as well as imprisonment rates. Since 1980, the prison population in the United States has more than quadrupled in size. As of 2015, there were over two million people in prison, which means one out of every one hundred adults was incarcerated (Washington Post, 2015). The U.S. constitutes for approximately 5 percent of the world’s population, however it houses approximately 25 percent of the world’s prison population (Washington Post, 2015). With one of the highest recidivism rates in the world, approximately 76.6 percent percent of released prisoners in the U.S. were rearrested within five years of their release (National Institute of Justice, 2014). When comparing these statistics to those of a country like Norway, which has one of the lowest recidivism rates at approximately 20 percent, there are many factors that one must consider (Sterbenz, 2014). Of these, the three largest contributing factors are the bail system, mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and for-profit prisons. In the United States, the bail system essentially is when a citizen commits a crime the court may require a specific amount of money as bond, which will be returned once the citizen appears for trial. If one can afford the bail…

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