Respond to the stated question,
including any relevance to and implications on the field of criminal justice. Be sure to discuss the issue(s) to which the
question pertain(s). Remarks can include your opinion(s), but must be
based on experience, research, and/or prior learning. Use this exercise to
foster a rich dialogue with your colleagues about issues that are important to
the field of criminal justice.
During the span of the discussion, you must post to this board on four
Your initial posting must be no less than 350 words and is due.
You will also be required to post responses to at least three of your colleagues’ initial
postings. Responses must be no less than 100 words, be posted on at least three
unique days, and are due.initial post 350 wordsresponse to 1-3 100 wordsStated Question(initial post): As you
read the prison time line, you will see that records start around 1940’s with
approximately 200,000 inmates per year. Today, or at least with the
latest statistics available we have adults under correctional supervision there
is 1 in 35 reportedly under the Department of Corrections. In
looking at the reported censes data, you find the following:·1940- 132.2 Million People with
approximately 200,000 under correctional supervision= less than 1% of the total
population·2010- 208.7 million people with million
people under correctional supervision= 3% of the populationThe increase of 2% over
the last 70 years identifies a drastic increase. Some of the questions that
have been posed are: Have we gotten stiffer laws? Is there
more people taking on the life of Crime? Is society becoming more
violent? With all of the questions, what is the truth? For this assignment, what
is your opinion on why crime has gone up 2%? #1.
to The Sentencing Project, they found that changes in sentencing laws and
policies are responsible for most of the increases. They also do not compare it
to changes in crime rates. With the major increase in prisoners, it has led to
prison overcrowding. When looking at the difference between federal and
state institutions, it shows there are major differences on what types of
people go to what type of location.You would assume that most violent
offenders would be sent to a federal institution. However, in 2015, there
were 54.5% violent inmates in state prisons compared to the 7.7% in a federal
prison in 2016 (The Sentencing Project, 2018). Another alarming number
showed there were 47.5% of inmates in federal prisons for drug related crimes
compared to the 15.2% in a state prison. Many will question are there
more repeat drug offenders that are sent to a federal prison over a state
prison? Or have the laws strengthen and got more severe? I will discuss
my findings later in this discussion post.Looking throughout the years at the
difference in what stage most of the population is in under the corrections
system may be alarming to many. Most individuals are on probation.
The numbers for individuals in prison, jail and on parole are large in 2016,
however, the individuals on probation is almost triple all other areas. Another
interesting fact is the increase on drug related crimes. When the War on Drugs
era started, it resulted in a dramatic growth of individuals in incarnation
(The Sentencing Project, 2018).Earlier in this discussion, I stated how it
was alarming the number of individuals in a federal prison compared to a state
prison for drug related crimes. The reason is the fact of harsher
sentencing laws. Furthermore, harsh sentencing laws such as mandatory minimums
keep many people convicted of drug offenses in prison for longer periods of
time: in 1986, people released after serving time for a federal drug offense
had spent an average of 22 months in prison. By 2004, people convicted on
federal drug offenses were expected to serve almost three times that length: 62
months in prison (The Sentencing Project, 2018). Many individuals who are
placed in state prisons are there because they aren’t considered high in the
drug trade business and have never had prior convictions.ReferencesThe Sentencing Project. (2018). Trends in U.S.
Corrections [Fact Sheet]. Retrieved from https://sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2…#2. Violent crime rates have been climbing
steadily since 1940 probably even earlier. I think there are many reasons for
this change in the prison time line. First and foremost, I think that back in
the 1940’s there were not as many laws established as there are now so even if
people committed the acts back then they did not get arrested for them.
Sentencing policies have changed and expanded over the decades. Which means
that the prison admission after an arrest as well as the time served in prions
have changed. For example in 1980 drug imprisonment for drug related offenses
were minimal ranging at a rate of 15 for every 100,000 versus in 2010 where
drug arrest jumped to 143 out of 100,000 ( National Research Council, 2014). It is
also likely that crimes have not been reported the way they are now. Social
media and news are much more involved in today’s crime reports than they were
back in 1940, when media was not very predominant at all.Back in 1940
the police departments did not have the same tools to determine the number of
crimes as they do now, they were not as technologically advanced as they are
now. I believe that the same crimes that happen today did happen back in 1940
as well, however a lot of the crimes went unreported. In 1973 the Justice
Department insisted on helping the police department improving their upkeep of
records (Jencks, 1991).Another theory
is that crime has increased predominately in poor black communities. In 1986,
when the crack epidemic rose so did violence in poor black neighborhoods. Since
then racial disparities have also grown and the numbers of arrests and
incarcerations of minorities have increased drastically.Additionally,
the number of people in prison has increased due to the expansion of
correctional facilities. Back in 1940 there weren’t as many prions available as
there are now, so they did not have the capacity to arrest as many people as
they do now.References:National Research Council 2014. The Growth of Incarceration in the
United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Washington, DC. The National
https://doi.org/10.17226/18613Jenks, C (1991) Is violent crime increasing? Retrieved from:
http://prospect.org/article/violent-crime-increasing#3. More criminals are getting
caught. That is one reason, I believe, that can be attributed to the increase
in the number of people under correctional supervision. DNA, previously used primarily
for determining paternity, made its way into the legal system in the in the
late 1980’s. The first conviction based on DNA evidence did not occur until
1987. As time passes and techniques evolve and improve, DNA and forensic
science play a substantial role in criminals being arrested and convicted,
methods that were not always available in the criminal justice system. People’s
biological evidence is gathered and put into a system. Systems turn into
databases and databases eventually become widely used across states and
agencies. Criminals, who could previously commit crime in one area and hide
behind anonymity and relocate to another county or state, no longer have that ability.
With the advent of databases that exist now, such as CODIS, law enforcement
agencies are attempting to streamline their ability to communicate with each
other. With no statute of limitations on murder, cold-case murders can
eventually be solved if biological evidence was obtained and never tested prior
to the 1980’s.Another significant result of
DNA being used in the legal system and the increase of people under
correctional supervision is the conviction of sexual predators. Many agencies
have an enormous backlog of rape kits. In 2017 for example, there were an
estimated 17,000 rape kits that had not yet been tested. In Houston, 6,800 were
untested and more than 11,000 each in Los Angeles and Memphis. Depending on a
particular state’s statute of limitation with regard to sexual assault, this
can account for a number of convictions. Then there is technology.
Cameras are everywhere: outside of businesses and residences, at ATMs, on
interstate toll roads, and traffic lights at intersections, to name a few. Cash
registers keep electronic records of receipts, so police can discover what a
suspect has purchased. Phone records can show the numbers that a person has
called and when, and from where the call originated. Cell phone records,
although not an exact science, can reveal the location of a person and where
they have traveled based on cell towers. Laws have changed, people get
desperate during economic downfalls and turn to crime, and people are ignorant
about forensic science. I believe, over the years, more people are not getting
away with their crimes due to the evolution of forensic science and technology.
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