Incarceration in the United States Coursework Example
Incarceration in the United States
The United States is one of the nations in the world with a high prison population. The prison population was at 2.1 million in 2003 as compared to approximately 400,000 inmates in the 1970s (Morenoff, & Harding, 2014). Further statistics indicate that for every 100,000 individuals, 707 are incarcerated in the US. Compared to a nation such as China that imprisons 124-172 individuals for every 100,000 individuals the US has a higher incarceration rate (American Psychological Association, 2014). Research also indicates that adults in America are ten times more likely to be imprisoned as compared to the adults in Europe (American Psychological Association, 2014). Therefore, does this mean that Americans are violent than other nationals or there are other reasons apart from the violence that contributes to the high incarceration rates in the US?
Reasons for high incarceration rates
The high incarceration rates can be associated with policies established to deter crime. Research has indicated that the policy regarding mandatory minimum sentences does not contribute to the deterrence of delinquencies related to drug offenses, murder, or firearms (Trevis, Western, & Redburn, 2014). On the other hand, the policy on the three strikes law increases the chances of incarceration for individuals with two previous convictions coupled with a severe violent felony. Therefore, American policies contribute to the high incarceration rates in the nation.
The war on drugs
17% of the US prison population is attributed to the war pertaining controlled substances. Further, 22% of the prisons growth is linked to drug offenders (Pfaff, 2015). Fighting against controlled substances has also contributed to a rise in imprisonment in the US.
America is linked with a high prison population in the world but this is not due to the Americans being violent, but the...
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