Prison Populations

Prison Populations - an increase in the number of people...

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Prison Populations Jennifer O’neal CJS/200 University of Phoenix Online The article I found is titled Imprisonment in the United States and was written 2001. This article states that there a few different causes of increased prison populations. One possible cause is that in the 1980s the public opinion on crime was that being a criminal was a life style choice. This belief caused more behaviors to be criminalized for both men and women. Issues such as age, coercion, and even mental illness began to be considered less often when handing down sentences (Imprisonment in the United States, 2001). This led to mentally ill and young adolescents being put into adult prison populations. It also led to harsher drug laws, longer sentences, and an expanded use of the death penalty. Instead of imprisonment being used as a last resort it is more commonly used as a first response to petty crimes and nonviolent offenses. Even though more people are putting in prison there
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Unformatted text preview: an increase in the number of people committing offenses cannot explain the trend. It is believed that three social policies are mainly responsible for this increase in prison populations. Those three policies are; use of imprisonment for drug possession or other drug offenses, three-strikes legislation mandating long prison sentences for third-time offenders, and truth-in-sentencing legislation mandating long prison terms across offense categories (Imprisonment in the United States, 2001). As a result of these mandatory prison sentences thousands of people have been sent to prison for terms of 50 years or longer. References Imprisonment in the United States. (2001). In Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender. Retrieved June 4, 2011 from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/estwomen/imprisonment_in_the_united_states...
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