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United States has many of its citizens increased than any other country in the word. The sentencing laws that have been put in place which focus on extending prison terms as well as ensuring that repeated offenders are locked for many years have significantly influenced the mass incarceration. Some of these laws include the three strikes rule and minimum sentencing. Mass incarceration was initially thought to be the best strategy that was implemented in limited violent crimes dues increased sentences. The situation has been significantly different since mass incarceration has turned out to be a huge problem to the United States than initially anticipated. This paper therefore provides a significant focus on the critical focus and understanding on the assertion that mass incarceration in the United States is a problem and not a solution to the violent crimes.
The mass incarceration problem in the United States has been effectively developed based on significant need to limit the number of violent crimes. Therefore, the decision that was made was to ensure that violent crimes had significantly higher sentencing compared to other charges. The implementation of these laws and regulation has seen a very high rate of incarceration causing significant strain on the available correctional facilities. Prisons in theUnited States both federal and state prisons are filled and currently operating beyond their maximum number they can effectively carry. Because of overcrowding in United States prisons, the objective has shifted from being rehabilitation and punitive facility to holding facility where the numbers have significantly outnumbered the correctional officers(Alexander, 23). The underlying focus within correctional facilities where inmates are expected to review their behavior and have an understanding on the need for change has shifted creating a very difficult environment where it is difficult to even manage the population.
Is the mass incarceration destined for success? This crucial question forms the basis under which proper understanding is needed. The answer to this question is a complete based on the existing significant issues within the criminal justice system, which have been brought, by mass incarceration laws and regulations across the United States.
Prison have become breeding grounds for criminals where inmates collude with correctional officers to extort new inmates as well having a major influence on the outside. The prisons have completely lost their initial meaning due to mass incarcerations. These issues have really created a negative focus on the entire criminal justice system even though there was no significant focus or thought on the outcome and how it would have a significant influence on the entire criminal justice system. High level of extortion and insecurity with prisons has brought significant concerns regarding mass incarceration considering the fact that it is on the verge of collapse despite being touted as one of the best(Pettit and Western, 42).
The reason why mass incarceration as a strategy has become a problem to the united states justice system is mainly based on the underlying focus on the fact that the laws and regulations that were being put in place did not focus on the potential inability to sustain the high numbers of prisoners. The lack of emphasis on key underlying elements which are crucial in developing a positive relationship under which it would be possible to have a greater understanding under which it would be possible to have a successful implementation process. The fact that no measures were put in place to alleviate the potential risk within the criminal justice created a very difficult environment where it was extremely difficult to have a positive engagement regarding the need to put in place better strategies, which would be effectively employed to create a better focus within the system( Pettit and Western, 50).
The criminal justice system is a well-engaged system that requires crucial planning sbefore any strategy can be effectively evaluated. The implementation of the laws advocating for mass incarceration did not focus on developing an analysis on the impact these laws would have and how these issues would be effectively engaged. The current problem is as a result of poor planning under which it is possible to have a better operational environment under which it is possible to develop a greater understanding under which better decisions can be made.
The federal and state governments are using a lot of funds in maintaining the mass interaction policy. Thefunds that are being used to finance mass incarceration would have been used for other important purposes considering the fact that the measures that have been put in place are not effective. Despite the high finances being used to facilitate this process, the underlying objective of reducing violent crimes across the united remains largely under achieved since the number of offenders over the years regarding violent crimes has remained significantly higher than expected in the first place. This means that the focus on mass incarceration is a burden to the United States system as well as the citizens who are funding the whole process through payment of taxes. It is an important consideration to ensure that there are better measures which need to be implanted to avoid burdening the united states citizens with a policy whose long term success is high questionable. The many years that mass incarceration in the United States has been operational haslittle success to show despite spending billions of dollars in maintaining mass incarceration(Vogel, 29 – 35).
Mass incarceration does not prioritize rehabilitation but believes that it is better to control violent crimes in the United States by increasing the sentencing period of major criminal offenses. The focus on punitive aspect has really created a very different level of focus under which it would be possible to have an improved environment under which positive behavior is a priority. Mass incarceration advocates for punishment in the sense that even if an individual is imprisoned for 20 years, it is more satisfying to ensure that they complete the 20 years jail sentence without parole rather than emphasizing on behavioral change through development of effective behavior control strategies where inmates would be eligible for parole based on their behavioral consideration. Thus,the focus that has been effectively developed has created a very difficult environment where reintegration of inmates into the society has become a real problem. It is very difficult for an individual who has been in prison for so long to have a better focus and understanding on important elements within the society since the objective in this case is to punish and not to rehabilitate despite focus on both by the criminal justice system. Adopting a better and improved strategy would have created a better environment where offenders who have demonstrated their changed behavior to the society through community service and allow for better reintegration into the society(Herivel and Wright, 36).
The mass incarceration policy does not emphasize on the healing process for both the offender and the victim that makes it very difficult to have a better interaction even after 30 years. Convicting someone for a very long period does not help avert the previous offense that was committed and in the promises, the society does not heal properly. Conviction creates short-term satisfaction on the part of the victim. If an individual is arrested for homicide, they are likely to spend many years or even life imprisonment. This ruling is satisfying to the family of the victim at that particular moment because they are highly filled with anger and ranger(Martensen, 26). However, the pain does not usually go away after the realization that the situation cannot be changed. Such individuals need to be undertaken through a healing process where they can be able to learn and accept what happened as well positively engaging the offender in realizing the mistake done through rehabilitation rather than focusing on longer sentences without effective counter measures. When an individual understands that, the action they took was wrong they are more likely to reflect on their behavior and opt to change. The situation is very different to those who are incarcerated for long period since they develop stronger negative charactersbecause of their stay in prison and go to an extent of establishing jail as their homes. It is very difficult to deal with such individual because they have developed a very string negative character where they focus on justifying their actions rather than feeling remorseful(Lobuglio and Phelp, 61).
The current suggestions regarding the review of mass incarceration policy is a clear indication that the policy has become a problem and not solution to high rate of violent crimes in the United States. There is need to develop positive measures where better decisions can be made which focus on having a positive impact within the society as well as improving the need to focus on both punishment and rehabilitation. Mass incarceration has become a huge problem limiting the overall growth of the country due to massive resources, which are being invested to force the system to work despite open indications of failure.
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