Punishment and Inequality in America

Western argues that the prison boom came up at the expense of those who are economically and politically marginalised and this was mostly the African American people. Western puts forward a very strong case for these claims by looking at the history of the matter and how it has trended. Official statistics also seem to support what Western is talking about. For instance, statistic s show that since the1960s, the number of prisoners who have not education has increased much faster as compared to the number of those with economic power. Western is at the same time able to connect two important factors which include poverty, racial and ethnic minorities etc (Kenworthy, 1–16). For instance, as the number of lowly educated people has continued to dominate the incarceration centres, this has continued to be more in African Americans as compared to Latinos, and more in Latinos as compared to Caucasians. In fact, according to statistics quoted by Western, younger black people are seven times more likely to go to prison compared to white people. This is evidenced by a comparison between the number of young African American people in prison compare do their white counterparts and in relation to the ratios in the population. Western quotes that compared to the ratio of African Americans and whites in the population on, the number of African Americans in prisons compared the same of white people is alarmingly high. Western is able to connect poverty to s activity and the levels of incarceration, both in theory and as supported by hard statistics. He argues that that poor members of the society are more likely to participate in criminal activities, first, due to the fact hat they have little, if anything to lose if they are caught by the long arm of the law, and secondly, because they seen this as an alterative to solve their economic issues. Most of the people in prisons are involved in economic-related crimes such as gang activity, robbery, theft etc. As a result, as long as criminal activity is associated with economic status, having a prison system that fails to recognize this will only lead to what Western is talking about. The modern law breaker is looked at with scorn and hatred and as an enemy who must be severely punished. This new attitude towards the offenders has not only led to increased levels of law breaking but as Western postulates, has led to the following factors. More Economically Disoriented Post Prison Lives Western’s argument that the prison boom has lead to a situation where the prisons and jails have become place of hard punishment as opposed to places of rehabilitations. As a result, these who go there, even for a short time end up being disoriented from the normal social live which leads recidivism. As a result, those who find themselves in this cycle end up being in a situation where they are not able to start living normally. As a result, the prisons are emitting outcasts. These social and economic outcasts are creating their own society of disoriented people.

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