American Prison

The Social Sciences

      American prison have a disparity of minority inmate population. Is this trend due to a higher rate of minority crimes or the manner in which the judicial system operates.
Shelden, Randall G.1
Review of Policy Research. Jan2004, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p5-12. 8p.
Document Type:
Subject Terms:
NAICS/Industry Codes:
922150 Parole Offices and Probation Offices
This article provides an overview of recent trends in imprisonment rates in America and introduces the articles in this issue of The Review of Policy Research. Incarceration rates have increased by more than 500 percent since the early 1970s and have now reached a rate of almost 700, higher than anywhere else in the world. The impact has been particularly hard on racial minorities, especially women (whose incarceration rate went from around 8 in 1975 to 59 in 2001). The "war on drugs" has been one of the main reasons behind the increases in imprisonment, along with the more general "get tough on crime" movement that began in the late 1970s. The articles in this issue center around how this recent trend in incarceration impacts the entire society, but especially poor communities. Several of the articles focus on race, age and gender as important variables, in addition to the tendency of the parole system to sort of "recycle" released prisoners back into the prison system.[ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]1
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