- Different Types of Car Insurance
- What Is Cyptojacking?
- What Is Email Security?
- What Is the Deep Web and What Can Be Found There?
- What Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy
- How Divorce Settlements are Calculated
- What are Common Methods of Social Engineering
- What is the Difference Between a General Lien and a Specific Lien?
- How to Detect Odometer Rollback
- Different Types of Probation
- Finding forgotten life insurance policies
- What is Bearer Bond and Why the US Banned it
- Everything you need to know about small claims court
- Moral Turpitude: Definition, Examples, and Much More!
- Misdemeanor vs Felony
- How To Read VIN Number
- How to Find Out Who Hacked Your Cell Phone
- How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay On Your Criminal Record?
- The Paypal Phishing Scam You Should Care to Avoid
- License Plates Types: USA Guide
- Effects of Cyberbullying: Complete Guide for Parents
- What is the DPPA?
- Petty Theft: Definition and Consequences
- What is a Life Sentence?
- How to Find Out if Someone Has a Warrant?
- Marriage License vs Certificate: Everything You Need to Know
- The Ten Most Popular Celebrity Mugshots
- How to Find Out if Someone is Married?
- How to Stop Phone Spoofing?
- How To Avoid Probate
- Dealing with abandoned vehicles in your neighborhood
- How to Find Someone's Cell Phone Number by Their Name
- Who Are the Worst Drivers in America?
- How To Find Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives
- What is a Digital License Plate?
- How to Find out if Someone Died?
- Murder vs Manslaughter: The Differences and Definitions
- How to Hire a Private Investigator?
- What Is a Number Neighbor?
- How to Find Out if Someone was Arrested
- How to Find Someone's Birthday?
- What is a Car Title
- How to Obtain a Police Report and Court Records?
- Filing a false police report
- Prison Valley: Look inside Prison Town
- How to Get Custody of a Child Without Going to Court?
- How to Find Someone’s Social Media Profiles?
- What to Do if Your Phone Is Tapped?
- What Is a Deed in Real Estate?
- Where Was The First US Federal Penitentiary Established?
- How to Find Someone's Location Using Their Cell Phone Number?
- What Is a Restricted Call?
- Who is the Most Dangerous Prisoner in the World?
- Poshmark Scams: How to Prevent and Report Them
- How to Find a Missing Person?
- How to Send Money to a Federal Inmate?
- DUI vs DWI: What're The Differences
- How Long After Buying a Car Do You Need to Register it?
- How to Find out Where Someone Lives?
- What Happens If You Get Caught Driving a Car Without Interlock
- Situational Crime Prevention: Theory, Techniques and Examples
- How Can I Find Out Who Called Me for Free?
- Gun Free Zone Statistics and Facts
- Online Threats and Digital Security: Trends, Types and Most Common Examples
- Cold Cases: Best Practices For Police Officers and Investigators
- Court Order: Definition, Types and Examples
- What Does a Fingerprint Background Report Show?
- How to Check Your Criminal Record?
- What is Tort Law?
- How to Calculate Child Support
- Property Rights: Definition, and Characteristics
- 12 Common Reasons for Public Records Request
- What is Antitrust Law?
- Virginia Gun Confiscation Law
- How Do You Find Out Who Own a Property?
- Neighborhood Watch Program
- How to Perform a Mugshot Search?
- Crime Mapping
- Safest Colleges in Florida
- Veterans Guide to Cars and Driving
- U.S. Correctional System: Structure, Incarceration and Facts
- License Plate Laws in the US
- How to Locate Inmates and Access Jail Records?
- Email Hacking: Laws, Penalties and Protection
- Romeo and Juliet Laws
- Holiday Safety for Home and Family
- Differences between Criminal and Arrest Records
- Public Records and Property History: What is Public Information and What Isn’t
- How to Look up Immigration Inmates?
