Mass incarceration can be defined as the incarceration or imprisonment of a large number of people. According to the Prison Policy Initiative blog (March 2014), the current rates of mass incarceration in the U.S are as follows: Local Jails has 721,654 inmates, Federal prisons 216, 362 prisoners and state prisons have 1,362,028 of prisoners. To have a better understanding, those in local jails are awaiting for trial while federal prisoners are in there because of drugs, weapons and immigration offenses, etc.; However, those in state prisons being the number of prisoners alarming are there because of murder, robbery, assault, public order, etc. Hence, those numbers make U.S the country with the highest number of prisoners.
Even though the number of people that we have in actuality in prison has reduced, the statistics still show very disproportionate numbers. So the question to ask will be, are we overusing prison for not too serious offenses? Or is crime increasing among the states? Most of the time when we talk about crime or prison most people think the main reason is drugs; however, statistics from March 2014 mentioned above show the opposite. There are more serious offenses like murder and assaults going on out there, but as drug use/sale is becoming controversial we constantly attribute crime to drugs.
The effects of mass incarceration don’t only affect those behind bars, but also the rest of society outside. It’s not only about the inmate himself but also his family and society in general. Most prisoners face very critical situations when they get out of prison, because they paid for their crime but they will still be labeled as criminals making it almost impossible to reint...
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• Martensen, K. (2012). The price that US minority communities pay: mass incarceration and the ideologies that fuel them. Contemporary Justice Review, 15(2), 211-222. doi:10.1080/10282580.2012.681165
• Lynch, J. P., & Sabol, W. J. (2004). ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF MASS INCARCERATION ON INFORMAL SOCIAL CONTROL IN COMMUNITIES. Criminology & Public Policy, 3(2), 267-293.
• Mary Pattillo, David Weiman, and Bruce Western, Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration
• Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration by Mary Pattillo; David Weiman; Bruce Western.
• Mauer, M. (2011). Addressing Racial Disparities in Incarceration. Prison Journal, 91(3), 87S-101S. doi:10.1177/0032885511415227
• Prashad, V. (2014). Towards a Happy Ending. Socialism & Democracy, 28(3), 24-34. doi:10.1080/08854300.2014.957008
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