The Incarceration Of High Incarceration Rates

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High incarceration rates Although America holds only five percent of the world’s population, it contains 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population which is why reform needs to be made in order to bring down incarceration rates which will in turn lower costs paid by American citizens. What is the problem? The fact that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world is problematic enough, what makes the issue worse is that the United States does not have the space available to billet all the detainees that it has behind bars. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at yearend 2014 an estimated 6,851,000 persons were under the supervision of the U.S. adult correctional system and 2.2 million of the correctional system were incarcerated in jails or prisons, a jump from the year 2000 where there were the total correctional population was 6,467,800, and 1,945,400 were incarcerated (2015). The prison population in the united states is out of control and prisons are over their maximum occupancy, something needs to change to reduce the amount of incarcerated individuals. 23 May 2011, there was a supreme court ruling 5-4 that ruled the state of California was to reduce their prison population due to the fact their medical and mental health care did not meet the standard of care, as a result the prison was forced to reduce their population to 137.5% of its designed capacity which meant California was to release 40,000 inmates (Brown v. plata, 2011). The result to overcrowding prisons is that felons will be released into the public as Brown v. Plata shows. What do the experts say? According to Justice Scalia “terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order, Justice ... ... middle of paper ... ...lling inmate population, legislation and courts will control it for the Department of Corrections which has negative effects on the public safety because dangerous criminals are released. Solutions to keep incarceration numbers down, reduce the number going in, the two ways to make that happen are “to eliminate mandatory sentencing and eliminate revocations of probation and parole” (Clear, T. R., & Austin, J. 2009). Clear goes further and explains that the reason for prison growth is “the reduction in the use of probation as a sentence for people convicted of felonies, especially drug crimes”. In short, the laws that mandate mandatory prison sentence for drug offenses need to be changed to probation, “Before laws mandating prison sentences in the U.S. prison population, about six percent, they are now about twenty percent” Clear, T. R., & Austin, J. (2009).
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