Mass Incarceration in the U.S

The American prison system exists to keep citizens safe, punish criminals, and provide rehabilitation services whenever necessary. Over the years, the government has used prisons to serve more than just the above mentioned functions. The number of Americans who end up in prisons has increased in the last five decades. These changes were in part due to the creation of aggressive criminal laws passed by Congress. Today, American prisons are overcrowded. Worse, it is the people of color who make up a large portion of American convicts. Indeed, different ideas regarding the reasons for the overcrowding of American prisons abound. Critics of the prison system have cited the minimal benefits of keeping young men and women in prison. They have mentioned the costs to the taxpayer, the effect of jail terms on drug addicts, mentally ill, and families. At the same time, researchers have proposed various methods of dealing with mass incarceration in the country. Some have suggested a change of criminal laws, terms of sentences, more police on the streets, and medical help for drug addicts. Despite the different arguments presented by these researchers, they contend that mass incarceration does not reduce cases of crime in the country.

Why is the Theme Discussed?

Overcrowding in American prisons has triggered the debate over the effectiveness of mass incarceration. In the past, the U.S government proposed long sentences for criminals with the aim of reducing crime incidences in American communities. At the time, individuals without high school diplomas, decent jobs, and low income engaged in crime to provide for themselves and their families. Many of them ended up in prison for selling or using illegal drugs. The government hoped that such a move would help them tackle the drug problem in the country. However, the arrest and imprisonment of young Americans contributed to an increase in poverty in black communities. The men who were arrested were the sole providers of their families meaning that these families had one source of income. Worse, former convicts do not get employment opportunities easily because of their criminal record. Therefore, some of them revert to their old habits of selling drugs to keep up with their counterparts.

Connection with Current Problems

Mass incarceration is a practice that impedes poverty reduction efforts in the country. Research demonstrates that the number of Americans living in poverty would fall by over 20 percent if the government could reduce mass incarceration. Researchers have proven that 60 percent of former inmates remain unemployed one year after their release. Worse, many American adults have a criminal record that may show up during a background check. Research demonstrates that people without a criminal record gain employment even when they are not qualified for the position. Additionally, keeping people locked up in jails reduces their lifetime earnings, as well as intergenerational earnings. Employers tend to limit the incomes of former inmates. Reduced incomes present future problems for the incarcerated individuals along with their families. Worse, serving a jail term presents roadblocks for the affected individuals when seeking cash assistance from the government.

Supporting Arguments

The activities of the justice system in the country costs the taxpayer over 260 billion annually. The costs of mass incarceration grew by 400 percent over the last 30 years. Hard working Americans have to contribute towards the maintenance of these prisons. Many men and women spend a large part of their adulthood in prisons. Upon their release, these individuals have to deal with stigmatization, which reduces their chances of gaining employment. The effects of incarceration of men and women last a lifetime, especially for individuals from low income communities. The crime wave of the 1980’s contributed to the introduction of punitive measures in the judicial system. Tough crime policies in the 1980’s led to a disproportionate impact for people from low income communities. Legislatures of this era believed in punishing crime by either locking them up in prisons or putting them through rehabilitation programs (Arvanites & Asher, 1995). The fear of crime and unrest in the country contributed to the development of the mass incarceration in the country. These actions had far reaching effects on the people affected. Incarceration became the default setting rather than the last resort for the judicial system at the time. The move affected individuals with low income and those without high school diplomas.

Mass incarceration is a practice that threatens the democracy in the American society. It is a system of correction that drives poverty, racial injustice, and economic inequality among the incarcerated and their families. American prisons hold twenty five percent of the world’s prisoners. Most of these prisoners are black men who are separated from their families for many years. Once locked in these correctional facilities, black men cannot work and improve the living conditions of their families. Some of them leave behind women with more than one child. These women have to work long hours to earn enough money to pay rent, fees, and cater for other bills. As a result, poverty remains a problem in many black families in the country. Economic inequality becomes a reality when these black families cannot compete with their white counterparts.

Leaders can eliminate mass incarceration by adopting less punitive measures for low level offenses. The judicial system resorts to incarceration as the first mode of punishment for all types of offenses. Most state and federal prisoners are locked up for non-violent crimes. For instance, many jail mates spend time in prison while they await their sentencing. Others end up in prison for violating their conditions of their parole or probation. Over 1.7 million people spend their lives in prison without a public safety rationale. Indeed, punishment of crime is paramount if the government is tackle social crime in American communities. However, the severe punishment that criminals receive is not warranted. Researchers have provided ample evidence showing that these measures of correcting criminals are expensive and unnecessary. Instead, they recommend alternative actions that reduce recidivism.

