Crime Vs Incarceration

Good Essays
The United States of America has more than 2 million people in prison or jail, making it the country with the most inmates. There are almost as many prisoners in the U.S as there is inhabitants in a small or medium sized country. The high number of prisoners is due to regulations brought to the United States that stated that in order to keep the citizens safe, the government had to be “tough on crime.” Whether that meant keeping people in prison for a long period of time or incarcerating more citizens, some points were clear; it was meant to promote punishment and to install fear. Being “tough on crime” and trying to eliminate it could have meant trying different methods that would prevent prisoners from reoffending. Instead, higher authorities …show more content…
Although many people argue that locking anybody that commits a crime in prison is effective because it prevents them from harming the society, studies have shown that when prisoners are eventually given their freedom they are very likely to re-commit a crime. In fact, the U.S has a high recidivism rate, with about “76.6% of prisoners...re-arrested within five years” ( "Why Norway's Prison System Is so Successful."). Norway on the other hand, only has a recidivism rate of 20% and their philosophy is very unlike the U.S “tough on crime” philosophy. Compared to the United States’ rate of 707 people incarcerated out of every 100,000, Norway has a rate of 75 people incarcerated for every 100,000 "Why Norway's Prison System Is so Successful."). The number of people in prison should not be overlooked or normalized. There are too many prisoners and “nearly 75 percent of people in jail are being held for nonviolent traffic, property, drug, or public order offenses” (“Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America”). Because of the mass incarceration issues and the fact that tax money that could go toward more valuable causes, such as education, prison should be for those that need it most and cannot be rehabilitated. According to Punishment and Rehabilitation, “if the population of a town is 20,000, for …show more content…
It is not because they enforce a “tough on crime” philosophy that is even more extreme than that of the U.S. The United States government feels that all crimes, including non-violent crimes, should be given no mercy and that it is important to punish so that people do not re-commit a crime. Therefore, the prison system is a tough and inhumane experience that can emotionally and physically affect prisoners. It is not as much about reducing crime and making communities safer as it is about trying to install fear in people. According to the article “Alternatives to Incarceration Would Benefit Society,” lawmakers knew that their extreme techniques did not work but they created many of the harsh and limited ways of living in prison so that they could satisfy the frightened citizens. Labeling people as violent undeserving criminals can cause them to think that way of themselves and disable their ability or will to improve. Both citizens and higher officials should be aware of the impact that incarcerating people with minor crimes has because the only effect that it has brought, mass incarceration, is negative. In theory, locking up everybody that has or looks like they could commit a crime and imposing harsh treatment on people will improve society because they will not be able to or they will be too afraid to

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Does America have a crime problem, or a mental health problem? Or, do we have a mental health problem that is contributing to our growing crime problem and incarceration rates? Numbers indicate that America's growing crime and incarceration rates are greatly contributed to by untreated mental health issues. While having a mental illness does not automatically negate ones responsibility for having committed a crime, it is something that needs addressed during and after incarceration. Anyone who has dealt…

    • 1583 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Incarceration And Crime

    • 1487 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The relationship between incarceration and crime has been examined for a long time. Some researchers have posited that incarceration reduced crime. Others have argued that incarceration did not reduce crime; even, a few of researchers insisted that it increased crime. Also, some scholars have contended that incarceration brought about unintended or collateral consequences. By delving into numerous studies focusing on the relationship between incarceration and crime, this literature review will illuminate…

    • 1487 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Incarceration Crimes

    • 409 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Incarceration is/is not a deterrent to crime? The major question that comes to my mind regarding crime statistics is "Why is it that the number of people that are in the U.S. is rising at an unprecedented rate?" Analyst say that the crime rate has remained relatively flat over the last 15 years, but today we are seeing the most rapid growth in our nation's prison population since the first prisons were established in the 19th century. Some say that this incarceration increase is due to the…

    • 409 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    and other facilities used to house those who are committing crimes. Most would agree that for those who have committed violent crimes, prisons and jails should most definitely be used, but what about for those who have committed nonviolent offenses or offenses involving drugs? In this paper I will discuss the issue of overcrowding in our prison system and what should be done with those offenders who have committed nonviolent crimes or crimes involving substance abuse. I will explore arguments pertaining…

    • 2125 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    All of the trauma of the streets influence crime, sending members of that community to be incarcerated where more trauma is experienced to be released once again to the streets. In other words, the effects of incarceration list a spectrum of social problems for the incarcerated, " troubles with money, increased general anxiety, domestic crisis, and added stress during care taking of children lead to negative actions even for people who are not incarcerated. Add having a member of the family incarcerated…

    • 242 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Education vs. Incarceration Since 1980, the U.S. prison population has grown exponentially, expanding from approximately 500,000 to 2.3 million people in just three decades. America now has the distinction of leading the world in prison population: We account for 25 percent of all prisoners but only 5 percent of the global population. We spend almost $70 billion annually to place adults in prison and jails, to confine youth in detention centers, and to supervise 7.3 million individuals on probation…

    • 522 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Does Incarceration Prevent Crimes Some form of crime has always been around and will continue to be around because it is in our human nature. The best thing we can do is to deter as much crime as we can whether it be harsher incarceration sentences or alternative sanctions treatment programs. Unfortunately, I feel incarceration alone is not an effective crime prevention strategy and I will explain why. A quick fix In an ideal world, prison and jail make sense. A criminal gets caught, loses their…

    • 537 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Incarceration Vs Prison

    • 331 Words
    • 2 Pages

    There is a plethora of research surrounding the phenomena of incarceration, however, the predominant theme is either the prisoner or prisons (Light & Campbell, 2006). This is also consistent with the myopic views of the media. Headlines surrounding incarceration typically use shock tactics to manipulate society's attention to crime and punishment. What isn't considered is the network of parents, siblings, partners and children who have existed in the shadows throughout every stage of the adjudication…

    • 331 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Rehabilitation versus Incarceration Lee Tergeson, actor from the television show OZ said, “I know what it is like to be ignored, and I think that is the big problem about the prison system: These people are being thrown away. There is no sense of rehabilitation. In some places, they are trying to do things. But, in most cases, it is a holding cell.” (Tergeson, 2002) He speaks the truth. Those incarcerated today are not given the chance to change their behavior patterns, especially when it is…

    • 1515 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Incarceration Vs Women

    • 667 Words
    • 3 Pages

    the case. However, when analyzing incarceration rates and the gender distribution of incarceration rates, there is an obvious discrepancy. Spanning the width of any historical timeline, the rates at which men are sentenced to imprisonment far exceed those of women. While it can be argued that man is generally responsible for the majority of crimes historically committed, when strictly comparing the incarceration rates of men and women charged for the same crime, it is undeniable that men are incarcerated…

    • 667 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays