Essay about America Needs Alternatives to Incarceration

Essay about America Needs Alternatives to Incarceration

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Clyde is your average American; he is a hardworking family man who tries to do everything in his power to make his family live happily. Due to the recent economic plunge he has lost his job and his wife is not making enough to feed their family. Feeling worthless and desperate to help his suffering family, Clyde decided to rob his neighbor. It was an unarmed theft of under $250; unfortunately Clyde was caught and sentenced to serve 1 year in the County Prison. Clyde never wanted to do it and was very uncomfortable doing it, but he thought it would help his family and allow them to go one more month with food on the table. Even though there are alternative forms of rehabilitation that would have kept him out of prison and been more beneficial to him and his family as well as being more cost efficient, Clyde was sent to prison to become part of the largest prison population in the world.
Statistically the United States has the largest prison population in the world. We incarcerate 700 per 100,000 people in the US, which is 1% of the United States Population. Of these incarcerated 1 in 11 are African American, 1 in 27 are Latinos and 1 in 45 are Whites. (Moore, 3) Even though we as a nation account for only 5% of the world population, our prison population accounts for 25% of the world prison population. Our prison population dwarves every other prison population in the world; however, it has not always been this way, in the 50 years leading to the mid 1970’s our prison population hovered around 110 per 100,000.
We as a nation have become fixated on incarceration as punishment for offenders as a result our prison population exploded. Furthermore, we are placing these new offenders into roughly the ...


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