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The Prison Industrial Complex and Mass Incarceration

20 Pages 4961 Words January 2019

The population of individuals in Federal, State and County prisons is over 2,500,000. There are over 65 million people that have some sort of prison record. More than the population of France. This paper will examine some of the reasons for such an incredible increase in the prison population and who are the primary beneficiaries of having such a large prison population. You will hear from individuals who have spent years in prison, how they got there and what happened while they were incarcerated. Also, in those conversations, they will discuss, after their release from prison, what they experienced as a convicted felon in housing, employment, stigma, family, children. You will also hear from two legislators in the Massachusetts State House who are proactive in criminal justice reform as well as comments from a police commissioner still active and his opinions regarding restorative justice and reentry programs.

The “War on Drugs” essentially started with Richard Nixon it was the principal cause of the increase in mass incarceration especially of non-violent so-called criminals and lead to racial profiling. It relates to the mass incarceration of individuals that are non-violent due to recreational use of drug use. Reagan’s “War on Drugs” his administration escalated the problem. It was during this period that there was an increased use of crack cocaine primarily in black neighborhoods, better known as black ghettos. Private Prisons (this will be discussed in further detail later) because of the increase of incarceration of non-violent individuals due to the use of crack cocaine there was a significant problem of overpopulation in correctional facilities. Private Prisons which are funded privately could help offset the cost of State or Federal correctional facilities. Media promotion of the “War on Drugs” the media was instrumental in promoting the need for this new” War.” In it’s being manipulated by the ...

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