soci212 assignment 2 social problem

soci212 assignment 2 social problem - Crime and...

This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 10 pages.

Crime and Incarceration Rates in America Travis Snyder American Military University
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Crime and Incarceration Rates in America The United States imprisons more people than any other country, which is ironic as we’re known as the “land of the free,” while 25% of all prisoners in the world are in American jails and prisons, although the general population in America is only 5% of the world (Rabuy & Kopf, 2015). It’s also ironic that American’s are often led to believe they can succeed and live the “American Dream,” however, the poor face many inequalities and hardships, in which negatively impacts their social mobility, as it’s extremely difficult to improve their status within the social stratification system. This applies to prisoners as well, as there’s a great connection between the lower-class and crime, as well as high recidivism rates. Data shows that among all U.S. prisoners, the median average salary prior to their incarceration was approximately $19,500 (Rabuy & Kopf, 2015). This being the average median means many were surviving on much less. History of Crime in America from 1960 to Today From a functionalist perspective, the social structure theories can help explain how the root cause of crime could stem from the breakdown of societal norms and social organizations (Barkan, 2017). Social organizations such as schools and families that become weakened, as well as social bonds among the community, and conflicting social attitudes among society can lead to social disorganization (Barkan, 2017). The social disorganization theory can be applied to better understand what happened in the 1960s, as the United States went through a period of social unrest, in which crime rates doubled. In addition to functionalism, we could say there became a dysfunction within the social equilibrium of society in the 1960s, as many social issues emerged throughout America, negatively impacting the social control of society. Issues such as race riots in which
Image of page 2
stemmed from the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, along with antiwar protests, a rise in recreational drug use, and increased firearms sales, all of which led to strong social divides and rising crime rates, which doubled between 1960 and 1968. President Johnson responded by declaring war on crime, and in 1968 congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, in which established additional laws in an effort to lower the crime rate. As a result, the age limit to purchase a handgun was raised to 21, interstate trade of handguns became prohibited, which also led to the 1968 Gun Control Act, in which included additional regulations on firearm purchases and ownership, making it illegal for any prior felony offenses to possess firearms (Eisen, & Chettiar, 2015). The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) was also established, in which administered federal funding to law enforcement agencies across the nation in an effort to create and expand local crime initiatives, research, and educational programs as part of the war on crime (Hinton, 2015). In
Image of page 3

Subscribe to view the full document.

Image of page 4
You've reached the end of this preview.
  • Fall '15
  • Tinker
  • Sociology, Assignment 2, Define social problem

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern