Incarceration of Masses

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Mass Incarceration

Bruce, Western, and Pettit Becky. Daedalus 139.3 (2010): 8-19. "Incarceration and social inequality."

The thesis of this article explores the role of mass prison in fostering social injustice in the US. The author attempts to talk to the government by showing that mass incarceration is one of the reasons leading to social injustice. The authors are very trustworthy people because they are both sociology professors and thus the integrity of the article is guaranteed. The authors indicate that for the past few decades, mass incarceration has greatly contributed to the social inequality. Imprisonment of innocent persons has led to the emergence of a crop of dissents who share common experience of incarceration, poverty, crime, racial minority and illiteracy. Social and economic inequalities are not a recent innovation but rather a dilemma that has disturbed the society for a while.  The authors say that inequality is the greatest institutionalized rot in the United States. This inequality generates profound incarceration rates among the Black Americans to whom the penal system in the United States has been very harsh upon.

The social and economic inequalities within the society are so profound and have a disheartening effect on civilians because it is intergenerational, cumulative and invisible.

The authors are attempting a persuasion on the government in a bid to get the social as well as economic injustices within the society addressed and this persuasion is done by way of putting across effects of such injustices to the relevant stakeholders. The context here is by building credibility by highlighting the rates of incarceration as a build up to the discussion on injustices that are being met upon a section of the society.

Bobo, Lawrence D., and Victor Thompson. "Racialized mass incarceration: Poverty, prejudice, and punishment." Doing race 21 (2010): 322-355.

The gist of this article underscores the effect of incarceration amongst the Black Americans and proceeds to depict such persons as a target group for vices. The authors attempt to get the attention of law formulators and enforcement agencies by informing them of the existing laws that are biased towards the Black Americans. The authors are highly trained in sociology since they are professors in this field and this is a build up for the credibility and authority of the article itself.

The thesis seeks to persuade the audience that the United States has since formulated laws and regulations that promote mass imprisonment and which system is intentionally biased towards the Black Americans. This outline proceeds to reveal that for over thirty years, the increased incarceration of the Blacks has led decline in the socio- economic development hence to the disadvantage of the society. The authors further explain that there is need for social policies that safeguard every person in the society as opposed to punitive measure towards the Black Americans.

This work is therefore a wake- up call to the government as well as the relevant agencies to ensure that that which is right is adequately undertaken and that it is rhetorical that the government wants to be reminded of its duty.

Mauer, Marc. "Addressing racial disparities in incarceration." The Prison Journal 91.3_suppl (2011): 87S-101S.

This work postulates that putting into use the right policies could prove healthy in solving racial disparity in incarceration cases. The author seeks to build credibility by offering ideas to the policy formulators to come up with such policies that reduce incarceration levels. The author has the requisite expertise in the field of sociology as he holds a Masters Degree in Social Work as well as having served as an executive director of sentencing project in the criminal justice system.

After examining the practices and policies that have led to high rate of incarceration, the author of this article concludes that a complex set of factors has played a great role in these outcomes. For instance, policy decisions for the last forty years have produced a serious imbalance in address of public safety at the national level. Even though crime control measures have in past integrated a blend of criminal justice responses together with preventive approach, the national address to these problems is currently weighted towards the criminal justice system disregarding the policies that could play a vital role in strengthening the ability of communities and families to introduce behavioral norms and improve opportunity.

Moore, Lisa D., and Amy Elkavich. "Who’s using and who’s doing time: incarceration, the war on drugs, and public health." American Journal of Public Health 98.5 (2008): 782-786.

In this paper, the authors seek to prove that increased rate of incarceration does not help reduce substance abuse. Authors are addressing the federal government with an aim of showing that other measures could be highly beneficial in fight against drug abuse that mass incarceration. The source of this message is credible since the authors are professors in the fields affecting social justice and balance.

The authors assert that inequalities are not as a result of serious involvement in drug trade or use but were the outcome of flexible decision-making from law enforcement bodies and implementation of harsh sentencing principles by both federal and state lawmakers. According to authors, reversing such trend may not be as simple as it appears and will need a change in political environment on two levels. As far as criminal justice policy is concerned, it will force a reconsideration of the importance of mass imprisonment in establishment of public safety and creating means to strengthen the ability of community-based punitive centers to supervise prisoners and offer comprehensive services. The article emphasize that, broader agenda for reform will need a public atmosphere that considers the consequence of robust approach to public safety and does not concentrate much on criminal justice punishments.                          

 This article discusses how perceived war against drug abuse has led to exaggerated mass imprisonment. The authors indicate that, since the time the United States embarked on a journey of war against drug abuse there has been a massive increase in the rate of imprisonment.

The number of people imprisoned has increased five-fold since 1972 without same rate of decrease in the number of crime and drug abuse incidences. A great moral panic concerning crime orchestrated by media headlines as well as political expediency necessitated the need to heighten the war against drug abuse. The result of this has been increased incarceration because of strict law and prosecution procedures, less judicial prudence and increased policing.

Christopher, Wildeman. “Mass Incarceration.” Oxford Bibliographies (2012): 34.

The main thesis in the article is mass incarceration in United States. Here the author is addressing general audience with an aim of proving that mass incarceration is serious problem in United States. The article is reliable since the author Wilderman is an associate professor of sociology of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University and thus has vast experience in the field of sociology.

