Overlooked Prisoners

What people are overlooked everyday?Prisoners, incarcerated people, that’s who!Over 2.2 billion people are currently being held in prisons or jails.That is more than all the population of New Mexico.

Over half of those people are serving time because of a non- violent crime, such as drugs.Even though that does not seem like a large offense there is a minimum of five years of jail time.The United States holds the place for most inmates and is the lead by far, out of every 100,000 people 716 of them are currently incarcerated. America is home to 5% of the earths population although it is home to 25% of the worlds prisoners. Why is this?Well the crime rates have been at a historic low, yet the number of imprisoned people is higher than 30 – 40 years ago by far.Because the government doesn’t have the budget to house this many people, those incarcerated are suffering in terrible conditions taxpayer money planed to be used for other porposes is also being cut into but that is still not sufficient.

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The United States ranked midway on the logged homicides, but still had the most incarcerated rate.However the United States has a much less in smaller crimes.The United States has a much higher homicide rate than any other economically developed country, and is a major outlier for armed robbery. Authorities continue to search for more creative punishments.Critics say that America is by far the toughest on crime.These toughness policies were placed such as: mandatory minimums, mandatory drug sentences, three strikes law, and life sentences without parole.

The American public became very worried when crime rates skyrocketed.The lack of agreement in the country caused more violent crimes, and authorities were confused about what to do. Juvenile offenders live in residential detention facilities, 68% of those juveniles are racial minority’s. The rate of incarceration among the American youth is 300 out of100,000 in one year. Although this is five times higher than the next highest country, South Africa, it has significantly decreased from 1997 when the number was 116,000. Also juvenile detention is not cost effective, it can cost up to $88,000 to keep a juvenile incarserated for 9 to 12 months.

The states combined spent a $5 billion in 2008 alone. Incarsarated juveniles have a 13 of 39 chance of graduating high school, and a 23 of 41 chance of ending up back in prison as an adult. People that have been incarsarated in the late 1970’s are now being released. According to the Bureau of Justice 2009 was the first year in decades when prison releases where exceeding admissions. The network of social service programs is less developed in the United States than any other comparable country.

This meant that the government was relying on the prisons for people who otherwise would have been diverted.Community based alternatives were being created on a local level, but nothing that could remove 1000’s of people out of incarceration. Over 2.7 million children have a parent behind bars! After the mandatory drug laws went into effect prison populations quadrupled! There are more prisons than colleges in America!