Titel: Race to incarcerate
In recent years, Mauer, the assistant director of the Sentencing Project in Washington, D.C., has raised one of the few voices in the media decrying the explosive increase in the U.S. prison population, and especially the high percentages of incarcerated young black men. In this sober, nuanced analysis, he assesses how we have come to lock up offenders "at a rate 6 to 10 times that of most comparable countries"Aa rate that represents a 500% increase since 1972. Meanwhile, "about the best that can be said is that crime rates in some categories are no worse than they were when only one sixth as many inmates filled the nation's prisons." The major culprits for the expanded rolls, he contends, are mandatory sentencing statues and the "war on drugs" that began in the early '80s. Yet the evidence is too murky to prove that increased incarceration leads to a lowered crime rate, Mauer argues. With some crimes, notably drug peddling, offenders are often "replaced" on the streets, since "a thriving market exists with the potential for lucrative profits." His policy solutionsAjobs, educationAmight be dismissed as "hopelessly liberal," he acknowledges, but they're what work for the middle class; while they may not fully address the complexities of the underclass, there is evidence that they help. He also argues for increased drug treatment. Pointing out some potent unintended consequences of overcrowded prisons, Mauer cites displaced criminal justice resources, significant African-American disenfranchisement and family disruption (including increased sexual bargaining power for unimprisoned black men, and thus more illegitimacy).
2001, pag., Euro 10,9
New Press, New York, ISBN 9781565846838
This page last updated on: 13-1-2015