In this article, Christopher Wildeman, first attempts to describe mass incarceration in different terms. He says that mass incarceration can also be referred to as mass imprisonment, carceral state prison boom or hyperincarceration. While, there is an agreement on how to define mass incarceration among scholars, there is no consensus about the causes and consequences of this phenomenon. Some have concluded that mass incarceration incapacitates and deters whereas others say it weakens impoverished families and in the process rendering them marginalized. This article indicates that, some scholars have formulated a functionalist argument explaining the causes of mass incarceration.

The dramatic increase in imprisonment could be justified if public safety were massively improved. Despite existence of a notion that incarceration has reduced the rate of crime there is enough evidence to discredit the positive effects of imprisonment on crime. The benefits of incarceration in fighting crime has greatly diminished over the past few years of 20th and 21st centuries to a point that it is less effective approach to control crime than it was in 1990s. In fact it has become a tool to promote social inequality due to high rates incarceration and racial disparities.

Johnson, Jacqueline. "Mass incarceration: A contemporary mechanism of racialization in the United States." Gonz. L. Rev. 47 (2011): 301.

In this article the main thesis is how the mass incarceration acts as mechanism to promote racism in the US. The author is addressing the general audience and he poses revealing questions on how institutions are using mass incarceration to promote restraint. The professor has credible credentials and has published widely on the subject area and also chairs the department of sociology at the Adelphi University.

According to this article mass imprisonment dominate both the economic and social lives of millions of black Americans and continues to fuel the historical blueprint of structural disparity that is defined by race. The author examines wide range consequences of expansion of prison lying emphasis on the role it plays in modern racial ideologies and economic disadvantage structure. The article argues against what many scholars believe and that is the criminality record of most African Americans make them to be disproportionately imprisoned saying that even their white counterpart participate in the crimes that lead to incarceration of black Americans. According to the author, mass imprisonment has produced several structures of disadvantage one of them being the economic discrepancies which last for a long time after the ex-mates leave the prison. The article explains that mass incarceration is used as a modern weapon to promote racialization. In other words, it is a tool to continue social stigma as well as economic marginalization along the race lines. Thus mass imprisonment acts as a modern tool to promote racialization by lying a platform for overlapping processes, systems and advocates of racial stratification that make racial issue even more complex.                   

Morsy, Leila, and Richard Rothstein. "Mass Incarceration and Children’s Outcomes: Criminal Justice Policy is Education Policy." Economic Policy Institute Report 118615 (2016).

The main theme of this paper is the effects of mass incarceration on the academic performance of the children of people of color. The authors targeted the educators where they wanted to inform them that they have a big role in ensuring students whose parents have been imprisoned perform well in class. The source is highly credible as the authors have attained higher education accolades and have sound credentials in sociology.

This article explains the effects mass incarceration on the children of imprisoned individuals. The discriminatory imprisonment of black American parents affects academic performance of their children, particularly in schools with higher number of students whose parents have been incarcerated. Authors review the several studies from different fields that reveal how parental imprisonment leads to a number of cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes known to have profound effect on the performance of students in schools. The paper emphasizes that teachers have paid little attention to such criminal justice disaster. A criminal justice system in United States must introduce a policy that will give educators a responsibility to improve the academic performance of black American children.

Traum, Anne R. "Mass Incarceration at Sentencing." Hastings LJ 64 (2012): 423.

The main thesis for this article is how judges could help reduce mass incarceration at sentencing level. The author is addressing judges with an aim of revealing how they can help play critical role in eradication the problem of mass incarceration at judgment phase of the cases. The article is highly credible because the author is a professor of law who has specialized in sentencing, appellate law, Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law and Procedure and Federal Courts. 

In this article, the author talks about how judges can participate in solving the issue of mass incarceration during the sentencing stage of a case. She suggests that acting at court level would offer an additional response to mass imprisonment on top of legislative and policy reform recommended by the other scholars. The author also proposes that courts must consider hyper incarceration, a systemic issue, and individual cases during sentencing. Sentencing can serve this purpose well as it is a compulsory step in the crime related cases. At this stage judges have power to individualize the punishment determined by individual himself as well as the systemic factors. During this stage, discretion from the judges is at its highest level because judges can contact the offender directly and they can consider the vast amount of information at their disposal which is relevant to convicting impacts and options. 

Mass imprisonment may be seen as a systemic concern relevant both to the crime record of defendant and past sentencing purposes such as need to improve the public safety and to make sure that a judgment is just and fair. This article explains how sentencing phase can be achieved in federal sentencing and recommends practice and doctrinal changes that can improve the ability of courts to consider and reduce the harms of hyper incarceration in individual cases.  

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Works Cited

Bobo, Lawrence D., and Victor Thompson. "Racialized mass incarceration: Poverty, prejudice, and punishment." Doing race 21 (2010): 322-355.

Christopher, Wildeman. “Mass Incarceration.” Oxford Bibliographies (2012): 34.

Johnson, Jacqueline. "Mass incarceration: A contemporary mechanism of racialization in the United States." Gonz. L. Rev. 47 (2011): 301.

Mauer, Marc. "Addressing racial disparities in incarceration." The Prison Journal 91.3_suppl (2011): 87S-101S.

Moore, Lisa D., and Amy Elkavich. "Who’s using and who’s doing time: incarceration, the war on drugs, and public health." American Journal of Public Health 98.5 (2008): 782-786.

Morsy, Leila, and Richard Rothstein. "Mass Incarceration and Children’s Outcomes: Criminal Justice Policy is Education Policy." Economic Policy Institute Report 118615 (2016).

Traum, Anne R. "Mass Incarceration at Sentencing." Hastings LJ 64 (2012): 423.

Western, Bruce, and Becky Pettit. "Incarceration & social inequality." Daedalus 139.3 (2010): 8-19.

April 02, 2021




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