Why are prisons bursting at the seams? According to Joe Romaine of the International Business Times, it is because of America’s “insane drug laws,” which are doing more harm than good (Romaine). Many people may argue that drug offenders are getting what’s coming to them— they broke the law, and therefore it is part of their consequence to suffer through the overcrowded “cruel and unusual” incarceration. Individuals who argue this point are mistaken because although criminals should indeed receive punishment for their actions, there comes a time when a line of propriety is crossed. The ‘war on drugs’ has become a harsh and unnecessary measure that frankly costs American taxpayers far too much money.
Inmates Involved in Drug Abuse are on the Rise Drug abuse and addiction have, for all intents and purposes, changed the landscape of the prison populations in the United States. We consume two-thirds of the world’s illegal drugs and embody twenty-five percent of the world’s prison population. In the decade between 1996 and 2006, the population in the U.S. increased by 12.5 percent. While the percentage of incarcerated adults rose by 32.8 percent during that period, the percentage of inmates involved in drugs increased even more quickly, by 43.2 percent (CASAColumbia, 2010). One factor contributing to the continuous growth of substance abusers in the prison population is drug misuse and addiction.
“Illegal immigration is a major cause in the overcrowding of our schools and our prisons.” (Bender, David) Michael Huffington, a former member of the US House of Reps. For California says that, “Many illegal immigrants come for two purposes that are both destructive and expensive: to commit crimes or to receive government benefits.” (Huffington, 63) “For instance, the 18th Street gang in Southern California is one of the nation’s most violent street gangs with a staggering 20,000 members. More appalling is the fact that 60 percent of the 18the Street gang’s
Stiffer punishment for crack cocaine use also has landed more black women in prison, and for longer sentences than white women (and men). There is no doubt that there’s feminization of poverty and racial stereotyping. More than one out of three black women jailed did not complete high school, were unemployed, or had incomes below the poverty level at the time of the arrest (PARC). While black men are stereotyped as violent, drug dealing “gangstas,” black women are stereotyped as sexually loose, conniving, untrustworthy, welfare queens. Many of the mostly middle class judges and jurors believe that black women offenders are menaces to
There are 43,000 inmates in prison for sexual offenses, while each year in this country over 510,000 children are victims of sexual assault. The statistics does not convey the severity of the situation. Each year 510,000 children have their childhoods destroyed, and are faced with dealing with sexual assault for their entire lives. Sadly, many of those assaults are perpetrated by people who have already been through the correctional system, only to victimize again. Sex offenders, as a class of criminals, are nine times more likely to repeat their crimes.
However, with the “due process an individual is allowed their day in court if suspected of a crime because of United States constitution. Therefore giving that individual a right to a fair trial with an option for a jury of his or hers peers. It is the responsibility of the courts system to provide strong evidence on an individual accused of committing a crime beyond reasonable doubt. Strong evidence is important to avoid sending an individual to prison if they are innocent (Siegel, J. L.,
In the United States, The War on Drugs is a major event that has been negatively affecting our country for many years. Since it began, the War on Drugs has wasted a ton of money and put harmless people in jail. All drugs should be legalized. It has been proven, and is blatantly clear that people are doing drugs whether they are legal or not. The War on Drugs is causing more harm than good in our country.
Social and Economic Challenges Ex-Offenders Encounter Upon Reentry That Contribute to the Recidivism Rate in the United States Wanda DeMoss COM/156 Trudy Gay September 25, 2012 Introduction A major cause of ex-offenders' astonishingly high recidivism rate is their return to the same per-incarceration economic and social environments. According to the U.S. Department of Justice over 600,000 prisoners are released from prison each year (Holzer, Raphael, & Stoll, 2003). Of these 600,000 ex-offenders 300,000 from 15 states were studied in 1994 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The study found that within three years 52% of these ex-offenders were back in prison (Logan & Levin, 1994). The majority of these ex-offenders are released to the same drug riddled neighborhoods, dysfunctional family and friends, and limited job opportunities, which are only made worse by the fact that they are now convicted felons.
“During the 1990’s, the nation’s prison population increased by 50 percent, the number of children who had a parent in prison increased by the same proportion, from 1 million to 1.5 million children, these children represent 2 percent of all minor children in America” (Travis & Waul, 2003, p. 3). Overall, imprisonment places an indescribable burden on the relationships between parents and their children. Incarcerated parents must learn how to cope with the loss of normal contact with their children, infrequent visits in inhospitable surroundings, and lost opportunities to contribute to their children’s development. The children must come to terms with the harsh reality of an absent parent, and the stigma of parental imprisonment, as well as the altered support of the family system that may include grandparents, foster care, or a new adult in the home. Children whose parents have been arrested and incarcerated face unique difficulties.
Not to also mention, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world (Senator James 1)! But how is all of this happening when crime rates are going down? People in today’s society are getting locked behind bars for lesser crimes then in the past. Criminals are serving more time in prisons nowadays than any previous year. Another significant issue with the United States prison system is its ability to spend money.