The Incarceration Of The United States Essay

The Incarceration Of The United States Essay

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“The United States is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite accounting for just 5% of the overall global population” (Wyler). The mass incarceration of US residents is a stain upon our country 's reputation of freedom and liberty. For a supposedly free country with a democratic government it is a great concern that more than one and a half million people are locked up without any rights, only to be released after an extended period of time with a permanent black mark, stripped of all respect or any future potential. The current prison system comes with too great of cost in money for the US and in future opportunities for the inmates. Imprisonment of people requires the necessary funds to support prisons, funds that are not currently available. Mass incarceration in America is unfair, racist and the direct correlation between public schools and the criminal justice system, is giving poor, minority children, a sense of predestination, knowing that a lot of them will end up in jail sometime in their future.
According to an article published by the Dignity in Schools group, “3.3 million students are suspended out of school at least once.” Out of these 3.3 million, many end up in prison, and even more will be arrested sometime in their lives. Tiana Williams, a student with a thesis in Sociology and African American Studies, brings up factors that seem to be sending many kids into the prison system (Gudrais). She believes that being poor, black, and Hispanic (along with school suspensions) greatly increase your chances of being incarcerated as an adult. She also found that having a low educational attainment and lack of employment opportunities in communities push kids to commit crimes for money (theft-related), see...

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... assist prisoners returning to society, helping them to have an easier time rebuilding their lives and reinstating themselves as productive members of their community. Our criminal incarceration system is not effective or realistic in a long term and needs copious reform.
In conclusion, the criminal justice system is broken, overcrowded, biased (especially seen in those with mental illnesses) and life destructive to those trying to re-enter society. A solution to this problem could be reduced sentences for smaller crimes, such as drug possession, a stable environment for those leaving prison and the creation of programs to help re-integrate past inmates into their community. With all the evidence of the negative effects mass incarceration has on the nation, an effective solution has to be proposed and put in place if the amount of people in prison will ever change.

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