“Raymond V. Liedka, of Oakland University in Michigan, and colleagues have found that the crime-fighting effects of prison disappear once the incarceration rate gets too high. “If the buildup goes beyond a tipping point, then additional incarceration is not going to gain our society any reduction in crime, and may lead to increased crime,” Dr. Liedka said.”
There is nothing unintentional about what has happened with our incarceration rates and prison system in this country over the past 2 decades or so. Since the latest scheme of enslaving people has taken root in this country, everything has gone exactly according to the plans of the slave-owners, a.k.a. the private prison industry- which is supported and funded by the very legislators we elect.
To call the current system a ‘poverty trap’ is an understatement…it isn’t an accidental trap; it is intentional and well planned. Every time something is proven to reduce recidivism rates, that *something* is magically removed from the equation. Strong outside ties help prisoners? Well then, let’s move prisoners farther from home, charge outrageous rates for phone calls and then…ah yes…let’s go ALL out and mandate that prisoners only be allowed to receive 1 postcard a month instead of long letters from home…
And if poverty increases incarceration rates well by all means…let’s make it impossible for anyone even arrested to ever rise above the poverty and earn their way out of the system via legal employment. There is no profit to be made by allowing people to serve a short, fitting sentence for actual crimes (vs non-crimes such as drug use) and then letting them return to the free world and get on with the business of earning a real living wage and becoming part of productive society and our legislators (you know, those folks who own stock in prison companies or at the very least, accept
bribes campaign contributions from prison companies) damn well know it.
Excerpts, NYTimes- “The shift to tougher penal policies three decades ago was originally credited with helping people in poor neighborhoods by reducing crime. But now that America’s incarceration rate has risen to be the world’s highest, many social scientists find the social benefits to be far outweighed by the costs to those communities.
“Prison has become the new poverty trap,” said Bruce Western, a Harvard sociologist. “It has become a routine event for poor African-American men and their families, creating an enduring disadvantage at the very bottom of American society.”
Among African-Americans who have grown up during the era of mass incarceration, one in four has had a parent locked up at some point during childhood. For black men in their 20s and early 30s without a high school diploma, the incarceration rate is so high — nearly 40 percent nationwide — that they’re more likely to be behind bars than to have a job.
No one denies that some people belong in prison. Mr. Harris, now 47, and his wife, 45, agree that in his early 20s he deserved to be there. But they don’t see what good was accomplished by keeping him there for two decades, and neither do most of the researchers who have been analyzing the prison boom.
The number of Americans in state and federal prisons has quintupled since 1980, and a major reason is that prisoners serve longer terms than before. They remain inmates into middle age and old age, well beyond the peak age for crime…
…Epidemiologists have found that when the incarceration rate rises in a county, there tends to be a subsequent increase in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy, possibly because women have less power to require their partners to practice protected sex or remain monogamous.
When researchers try to explain why AIDS is much more prevalent among blacks than whites, they point to the consequences of incarceration, which disrupts steady relationships and can lead to high-risk sexual behavior. When sociologists look for causes of child poverty and juvenile delinquency, they link these problems to the incarceration…” Full Story Here