- Famous Prisons in the USA
- How to Find Out Who Owns a Vehicle Using Reverse Lookup Tools
- How to Search for Your Family Tree?
- The Federal Judicial Center
- Mass Incarceration in the USA
- What is COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act)?
- Data Safety After The Capital One Breach
- Scholarships Guide for Students
- Complete Guide to Student Safety
- What Is a Vehicle Identification Number?
- Determining Divorce: 5 Types of Divorce You Must Know
- Sex Offenders: Complete Guide to be Protected
- New Privacy Laws and Public Records
- Motor Vehicle Registration in the US
- Digital Token Age: Security Laws and Regulations
- Copyright Law and Facial Recognition Technology
- What Shows up in a Background Report
- Car Repossession Laws: Dealing with Car Dealers and Auto Fraud
- How to Protect Yourself from Phone Scams
- Human Rights in the Prison
- Business Competition: Laws and Policies
- Hate Crimes: Reasons, Stats and Facts
- Starting a Business and Business Licenses
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Guidance
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Tax Reform Impact and Changes To Know
- Self-Driving Cars: Laws and Regulations
- White-Collar Crime: Statistics and Facts
- Have You Been Arrested? Cases You'll Need a Lawyer
- Getting a driver's license in the US: What to Know
- Car Theft in the US: Prevention and Facts
- Identity Theft Passport Program
- Changing your Name after Marriage: What You Need to Know
- Finding the Perfect Roommate: Dos and Donts
- What if You Get Into a Car Accident? A Complete Checklist
- Property Crimes: How to Burglar Proof Your Home
- Consumer Laws in the US: What Do They Mean for a Customer and a Business Owner
- Child Trafficking: The Scope, Understanding, and Prevention
- Business Assets: A Guide to the Financial Health of your Business
- Guide To The College Application: How, When and Where to Apply
- Which States Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?
- Adolescent Depression Symptoms and Causes
- Things to Know About the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory System
- Inheritance in the US: With & Without a Will
- Online Dating Safety Guide for Men and Women
- Sexual Abuse in the U.S.: Laws and Statistics
- Supporting Children After Divorce: Child Custody Options
- Halloween Horrors Come to Life: Holidays Crimes in the U.S.
- Charity Scams in the U.S.: Be Aware and Protected
- Webcam Hacking & Spying in the US
- Sex Offender Search
- Freedom of Religion in the U.S.
- Senior Financial Scams: How are the Elderly Targeted and How to Avoid It
- Catcalling: Is it illegal? How to Deal With It
- A Complete Guide To Insurance Fraud: Common Types and Prevention
- Sextortion: What to Do if You Became a Victim of Blackmailing
- Concealed Carry: How to Protect Yourself on Campus
- Debt Collection Laws | Fair Debt Collection Act: What You Need To Know
- How Much Is My House Worth? Ultimate Guide to Home Buying and Selling
- What are the Traits of a Sociopath?
- Do You Know Who Your Neighbors Are?
- Learn How to Find Your Birth Parents
- The Importance of Public Records in Law
- Do You Know What's the Difference Between Jail and Prison?
- Homeowner’s Insurance, Is it a Public Record?
- The Disturbing Facts of Gun Violence in America
- How to Use Public Records in Marketing
- Best & Worst Cities for Driving
- LGBT Bullying
- What You Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Used Car?
- School Safety and Security Standards
- Making Your DMV Experience Fast And Easy
- How to Prepare For an Active Shooter Incident
- How to Report a Crime?
- How to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks
- 50 Things to Know When Filing for Divorce
- What to Do When You Are Stopped By the Police
- Tips for Back-to-School Safety and Security
- Guide to Filing for Bankruptcy
- How to Appeal the Court's Decision
- A User's Guide to Warrants
- How to Fight a Traffic Ticket?
- Keeping Your Neighborhood Safe For Your Family
- A Parent's Guide to Keeping Your Child Drug-Free
Mass Incarceration in the USA
The United States is a world leader in democracy, innovation, finance, trade, and a host of other notable things.
