Incarceration and Mass Imprisonment

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Nick Loredo
Professor Sutton
Soc 172
June 8, 2011
Essay (topic #2)
In the United States there is in extremely high rate of incarceration and mass imprisonment. Policies and ideas for change are being brought to the table on a daily basis. Is it worth it? Is the question that we always have to ask ourselves and will justice truly be served at the end of the day. Well throughout this course I have found that there is never a true solution to crime rates in general only ideas to decrease problems that have yet to stop rising. For example, the War on Drugs in the early 1980’s and the “broken window” policy in the mid 1970’s are both examples of putting water on the fire but never putting the fire completely out. These policy have lead us to take tremendous strides through research of every possible solution that we think would work, while also learning from our mistakes and taking more worth while routes to decrease crime and incarceration. In the early 1980’s the Regan-Bush administration declared their war on drugs. During this particular time there was an existing notion that drug use was at an all time high and the administration went out to put an end to the problem. Recreational drug use during the prohibition was historically aimed at an increasing number of people stop using drugs because it was seen as immoral and destructive to the body. In reality the use of drugs was on the decline. The war was a failure, “The street price of cocaine, the war’s signature drug, should have risen if dealing were becoming riskier and drugs less available; prices fell”(Tonry p.81). The outcomes during the War on Drugs came at high costs with low rewards and failures that were associated with the war significantly outweighed the resulting outcome of people taking part in drug use. During this time it was already seen that the black population was at the origin of drug users and that they were the ones creating this problem, furthermore, effecting any and all...
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