The Role Of Mass Incarceration In Prisons

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Essay Exam 4 | Sharon A Brown | 7/02/2013 | Over the past forty years, the U.S. has "gotten tough on crime," and currently about 3% of the population is in prison, or on parole or probation. So how's that working out for us? Craft an essay that takes a critical look at mass incarceration, referring to Article #30 (Todd Clear, "Death by a thousand little cuts") and one of the following: #28, 29, or 31. Todd Clear's main focus is the steady increase in the prison population of the United States of America despite declining crime rates. He discusses how mass incarceration affects communities, families and individuals. He acknowledges the importance of comfortable social control in achieving public safety through controlled associations,…show more content…
If whites were locked up at the same rates as blacks, more than six million men -- 5% of the male working age-population -- would be in prison. One in three young males men ages 19-35 years without a high school diploma is incarcerated. Some have suggested that these high rates of arrest and imprisonment in urban communities, amount to mass forced migration with related population destabilization representing losses on the scale of epidemics (Drucker.2011) Practically all the people that are incarcerated will be released and return to our communities. In addition to the stigma of a criminal record and the damage to social networks that occurs during incarceration, many people re-entering the community from prison face significant legal barriers to accessing health care, public housing and employment opportunities. Somewhat than helping them fulfill their duties to their families, contribute to their communities and the budget, and make restitution to their victims, our current system almost insures that they will fail at each of these. In doing so, we weaken the health and economic strength of some of our most delicate groups. While the specific mechanisms by which incarceration and reentry from prison affect communities are poorly understood, there is increasing evidence that incarceration, particularly when focused in particular communities, hurts the economy, destabilizes families and social…show more content…
The reinvestment of these resources into these same neighborhoods could go a long way towards reducing crime, preventing incarceration, and rebuilding community. Mass incarceration impacts the health of individuals and communities. It affects the health of communities in two primary ways. Research proposes that our current drug prohibition and restrictive strategies – which are concentrated in communities of color -- have serious significances that adversely affect the health of communities, including increased violence and higher rates of HIV and other blood diseases. Though illegal drug use is spread throughout society, the harm from drug use and the war on drugs is not evenly distributed. Once convicted, those reentering the community from jail do so facing a set of walls that includes leaving prison without Medicaid or other health coverage, the inability to secure housing or employment, and often returning to communities already challenged by poor health, and a lack of

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