Prison Populations

Topics: Prison, United States, U.S. state Pages: 2 (342 words) Published: September 26, 2010
Prison Populations 1

CheckPoint: Prison Populations

Prison Populations 2
The article found on the university library aims to discuss incarceration, which has been recognized as one of lawmakers' top priorities in the United States. “Beginning in the 1970s, the United States embarked on a three-decade long shift in its penal policies. In these years, state and federal governments tripled the percentage of convicted felons sentenced to confinement and doubled the length of their sentences.”(Clear & Austin, 2009). As of the date of the article there are seventeen state reforms which are being introduced to reduce jail time, including marijuana enforcement law in Arkansas, which may or may not effect prison populations.

The article addresses three main topics concerning the population maximization of our prison system. The article first discusses that the link between crime and incarceration rates which is not as high and as related as presumed by our policymakers. The second point made is the Iron Law of Prison Population which states that the only way to change the population in prison is to change the amount of people who go and how long each of them stay. The final issue discussed is the failure of the policymakers to actually perceive this problem and address it directly. Many of the reforms being written are not addressing the amount of people sentenced and the length of sentences occurring. The article goes on to address how populations in prisons will affected by controlling how many go in and how long they are in once they go. It is all about the responsibility, the responsibility parents have, neighborhoods have, and society has. It will be a harder cycle to break as it is directly related to the economy. Less prosperity, less people doing well, crime or the act of crime becomes a choice for some.

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Clear, T., & Austin, J. (2009). Reducing Mass Incarceration: Implications of the Iron Law of Prison...

References: Clear, T., & Austin, J. (2009). Reducing Mass Incarceration: Implications of the Iron Law of
Prison Populations. Harvard Law & Policy Review, 3(2), 307-324. Retrieved from
Academic Search Complete database.
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