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Massive Incarceration: a Racial Perspective

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Massive Incarceration: A Racial Perspective
Sociology 350N

Abstract
In 2010 there was a significant imbalance in the incarceration rate of males within the U.S.; these differences were among the ethnic groups of Caucasian (white), Hispanic and African American (black). In reference to the number of people incarcerated per 100,000 in their individual group, black males had the highest number of inmates, followed by Hispanic males; however, white males had the lowest number of prisoners (Wagner, 2012). We must ask the question “why”. Why and how is this occurring? The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world; so, is the system that was designed to protect and serve abusing its power. Some factors that can possibly be contributing to this disproportion is socioeconomic status, prejudices within the criminal justice system and power investments.

Massive Incarceration: A Racial Perspective
Introduction
Today the US makes up for about 5% of the world’s population and carries 25% of the world’s prisoners, this 20% difference shows that the US imprisons more people then actually living in the country (NAACP, 2015). This is the highest prison population when compared to other countries. Records show from 1980 to 2008, the number of individuals that have been incarcerated has quadrupled from 500,000 to 2.3 million (NAACP, 2015). During that time frame crime & poverty rates have also increased dramatically, while unemployment & educational reading and test scores have declined. This is a major issues that congress and national leaders are trying to combat and improve upon. However, when looking at the amount of individuals within the correctional system, are these leaders really doing what they were appointed to do or just masking the problem. According to the NAACP, when combining the number of people in prison and jail with

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