SOCY 300 WK 6
In the U.S. jails are run by sheriffs and local governments and designed to hold people awaiting trial or serving short sentences - generally 6 months or less.
Prisons are operated by the state and Federal Government (Bureau of Prisons) and are designed to hold people convicted of crimes.
Keep in mind that despite efforts to address U.S. incarceration rates, the U.S. continues to have the highest rates in the world:
U.S. Correctional Population at Lowest Level in over a Decade by Timothy Williams, Dec. 29, 2016 N.Y. Times A-16
"The nation's jail and prison population decreased in 2015, according to federal data released by the Pew Research Center, and the number of adults locked up or on parole or probation fell to a level not seen since 2002 while overall crime continued to drop.
Reasons for the declining incarceration rates include the federal prison system releasing thousands of nonviolent drug offenders in 2015 and states seeking to save money by enacting legislation and policies to reduce prison populations."
Please review the Power Point lecture and all assigned material for this week before posting. Answer my questions with a new topic and respond to two other students' posts. Keep in mind that it is important to respect others' posts in your replies/comments. We are discussing important but controversial issues facing American society. If possible support your post with empirical support.
1. What effect will the change in policy announced by the current U.S. Attorney General have on the 2015 findings released by the Pew Research Center featured in the text by Timothy Williams above?
2.What is the relationship between mandatory minimum sentencing and mass incarceration?
3. Is there a relationship between privatization of prisons and the U.S. incarceration rate? Please explain.
4. What has been the policy shift of the Trump administration in terms of private prisons?(See the NPR video on the Cost of Private Prisons.)
5. What would be the possible outcomes in the policy changes announced by the current Attorney General according to those interested in criminal justice reform? See this week's Powerpoint lecture.)
6. What is the relationship between poverty and jail incarceration according to the (NPR) Fresh Air discussion on this topic? In an important update on this topic, in late August 2018 the California state legislature voted to eliminate "cash-bail" from it's criminal justice process. This legislation was meant to address the issues discussed in the NPR program.
7. How have recent changes in immigration policy including: criminal prosecution of immigrants attempting entry to the U.S. at our borders and separation of children from parents affected the private prison industry?
FYI - OPTIONAL - Additional material for those interested in the topic.
For those interested in examining either incarceration policy or poverty in the U.S. for the final assessment (research) paper, you might find the Pew and Villanova University Reports referenced in the quote below and accessed with the links provided significant.
"We have paid a heavy price for mass incarceration and could benefit by reversing the trend. It has been estimated that at least 53% of those entering prison were living at or below the U.S. poverty line when their sentences began.
Incarceration leads to a 40% decrease in annual earnings, reduced job tenure, and higher unemployment . A Pew Charitable Trust study revealed that two-thirds of former inmates with earnings in the bottom fifth upon release in 1986 remained at or below that level 20 years later.
A Villanova University study concluded that "had mass incarceration not occurred, poverty would have decreased by more than 20%...and several million fewer people would have been in poverty in recent years."
Much more can be learned about the findings of the Vera Institute report on U.S. jails by accessing the Diane Rehm program discussing the report in detail:
2. Go to past programs list and find the link to the program on the Vera Report and The Misuse of Jails in the U.S. aired on 2-12-15 at 10AM EST.