Essay on The Incarceration Of The United States

Essay on The Incarceration Of The United States

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In recent decades, violent crimes in the United States of America have been on a steady decline, however, the number of people in the United States under some form of correctional control is reaching towering heights and reaching record proportions. In the last thirty years, the incarceration rates in the United States has skyrocketed; the numbers roughly quadrupled from around five hundred thousand to more than 2 million people. (NAACP)In a speech on criminal justice at Columbia University, Hillary Clinton notes that, “It’s a stark fact that the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.” (washington post) How could this be? Are Americans more prone to criminal activity than the rest of the world? How could they be more prone to criminal activity if crime rates have been dropping? Numbers like that should be cause for concern, because if crime rates are dropping then it is only logical for one to expect the number of incarceration to go down as well; unfortunately, the opposite is true. Shockingly, there seem to be a few people who actually profits from keeping people in jails. The practice of mass incarceration who most see as a major problem in the United States of America is actually beneficial to some. The prison system in the United States who was create to keep dangerous criminals at bay is now a major source of profit for some private corporations. John W. Whitehead, attorney and president of the Rutherford Institute writes that, “ the flawed yet retributive American “system of justice” is being replaced by an ...


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...pulations and In 1996, “Blacks constituted 62.6% of drug offenders in state prisons.” (Moore) Similarly, as 2001, it is estimated that one in six black men had been imprison and if this trend continues “one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime.” The prison system in the United States is often compared to as slavery and convict leasing in some circles. While their argument can seem a bit radical, they do have their merits. Convict leasing, for example occurred between 1875 and 1928 in some of the southern states. Under this system, “companies and individuals paid fees to state and county governments in exchange for the [cheap] labor [of] prisoners.” (Curtin) Under this system just like in slavery an individual was held against their will and was used to benefit the interest of another party; does that sound familiar?

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