The United States has many flaws with its incarceration system.
Overcrowded prisons in the United States have become an issue throughout the years. When there are too many people placed in a prison, it causes the prisoners to use their time poorly. It may be assumed that overcrowding is caused by faults in the penal system. New laws may play a major role in the situation, due to the fact that it may cause more arrests and former prisoners returning to the system.
Over time, it seems that the number of prisoners sent to a facility has increased tremendously. This issue has been recognized to the point that sociologists have created the term mass incarceration to describe the issue. According to a study about prison policy, there are almost two million people in prison in the United States. The United States has more prisoners than any other nation, which raises the question, why are so many people being sent to prison? The crime rate does not get lower, even with this many incarcerations.
Private prisons introduce a major issue. They are for profit and cut down on as much as they can in order to make money without any regard for the prisoners’ benefits or health. Prisoners in these private institutions aren’t given as much food as those in state run prisons and are given clothes that are cheaply made. Prison labor is a massive source of income, paying the inmates pennies to make military equipment.
There are many reasons why people end up in prison,. The war on drugs has caused a huge increase in prisoners. There are now 11 times more prisoners due to drug crimes since 1980.
Mandatory minimum sentencing also proves to be a major issue. When a person commits a crime there is a set amount of time they must serve, no matter the circumstance. There is no one who candecide if a sentence should be higher or lower due to the word of these laws.
The school-to-prison pipeline has also been proved to be a major issue. Zero tolerance policies have made students much more likely to get in trouble for minor things, pointing their finger as if it was a gun. Schools have even brought officers in to control students with them arresting students for disorderly conduct for doing minor things that the school could have handled itself. This causes students to create a criminal record early on and made students of color targets, thus making the system racist.
Prisoners are also treated horribly by staff. They can face physical and mental abuse. Staff members rape inmates and offer favors in exchange for sexual acts. Some guards don’t ensure the safety of the inmates.
There are many issues surrounding the prison system, and many people attempt to ignore it or say that because they committed a crime they deserve it. But now its the time to fix these problems or they will get worse, and it is important to be aware of these issues. Prisoners are being punished in inhumane ways and, but who can punish those meant to punish the prisoner?