Mass Inarceration Essay

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The United States of America has the highest prison rate in the world. As of today there are approximately 2.3 million people jailed across our great United States. Even though America accounts for five percent of the world population we hold approximately 5 percent of the world's prisoners. Mass incarceration has become one of America's largest problems to date. The term mass incarceration was coined by sociologist and historians to emphasize the increase of the number of individuals incarcerated in America's prisons in the past four decades. Since the beginning of the “war on drugs” and the passing of crime bills like The Anti-Drug Abuse Act and The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act incarceration rates have spiked. Mass incarceration can be attributed to the disproportionate amounts of minorities, particularly African American males being thrown into jail due to mandatory sentencing and the three strikes law, institutionalized racism and Americas broken judicial system.…show more content…
The government acknowledged these problems by imprisoning individuals who they perceived as threats to stop them from tarnishing America’s so called peaceful society. Various states around the country authorized heavier sentencing for repeat offenders and violent crimes. During the 1990s many state and federal governments passed “truth in sentencing” laws which required repeat offenders to complete at least 80 percent of their sentence. The government thought that by incarcerating so many offenders the crime rate would be reduced, but during this time the crime rate fluctuated. Crime only dropped in the 1990s, but only approximately 10 percent was attributed to
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