This research paper “Prison in the United States” will compare the rate of incarceration in America and other countries, explore the factors contributing to mass imprisonment, significance of gender and race in criminal justice system…
Download file to see previous pages...
There is overrepresentation of people of color in American criminal justice system (parole, jail, probation). According to Clear, Cole & Reisig (2008, p.471), “African American men are imprisoned in United States at a rate more than three times higher than white males.” In addition, male population under the criminal justice system is higher than female population. The prison system in the US, especially in relation to mass imprisonment has led to collapse of the family units, as parents get imprisoned leaving behind their children. Indeed, the number of single parent householders has increased due to incarceration.
Thus, this paper will compare the rate of incarceration in America and other countries, explore the factors contributing to mass imprisonment, significance of gender and race in criminal justice system, and addresses cultural implication of mass imprisonment, conditions of confinement and what we can learn about the American society from the way it treats its prisoners.
The United States has a significant number of inmates compared to other nations; generally, America has 2.3 million incarcerated persons, more than other country. Russia, England, German and Japan respectively rank as countries with high rates of incarceration after the United States. Additionally, prison sentences in the USA are longer than in other nations’ prison terms. Indeed, the country employs tougher justice in hope reducing crime rate.
According to Conrad (2005, p. 223), “the rate of incarceration for the United States is 702 for every 100,000 American citizens, the highest rates in the World.” Indeed, the rate of incarceration in the United States is 5-6 times more than other industrialized countries (Mauer, 2003, p.3). The graph below illustrates the incarceration rates in US in comparison with other countries.
...Download file to see next pagesRead More
The United States criminal justice system has always been considered controversial for a variety of reasons. Racial discrimination is one of them. Other issues like the uneven implementation of the death penalty on different states also make the criminal justice system even more controversial.
Beginning as early as the 1950’s changes began to occur in the prisons of the United States. These changes progressively eroded the inmate code of the past, and new sources of power and control emerged in the state prison system. Traditional Inmate Codes Sykes and Messinger (1960) studied the traditional inmate code in which they identified five main principles.
The increasing population of the world has caused an increase in crime rates leading to large correctional staff, severe punishments, and expansion in prison and jail systems. The United States of America being one of the largest countries in the world faces the same problem. The measures to control the criminals should also increase.
Through a look at relevant studies on treatment, methods to decrease recidivism and violent activities within prison are suggested. However, the subject is a complicated problem that has yet to have a satisfactory solution. Prison gangs and misconduct within prisons by those gangs occurs through a power dynamic that often leaves prison officials helpless.
The male and female prisoners at the time were held in separate prisons and given individual prison cells. Although kept in the same prison facility, the men and women were not allowed to socialize and the women were usually imprisoned in attics.
Wrongdoers may be subjected to community service for a stipulated length of time but other people who engage in violent activities end up getting prison sentences. Prison sentences are common in most states. This is attributed to the moral decay that is prevalent in the society.
The capacity of the jails, though apparently seem to be the most legitimate reason to justify the prison overcrowding, however many other factors are also involved. One justification which is often posed by many is that prison overcrowding occurs when the intake of prisoners in the jails exceed the rate by which other prisoners die or are discharged out of the jail.
At present, there is an oligarchy of four to five companies who run the nation’s prison systems nationwide. This does not leave much room for a smaller actor to get into the business, particularly as expenditures are usually the same for both public and private sector facilities, as based on federal standards in service provisions.
They were like the skeletons left behind by a scavenger after it has had its fill on the flesh of its prey (Meredith, 2000).
It was from this pathetic state that the young nations had to build themselves up. This was made doubly difficult because the colonialists had not implemented the institutions and structural policies to advance for the development of the natives.