Effects Of Incarceration On Society

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Author Note: This paper was prepared for English 2001, section 168 (TR 1230-145). Taught by professor York. Abstract In 1972, President Richard Nixon officially declared the United States’ “War on Drugs” and soon after he created the Drug Enforcement Administration also known as the D.E.A. (“Timeline: America's War on Drugs”, 2007). Since that declaration the United States has spent up to one trillion dollars in order to continue this “War on Drugs”. However, this political strategy has had major negative effects on society as a whole and, has proven to be rather ineffective. The consequences range from loss of productivity due to massive amounts of incarceration to perpetuating racism against African Americans and prejudice against the…show more content…
These high levels of incarceration have in turn made sending people to prison profitable. Mass incarceration is not only a huge problem within itself but it has additional negative effect on productivity both economic and societal, and parental availability to their children. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) reports that from 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people” (“Criminal Justice Fact Sheet”, n.d.). According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “The United States imprisons more people—both per capita and in absolute terms—than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran” (“Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration”, 2011). When a nation begins to incarcerate that many of its citizens people begin to question what exactly is causing this trend? Mandatory minimum sentencing laws, truth in sentencing laws and three strikes laws all have a large contribution to the amount of incarcerated Americans. Not only is there a problem with the amount of people incarcerated, there is also a problem with people serving long sentences for petty drug crime. There are even non-profit organizations that oppose such laws and help individuals who have been victims of them. One…show more content…
FAMM sees a country where criminal sentencing is individualized, humane, and sufficient to impose fair punishment and protect public safety. FAMM supporters include taxpayers, families, prisoners, law enforcement, attorneys, judges, criminal justice experts and concerned citizens” (“Mission”,
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