The government should change criminal laws with the aim of removing prison as the only method of correcting non-violent offenders. Some of the most appropriate punishments for low level crimes include community service, probation, electronic monitoring, and rehabilitation. The correctional facilities should apply these measures to drug related crimes in the country. It is not efficient for the judicial system to send drug offenders to prison for many years. The main problem in such cases is the availability of drugs in the black communities meaning that they will continue with the practice of selling drugs once released. Although the process of changing criminal laws may take years, it is the only course of action that will reduce the number of youth wasting away in American prisons.

Individuals with addition and mental health problems require medical treatment and not time in prison. Half of the people who end in American prisons suffer from mental health issues or drug addiction. In fact, American cells hold more mentally ill people than institutions for the mentally challenged. Prisons do not help such people overcome their problems instead, incarceration worsens their condition. Treatment will ensure that people with mental health problems or drug addiction become useful members of society. They can recover, apply for employment opportunities, and help their families where possible. At the same time, these individuals require constant observation by probation officers to ensure that they recover fully. In some cases, they made need to spend some time in prison depending on the nature of the crime that they committed.


The act of deploying additional police officers to the streets prevents people from committing crime. The presence of more officers on the streets creates the perception that there is more at stake for committing a crime. Mass incarceration has failed to act as a deterrent to crime in society. Instead of reforming the lives of the convicts, it contributes to the creation of recidivism. In the 1990’s the levels of crime in the streets of New York reduced because of the presence of police men and women.

The main reason behind the prison boom was the desire of the government to control low income black communities that were excluded from the economic boom of the industrial era. The government did not want to tackle the problem of unemployment witnessed in these black communities. People engaged in social crime to realize the American Dream. Mass incarceration took root in the country because the government failed to deal with gun violence, economic marginalization, and mental illness. Instead, it created a judicial system where low level offenders wasted their lives in prisons. The government contributed to the problem of mass incarceration that is evident in society today.

The corrupt system managed by corrupt politicians contributed to the development of the problem of mass incarceration. Elected leaders in the political sphere have taken advantage of prisons to mollify fears regarding crimes in the country. On top of that, they have used these institutions to promote the resurgence of anti-civil rights politics. Undoubtedly, the problem of mass incarceration is one that benefits many people in the American society. Therefore, dealing with it requires transforming the social issues that black people have dealt with for many years. They are the ones affected the most by mass incarceration.


The process of writing that the author utilized in the book contradicted my personal beliefs regarding the debate over mass incarceration. Prior to reading the book, I had the perception that sentencing criminals to prison was the best method of tackling crime in communities. However, the author presented opposing views that helped me rethink my previous stand on the topic of mass incarceration. For instance, the writer presents the views of researchers who have proven that spending time in prison does not reduce social crime. Instead, it increases the odds of these criminals engaging in criminal activities upon their release. The researchers provide evidence showing that the chances of former convicts gaining employment are lower than those of law abiding citizens. Additionally, the author proves that keeping offenders in prison for committing low level crimes is an expensive venture.

The author goes on to provide the reader with alternative ways of dealing with offenders. It is not necessary for all offenders to end up in prison. Rather, the government can help them overcome their problems through other less expensive means. For example, the correctional facilities can put criminals through community service to help them become law abiding citizens. Community service helps these individuals appreciate the importance of working hard for an income and the joy that comes with earning a salary. Medical treatment is another remedy that correctional facilities can adopt in helping people with drug related problems. Sometimes, drug addicts need professional help to help them overcome the urge to sell and use drugs.

The problem of drug sale and use in American societies is not as simple as many perceive. Drug dealers gain entry into the country through the Mexico-American border. The government of Mexico has tried to deal with drug trafficking into U.S soil to no avail. Many people in black communities have access to these drugs. Whenever the police arrest these individuals, they do not help them reform. Instead, they withdraw them from society for a certain period of time. After serving their sentences, most of these convicts go back to selling drugs.

