Mass Incarceration

595 Words3 Pages
6,977,700. Six million, nine-hundred seventy seven, seven hundred. What does that number mean? It’s huge! What if it was pounds? Or dollars? Unfortunately, it’s not an outrageous amount of money, that associated number is regrettably much higher, that number is a group of members of our society: in 2011, 6,977,700 people were incarcerated, on probation, or on parole (“Sentencing project” Austin). Thanks to harsh drug laws, disproportional sentencing offence trends, and misguided police policies, the amount of Americans under correctional control has increased by 279% in thirty-one years (“Sentencing project” Austin). America has broken math. It should be impossible to achieve any percent higher than a hundred, after all, how can there be more than the whole? In 31 years, the United State’s population increased by 37%, while the incarceration rate increased by 279% (“Sentencing Project” Austin). As a country, the United States in incarnating the population at a rate faster than it is increasing. Of course, looking collectively at that statistic, it can be justified: crime rates, taken into perspective collectively, appear to be proportional to the incarceration rate. However, this is offset by sentencing discrepancies: three non-violent drug related offences will land an unfortunate victim of the poorly commissioned legislature, intended to help better the United States, life in prison (Reality has Turned, Cohen). In fact, “This vast expansion of correctional control occurred not by accident, but as the result of deliberate policy choice that impose intentionally punitive sentences” (Sentencing Project, Auther”). Other countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, have elected to adopt the policy of handing out fines as opposed t... ... middle of paper ... ... Mauer, Nicole Porter, Susan Tucker, and Malcom C. Young. Mass Incarceration. Publication. Sentencing Project, 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. Beau of Justice Statistics. N.p.: Beau of Justice Statistics, 30 June 2010. PDF Cohen, Donald. "Reality Has Turned the Tide Against Private Prisions." Huffington Post, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. The Drug War, Mass Incarceration, and Race. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Drug Policy Allience. Web. "Mission & History." Home. American Civil Liberties Union, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. Newman, Tony. "President Obama and AG Holder Make Unprecedented Moves To Address Drug War and Mass Incarceration." Huffington Post, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. Shammas, Michael. "End the Prison-Industrial Complex." The Huffington Post., 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
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