Essay on The Incarceration Of The Prison Boom

Essay on The Incarceration Of The Prison Boom

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I would define the prison boom as what it sounds like, the sudden incarceration of many people into our penal system in a period of time. It is like the baby boom, which is defined as a period marked by a great increase in birth rates. In the book, Punishment and Inequality in America by Western, Western brings to light many reasons to which the prison boom can be attributed to. Which would be the “mass imprisonment in comparative and historical perspective”, the growth of crime, increased incarceration of young minority men, and racial/class inequality (Western, 7). The prison boom has created issues for the criminals that have gone through the system; those who have been in jail and come out are at risk of having difficulties in the marriage market, labor market and their life course.
The marriage market is simply the opportunities for marriage people have. It is a term used specifically in this case as the likelihood of criminals getting married, functioning in a marriage, divorce etc. The labor market is ultimately the job market, in this case it is where the jobs are poured into a little pond and your life choices and education (many other attributes contribute as well) determine your pool of jobs to pick from. A life course is “the passage to adulthood is a sequence of well-ordered stages that affect life trajectories long after the early transitions are completed.” (Western 20).
Prisons started to change the life courses for many young black men, by the 1990’s prison “became a modal life event” for those black men with little schooling (Western 24). Western shares some important statistics with us: that the black-white disparity greatest in incarceration being eight to one, three out of two hundred whites were incarc...

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...ages and families suffer because of incarceration. Western says that marriage interrupted by the penal system to not survive. Some marriages are prone to domestic violence after the husband returns from jail. He states that “by eroding the familial bonds that curb violence, imprisonment undermines the conditions for desistence.
So does mass incarceration really work? It has given us many economic and family problems and solved little of our crime problems. This mass incarceration brought us to a rise in incarcerating the population into the penal system, which resulted in our prison boom. The evidence provided by Bruce Western in his book has only showed us the disadvantages of this mass incarceration and the consequences of it. We have seen racial inequality, as well as ruined life courses, which could have been much better or avoided prison all together.

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