In conclusion, mass incarceration is an effective method of dealing with crime in a country as diverse as America. The act of sending all offenders to prison only results in overcrowding in American jails. Instead of helping criminals reform their lives, keeping them in prison only prevents them from committing new crimes and deters would be offenders from engaging in criminal activities.


Research on Rape Victims and their Rights

The 2018 presents a ray of hope for rape victims following the accusation, arrest, and indictments of high profile celebrities in the country. There are many prominent personalities in the history of the United States who have been accused of statutory, matrimonial rape, sexual assault, indecent harassment, and pedophilia but managed to escape imprisonment. Moreover, those who were sentenced received minimum jail sentences, which the victims regarded as lenient. However, the recent exposure of Bill Cosby, Polanski, and Harvey Weinstein sexual misconducts have provoked expansive conversations regarding sexual offence laws in the country. The complications with sexual litigations emanates from historical events that resulted to the creation of the Union. Slavery and colonization are irrefutably the major proponent of sexual violence in the country. There are limited literal texts that document this subject as an important aspect towards the development of the American society. According to the recorded medical reports, the nation experiences a sexual assault after 8 minutes. Moreover, only 0.6 % of cases are reported to law and policy authorities. In view of these findings, it is apparent that there is a need for increased awareness regarding the subject (Holmstrom, 2017). The purpose of these sexual activism programs must be to protect the rights and freedoms of both the victim and the alleged perpetrator as enshrined in the supreme constitution. Given the historically low number of indictments, many advocacy and help groups have emerged in the country to assist victims in processing civil or criminal litigations.

Case Summary

            The case involves a 20 years old rape encounter with her ex-boyfriend following a drinking spree. As a result of the circumstances encompassing the crime, the public prosecutor rejects the litigation. The prosecutor’s conclusion is probably informed by confounding environment of the alleged offence. Some of the factors that complicates the incidence includes previous encounter between the complainant and the perpetrator, the supposed condition in which the crime occurred, and lack of sufficient evidence to indict the culprit (Michael Planty et al., 2016). Assumedly, there must be witnesses from the drinking hole who witnessed the social conduct of the couple. In addition to the effects of alcohol, the defendant’s attorney would probably argue that sex between the two was consensual. Although the rape crime happen, the burden of proof remains with the victim. On his part, the accused can present a narrative demonstrating that there was a prior mutual agreement between the two. In fact, He could even present a phone or other physical evidence to illustrate how the two rekindled their relationship. Furthermore, since both the victim and the charged were drunk, it would be difficult to prove that the sexual urges only emanated from the man. From a scientific perspective, alcohol inhibits cognitive reasoning and functions, thus, promoting a carefree and reckless attitude. As the effects of alcohol subsides, victims are usually engulfed with regrets, remorse, and even denial.

            The United States laws on rape confers the greatest liability and responsibilities to the victim. For instance, after a rape incidence, the casualty is supposed to report the matter immediately. The aim of this rule is to preserve evidence that can be used for the prosecution of the perpetrators. Some of the proof of crime includes the used condom, torn clothes, site of the incident, and physical signs involved during the struggle. However, rape is among the greatest atrocities to human dignity and wellbeing. Rape incidents affect the victims physically and psychologically, thus, triggering a sense of denial (Holmstrom, 2017). Most sufferers often require counselling and time to heal by which time they decide to report the crime. Other casualties decides to take action upon discovering that they are pregnant or contracted some STI. By this time, most of the evidence involving the incidence are often inexistence or weak. With lack of concrete proof, most prosecutors often deem the accusation as obsolete if brought in front of a jury. Given that the victim is a 20 year old girl, it suffices to say that the cost of acquiring the services remains beyond her reach. For that reason, the remaining option is to seek option from non-governmental voluntary agencies or human rights organizations. Voluntary organizations are either funded by government or private institutions with the aim of protecting the rights of victims from marginalized society groups.

