While it is true that the War on Drugs as a policy is fundamentally broken, there is currently a trend towards new types of policies which could offer more effective solutions. The War on Drugs has created more problems than it has solved. While effectively filling our prisons over capacity, it does nothing to address the source of the problem leaving those incarcerated with the threat of going back soon after release. From 1980 to 1996, incarceration rates in America grew by 200 percent. The reasons for this appear to be dominated by drug offenses, which grew by ten times during this time frame.
“More than half of federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug crimes…” (Branson, 2012). Nonviolent drug offenses in America are unrightly over punished, causing more harm than good to those charged and all American citizens. Drug arrests and imprisonments are far too common and are taking focus off of more important crimes. The sentences for nonviolent drug crimes are far too long and harsh for the crime. Punishment against nonviolent drug crimes are not working and is causing more harm than good.
Drug policies stemming from the War on Drugs are to blame, more specifically, the mandatory minimum sentencing mandates on petty drug charges that have imprisoned millions of non-violent offenders in the last three decades. Since this declaration of war, the percentage of drug arrests that result in prison sentences (rather than probation, dismissal, or community service) has quadrupled, resulting in an unprecedented prison-building boom (Wyler, 2014). There are three main reasons mandatory minimum sentencing laws must be reformed: (1) They impose unduly harsh punishments on relatively low level offenders, leading to the mass incarceration epidemic. (2) They have proven to be cost ineffective fiscally and in crime and drug use reduction. (3) They perpetuate a racially segregated criminal justice system that destroys communities and discourages trust
The ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system is caused by mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism. The majority of prisoners incarcerated in America are non-violent offenders. This is due mainly to mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which is a method of prosecution that gives offenders a set amount of prison time for a crime they commit if it falls under one of these laws, regardless of their individual case analysis. These laws began in the 1980s, when the use of illegal drugs was hitting an all time high (Conyers 379). The United States began enacting legislature that called for minimum sentencing in an effort to combat this “war on drugs.” Many of these laws give long sentences to first time offenders (Conyers).
Jacoby declares that the prison system is terrible; he uses accurate and persuading evidence. According to Jacoby, flogging is faster, cheaper, and a more effective alternative to prison. Many young criminals would be less likely to become career criminals if punished through public embarrassment than through prison. Prison can be a sign of manliness or a “status symbol” (Jacoby 197). He says “prison is a graduate school for criminals”, providing evidence that criminals want to be convicted and be in prison, to strengthen their status (Jacoby 197).
Under the current prison system, many offenders of nonviolent crimes are getting much longer sentences than actually necessary. Many of these nonviolent crimes are drug crimes, such as dealing. “There are more than a half-million people in state or federal prisons for drug offense today today, up from 41,000 in 1980,” this rapid increase in incarceration for drug offenses highlights the injustice of our prison
The United States has the highest prison rate in the world at 724 per 100,000 people are incarcerated. (Borowski) With the immense number of criminals incarcerated, one would assume that the countries crime rate is extremely low. But, because a majority of these inmates are incarcerated for non-violent crimes, it is still embarrassingly high. On the other hand, there is no evidence or valid argument that the crime rate would be lowered if there was a mass release of incarcerated criminals. In fact, it is reasonable to suggest that the United States crime rate would rise if these criminals were released.
I feel that not everyone that deals should be sentence to prison. Just because a first time offender is carrying a certain amount of kilograms, they are sentences according to that. This is injustice because a person who may have committed other minor crimes may be charged the same way as a person who made a mistake for the first time. Besides that sentencing everyone that makes a crime is extremely expensive. People who don’t have any type of connections with people who are place in prison have to be paying money to maintain them in prison.
This is flawed mainly because it seems to assume that showing people that what they've done is wrong will always accomplish something, that punishing those who commit crimes will deter others from following the same pattern. The problem with prison is that prisons are not a place of rehabilitation. There are people who steal and sell drugs simply because they have no other means of survival. There are people whose lives in the outside world are so terribly difficult that for them, that prison life is a cushier existence than their ordinary day-to-day existence, and many of these people intentionally commit crimes so they will be arrested and thrown in jail, simply so that they can get a decent meal and a bed. These people are then introduced to major offenders, who have not been rehabilitated and become worse than their "mentors."
From this information we can conclude that our criminal justice systems are overflowing with drug abusers. The United States has the highest imprisonment rate and about 83 percent of arrests are for possession of illegal drugs (Prisons & Drug Offenders, 2011). So, after gathering these outstanding figures I can conclude that we should be more concerned about solving the drug abusers problems and showing them an alternative lifestyle. I personally do not think that putting these drug abusers in incarceration solves there problem or helps the United States economic troubles. Let us consider how many offenders are u... ... middle of paper ... ...r Facts.