However, there is one area that the U.S. wishes it was not a leader in - mass incarceration. There are an estimated 2.3 million people under the control of the American justice system or 25% of the world's prison population. Other liberal democracies have prisons, but the U.S. outpaces everybody with an incarceration rate that is four to eight times higher.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the number of prisoners has increased by 700% since 1970. These numbers outperform the national crime rate and even overall population growth. To put things in perspective, Botswana has a population of 2,303,697, Macedonia has 2,083,459, and Puerto Rico has 2,933,408.
When looked at from this angle, the entire prison population in the U.S. can form their own country.
Mass Incarceration History
The prison and jail populations in the United States have swelled to staggering proportions over the past 40 years. The reason behind the mass incarceration numbers today can be traced back to the 1980s. The "tough on crime" era saw a series of sweeping law enforcement and sentencing policy changes.
Prison population growth started at the beginning of the government's War on Drugs during the 80s. The number of people jailed for drug offenses in 1980 was 40,900. By 2017? 452,964. Today, there are more people serving time for drug offenses than the number of people in prison for any crime in 1980.
The number of people incarcerated for violent and property crimes has also increased. This increase happened even during times when crime rates declined.
Mass Incarceration Statistics
As the prison population grows, the conditions of confinement inside have grown harsh. Across the country, prisoners are spending more time in solitary confinement. There have been significant budget cuts to educational, vocational, and recreational programs. Medical and mental health care remain grossly inadequate.
All this is happening while prison terms become longer and more inflexible. Severe sentencing laws such as mandatory minimums and cutbacks in parole release are some of the reasons for more extended prison stays. Data from the National Research Council paints a grim picture. Between 1980 and 2010, half of the 222% growth in the state prison population is due to an increase in time served for all crimes.
There has also been a rise in the use of life sentences handed out by judges in a US court. One out of nine people in prison is now serving a life sentence, and nearly a third of prisoners are facing life without parole.
Mass Incarceration and Its Effect on Communities
Incarceration affects communities differently. Take a look at these numbers:
● African Americans are incarcerated five times more than whites.
● One out of three Black boys born today is expected to go to prison in his lifetime.
● African Americans and Hispanics constitute 56% of the incarcerated population, despite only making up 32% of the US population.
● One out of six Latino boys is expected to go to prison, compared to one out of 17 white boys.
● Women make up the fastest-growing prison population in the United States. People who are presumed innocent and sitting in local jails awaiting trial outnumber people in the federal prison system 2-1.
● If Hispanics and African Americans were sent to prison at the same rate as whites, the incarcerated population would decrease by as much as 40%.
Over 650,000 men and women nationwide return to their communities from prison each year. However, they face over 50,000 legal restrictions at the state, federal, and local level. These restrictions make it harder for them to reintegrate back into society. Some former prisoners revert to a life of crime because of this, forming a vicious cycle.
Mass Incarceration and Its Impact on Crime
Incarceration has proven to have some degree of impact on crime, but it is not the main reason why crime rates have declined since the 1990s. The NRC states two factors that could explain why mass incarceration had a modest impact on crime.
● Incarceration is ineffective at reducing specific crimes, such as drug crimes and youth crimes. Gangs, drug dealers, and drug users are a dime a dozen and will quickly replace the ones that got arrested.
● Second, people tend to outgrow or "age out" of crime. Research has shown that crime begins to peak by the mid-late teenage years and starts tapering off when individuals hit their mid-20s. Criminal tendencies drop as adults hit their 30s and 40s.
Mass incarceration in the United States has slowly become a crisis. The American prison system costs taxpayers around $80 billion each year. This money should be spent elsewhere, such as building up and investing in communities. The funds could also be used to provide high-quality educational opportunities for students in prison and reintegration programs for ex-prisoners.