The Legal Right of Rape Victims against Perpetrators

            The legal criteria of rape in the US differs depending on the various legislative acts of individual states. However, the common federal definition of the crime is anal, oral, or vaginal penetration without the victim’s consent.  The penetrative act can be achieved using body organs or objects in a sexual manner. Given the ambiguity with earlier acts regarding the subject of rape, there have been several constitutional amendments to assist in the succinct description of the crime. These legal amendments extends the definition of rape from a non-consensual sexual to collaborate with other extenuating circumstances (Zinzow, Resnick, 2010). Given these legal amendments, the criteria for rape extends beyond consent and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrators. Thus, the victim in this case study can present her arguments according to the following statutes. First, she can argue that her cognitive judge was incapacitated by alcohol intake before the incident occurred. Her story may further be collaborated by the venue in which the alcoholic drinks were consumed. From a biochemical standpoint, alcohol intoxication is regulated by the Alcohol Dehydrogenases (ADH) enzymes, which are specific depending on individual’s genes. ADH action the body metabolism evokes varied reactions in the consumers. Some of the common behaviors with alcohol consumption include rage, mania, mood disorders, violence, depression, and other altered cognitive processes (Zinzow, Resnick et al, 2010). Given this scientific evidence, the victim can argue that her cognitive judgment was compromised by alcohol inhibition. Under Michigan State law, intoxicated individuals either by drugs or alcohol are incapable of consenting to sexual activity. In addition, the State of Massachusetts asserts that previous relationship cannot be used in law as proof of consent.  Besides alcohol, the victim can argue that she was coerced into the act with threats to the physical or emotional self.

Current Research and Prevalence of Rape Crimes

            Rape is a serious offence with great physical and mental challenges to the victim and to an extent the perpetrator. According to some medical studies, the researchers have associated the sex crime with mental disorders and sociological problems. For example, it is hypothesized that children from abusive families have difficulties in maintaining normal relationship. As they mature, these behavioral disturbed persons associated masculinity or femininity with aggressiveness. Consequently, these individuals develop sociopathic tendencies, and they use sex to demonstrate power rather than intimacy (Abbey, Zawacki, Buck, Clinton, & McAuslan, 2007). Social factors such as lack diminished ethos may also facilitate sexual assault. For example, increased internet penetration has eased the accessibility of pornographic content in the community. The prevalence of the sex industry in the society promotes the sexual assault. According to a study conducted by the Campus Sexual Assault Institute of Justice (2007), approximately 50% of sexual assault perpetrators and victims presented with mental problems. Alcohol and drug abuse was indicated as the leading precursor for engaging in indecent and risky sexual behavior (Krebs et al., 2007). While the report is inclusive of sexual assault cases from both genders, majority of report originated from women. 

            The common trend among rape victims who cannot afford private legal representation is to seek help from voluntary organizations.  However, the reports from this agencies indicate significant variance regarding the number of sexual violence that is reported in the country. Since these organizations receive funding according to the number of cases that they handle, there is a possibility that the figures are exaggerated. Nevertheless, the reports Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, (2016), indicate that sexual violence has decreased in the country by 63% since 1995.

Yazidi survivor: ‘I was raped every day for six months’ – BBC News

The Option Available to the Victims in a Civil Court

            Civil courts are mainly involved in resolving conflicts between individuals with the aim of seeking compensation. Under the civil courts, conflicting parties can mutually agree to settle the matter outside the court. Thus, the rape victim can seek damages to recover the costs involved in litigation and the medical expenses. In addition, the court can instruct the alleged perpetrator to offer apology and cater for psychiatric counseling for the victim. Sexual assault often leaves the victims traumatized and eager for quick solution. A civil option reduces excess logistics and legal burden that are involved in criminal proceedings (Karmen, 2012). Prominent personalities usually engage the victims in a non-disclosure agreements.

            The main negative repercussion for a civil rape suit is that it does not provide closure to the victim. There are many reported cases of sexual victims who have attempted or committed suicide because of frustrations by the legal system. The emotional burden created by the incident does not immediately disappear despite the civil settlements. Some victims develop trust issues in relationships with their partners, friends, and even families. These are largely psychological issues, which require professional help and time for them to heal.


            The type of crime committed in this case study is rape because the victim was intoxicated and, thus, unable to provide sexual consent. While the perpetrator was also intoxicated, his actions contravened state statutes that prevents sex with intoxicated persons. There is a need for creating amendments that mandate prosecutors to investigate all the reported cases of sexual assault. The prosecutor violated the victims’ rights of representation and expression in a court of law (Karmen, 2012). Available constitutional statutes on rape are sufficient and, therefore, there is no need for additional changes. However, investigating agencies must be compelled to remain unbiased to the victim regardless of the level of evidence. Moreover, the victim must be guaranteed with the right of representation in a court of law. The prosecutor should not project the expected judgment and outcome of the decision before a jury. Although rape is a single event that may only last for a few minutes, the effects are long term. There are financial costs that are involved in seeking medical treatments and legal redress. Moreover, the psychological impact of the traumatic event can lead to a decrease in productivity both at work, home, or school.


