Friday, March 10, 2017
The United States has one percent of its adult population locked up behind bars. One out of four prisoners IN THE WORLD is behind bars in the US. Over 50 percent of those incarcerated in a federal prison is convicted of a crime related to drugs. Here is a visual representation of the prison population. Approximately 16 percent of those incarcerated in America suffer from a mental illness. Here is an article from the International Herald detailing the shocking size of the US penal population. We have not always been this incarcerated. This link shows what offenses Americans are being incarcerated for; note how few are actually violent offenders. Are these statistics surprising? How does this affect our society? How should we begin working to change this dynamic, or is the system fine the way it is? Do you see how the relativity of deviance affects this? As attitudes change, laws change, and that affects who is incarcerated and how society deals with it.
See this story from the NYTimes by Audra Burch about Rob Sullivan. It that highlights how agents of socialization play a role in the life of many who are imprisoned as well as the effects of drugs and addiction on the prison system and how the private troubles of those who are incarcerated are also public issues.
Here is a link to the prison in the episode of 30 Days in Prison. Why aren't more prisons providing the assistance to inmates to turn their life around? Wouldn't it benefit all of society and all of us if inmates received help to adjust to life on the outside of prison?