Tough On Crime

According to Eric Foner, during the 1970’s, crime rates were rising, political parties of both sides decided to change the way they deal with crime. They wanted to be “tough on crime” and that criminals should be lock up in prison for a longer periods. The government started to increase the penalties for crime, like treating drug addiction as a violation of law instead of a disease. This tactic became very successful, and the number of Americans imprisoned rose dramatically.

Since the 1970’s to 1990’s, crime rate dropped dramatically after the new “tough on crime” attitude. In return the population at prison reached over 2million people, which was ten times that amount during 1970’s. Since there was an increase in prison population struggling communities took this as an opportunity. They saw prisons as a source of jobs and income, between 1990 and 1995 over 200 new prisons were built.


Support Crime! Support the 18th Amendment!

One important change that occurred during World War I (The Great War) was the 18th Amendment, or better known as prohibition. As one reads Foner’s recollection of the Prohibition, you notice that Foner mentions the reasoning and support behind the 18th amendment. Even though he seems to mention every reason sarcastically, he doesn’t mention the outcome of prohibition in regard to ethical fathers/husbands, calm workers, etc. And he most certainly doesn’t mention the development of bootleggers and speakeasies that lead to the huge expansion of crime. On another note, neither did Foner mention, nor was I privy to the knowledge that during the prohibition many officers were trigger happy and caused the lives of hundreds upon hundreds of innocents as depicted by the picture below.