Cheating Crouchy Begging Clancy to Come Back

Peter Crouch has been bombarding his heartbroken fiancée Abbey Clancy with texts begging forgiveness after his encounter with an Algerian prostitute, Monica Mint.

Crouchie relaxing in his back garden…..

Abbey who flew off to Majorca to be with her mum and take some time out is expected back in Britain tomorrow in time to film the next stage of her new E4 show Great British Hairdresser, although Abbey would prefer to stay longer following Crouchie’s Away Game.

It seems that Peter has a plan though. It involves flying her back in a private jet. A nice little reminder of the little luxuries she will miss out on if she decides to ditch him.

It may just work as it has been revealed that Abbey still loves him and thinks they can rebuild their relationship. Maybe he could take her away on a nice romantic break to Algeria!


Cheryl Cole Takes Inspiration from Tina Turner

Cheryl Cole is releasing her second solo album later this year and it is going to be under her married name!

Cheryl’s decided the title of her CD will be Cheryl Cole as she feels the most successful period of her career has been under that name. She knows she is established in Europe under that name so going back to her maiden name may be too confusing for her fans.

Legend Tina Turner may have been the inspiration as she kept husband Ike’s name after their divorce and it never did the soul diva any harm, Tina turner may not have reached the heights of fame with the name Anna Mae Bullock!

Cheryl who is a fan of Tina Turner, knows that Tina kept her married name as that was the name she was better known as and Cheryl feels she should do the same.

Whatever the name, Wags-Blog can’t wait to hear her new material.


Abbey Clancy’s Back in the Saddle

Abbey Clancy spent the day yesterday with her trusty companion, her horse Constantine.

She looked happy and relaxed as she petted her horse before it’s first show at Oldencraig Equestrian Centre in Surrey . She was however sporting her engagement ring,is this the signal that she is taking back cheater crouchy?

In today’s tabloids more photo’s appeared of Peter getting up close and personal to other blonde’s on a drunken night out, are these girl’s just jumping on the band wagon or is he a real sex pest as they claim?

Abbey obviously seems to have made her mind up to give him another chance by flaunting her engagement ring but will more stories of Crouchy’s indiscretions crop up and how can she ever trust him again?

He paid to sleep with a prostitute, how can she simply forgive and forget? If I was her I’d stick to my trusty steed Constantine and give Crouchy a wide berth!


Cheryl’s Got Competition

It looks likely that CherylCole and Dannii Minogue may have a cat fight on their hands (sorry couldn’t resist) with Pussycat doll Nicole hot in Simon’s affections.


Apparently guest judge Nicole is being hounded (sorry again!) by Simon to stay on for the next section of the X-Factor show at the judge’s houses and will help in choosing the acts that go through!

I’m sure that she will certainly add some glamour to the show and if rumours are to be believed she may be helping Louis Walsh with his choices, which, lets be honest can only be a positive thing. With her help he may actually have a chance at winning this year!


Abbey Clancy Pulls Out of Fashion Slot

Abbey Clancy has made front news again after pulling out of her fashion slot on ITV’s This Morning claiming she could not face live TV and the questions that may crop up.

Abbey is demanding that Peter tells all as she doesn’t want anymore surprises, she wants to know everything!

Despite Peter telling her about every encounter he has had with other girls surely the question she needs to be asking herself is does she want to marry a man who has slept with a teenage Algerian prostitute?
Not a great start to married life but other WAGS have decided that the WAG lifestyle design is worth forgiving a prostitute or two…..

Wish Abbey would just make up her mind, she must be devastated but the sooner she decides to let the nation know she is forgiving her cheater Crouchy the sooner we can write about something else other than Peter the cheater!


Take Me Out

Take Me Out, ITV’s Saturday night dating show is back, and looking for single guys and girls to take part in our new series.

Host, Paddy McGuinness is ready once again to play cupid and guide single ladies and a whole host of single men to find their perfect partner.

To be in with a chance of appearing on the show, follow the link, email: or call our hotline on 0207 6916050.

Remember, No Likey…..No Lighty!