Why we need to stop mass incarceration before it’s too late.
The United States is the developed, richest, and sophisticated nation in the world and is what the rest of the world views as a role model even though mass incarceration is happening in the United States without a reasonable doubt. The United States still leads the world in the most incarcerated people the United States has a total of 2.121 million people in prison and a population of 325.7 million people. That’s 6.5 prisoners for every 1000 US citizens.America’s thriving economy and famous freedoms MASK the sad reality. Prisons are disproportionately black and hispanic in the United States Most inmates are minorities. The root of the argument could simply be diffused by saying, “criminals commit the crime; therefore, they were incarcerated” but it is not that simple. It is because of the lack of money and knowledge that low-income areas receive without proper education and money the cycle of poverty and mass incarceration will continue.
According to NPR “About 40 percent of prisoners lack a high school education. Sixteen percent of state prisoners have a high school diploma.” Education is important and very much overlooked because of how available is it. The United States use to be one of the best countries in education but in recent year they’ve slowly been falling down the list of most educated countries in 2018 according to Masters and More the United States ranked 14th in the world in education. This is discouraging as an American because we have the money, resources, and the time for education reform but our government refuses to fund something so fundamental to this country. According to Alliance for Excellent Education “There is an indirect correlation between educational attainment and arrest and incarceration rates, particularly among males, the report finds. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice, 56 percent of federal inmates, 67 percent of inmates in state prisons, and 69 percent of inmates in local jails did not complete high school. Additionally, the number of incarcerated individuals without a high school diploma is increasing over time.” Also meaning that if our government fixed our education system it would not only make a smarter society it will also keep less men in prison and more men in the workforce.
Compromise is something that dates back to founding of the United States. Throughout early history in America when both ends of the aisle did not agree, both sides would meet in the middle and come up with some sort of compromise giving both parties something that they want. Now there is this political debate about which party is correct about very essential problems that are occuring in the United States. To others criminals are the bottom of the bucket and don’t deserve rights. This ideology is inherently evil and go against the fundamentals that they wish to preserve. Though most of the country should agree that people convinced of violent crimes need to be punish to full extent of the law but saying nonviolent drug crimes should receive the same punish is preposterous. Prison’s are something that should be taken seriously and with the government expanding the federal prison system needs reform. Though ignoring the problem of prison reform seemly protects our country from people that want to do harm in the future it doesn’t protect the rights that prisoners are entitled to. According to the 8th amendment cruel and unusual punishment are not allowed in prisons and the 8th amendment is among the 10 amendments that make up the bill of right in the United States. The bill of rights are the founding concepts that were founded back with the constitution in 1787.
The fight to conserve the traditional style of a small federal government roots from a greater argument to avoid tyranny, corruption, and economic downfall. Conserving tradition is not a bad thing and it should be encouraged nationwide and globally. The point is that the government is an entirely different entity from the belief of their country the United States was founded of this new ideology of freedom and the “pursuit of happiness”. The founding fathers knew any government that based their practice on traditions, cultural value, and/or monarchy would inevitably fail. Conserving tradition can be done individually and should not be implemented into any of our laws because it is systemically unfair.
The government has a job to protect its citizens and enforce the law. According to the World Economics forum the government has 3 responsibilities, “Protect, provide, and Invest in talent” The United government has took this asic understanding and expanded on the idea of government by expanding that it is becoming an increasing concern for many people. This concern is coming from a just point of view that should be apart of conversation when it comes to controversial law, precedent, or election if that matters. Prison reform is not as important as health care, gun control, or abortion because criminals are not as important as the americans that are able to keep their freedom. Like conditions and unhealthy life that prisoners have to endure are not already bad. The United States is beacon of freedom yet the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Meaning any person is more likely to be arrested in United States than any other country in the world. Which is ironic because the beacon of freedom is throwing the most people into prison hence removing their freedom. The government cannot run away from this problem much longer. The more time that goes on, people become more informed and therefore this will become an even larger problem than it already is.
Expanding on the idea that as time goes on this problem would only get worse.The longer the United States waits on prison reform it makes the country that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom a weak position on incarceration on the world stage. The country that has been so influential over the last 50 years should have the equipment, brainstorm, and the budget to execute the obvious flaws in their justice system. Which raises the questions of “Why don’t they fix the justice system?” but it is not to easy to get 535 people to agree on prison reform and not to mention the review to see if the law is constitutional. The process is tedious without a doubt but legislators in past have made compromises with bipartisan agreement and made laws and other programs to help the people of the United States. All in all lawmakers today do not make the same effort as the lawmakers of the past. People are more driven by ideology rather than compromise.
In conclusion, minorities are still the most affected by the United States justice system. Ignoring the problem of racial injustice is flat out wrong and the government should be ashamed that they’re silencing people that minor nonviolent offenses. According to Prison Reform “47% of the prison population is nonviolent crimes and about half of those are considered “petty crimes” such as small traces of heroine in clothing, marijuana offenses, and even tax evasion. This problem is large and when the government starts paying attention to prison reform the faster the people can heal as a country. Prisoners are people too and they deserve their right to be not be treated cruelly and/or unusually.
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