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Schmidt 1

Emily Schmidt
ENG 123
Prof. Morris
Fall 2015
Rough Draft #1
Mass Incarceration with People of Color
Mass Incarceration in the United States is higher than any other country in the world.
Everyday more and more people are being thrown into prisons and being locked up for years.
Thomas P. Bonczar, who did a statistic with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, says, At yearend
2001, over 5.6 million U.S. adults had ever served time in State or Federal prison. There are
some who are not given the same chance as others. Over the years Mass Incarceration has
become a big problem in the United States, especially in regards to areas of colored people. In
this research paper I will focus on the colored people in prisons and the effects that it has on
them in the years after being imprisoned.
Mass Incarceration has been a problem in the United States for many years. People get
locked up and then come back into society and cannot keep up with the new way of life, this is
especially true of people of color. People of other ethnicities have a much greater chance of
being imprisoned sometime in their life. Of adults in 2001 who had ever served time in prison,
nearly as many were black (2,166,000) as were white (2,203,000). An estimated 997,000 were
Hispanic (Bonczar). From this statistic it is clear that there are many more Hispanics
incarcerated than any other ethnicity in the United States. Sine this statistic was taken in 2001 the
number of blacks in prison has also gone way up.
The history of African-Americans being imprisoned goes back to when they were treated
as slaves before the Civil War. They were treated very poorly, and were only around to help make
life easier for the white people. Ever since they have been in America they have been treated
differently. Colored people have not been given the same amount of respected as white people in

Schmidt 2
the United States. During the Civil War they were looked down upon and still to this day have
that mark on them. It is said the one out of every six African Americans will end up in prison
during some point in their life. After the Civil War, there were laws know as the Jim Crow Law.
Jim Crow law, in U.S. history, [was] any of the laws that enforced racial segregation in the
South between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the beginning of the civil rights movement
in the 1950s (Urofsky).
There are many incidents in History, even after the Civil War, that show that White
people do not show as much respect as they should to Black people. One example of this deals
with a man named, Homer Plessy. Homer was an African-American man, but still a citizen of the
United States. Homer had bought a train ticket to Covington. When he got on the train and into
his seat someone stopped him and told him that he would have to go back to the train car for the
colored people. He did not move because he said that it was the seat that he had purchased and
that he should not have to move. He was later arrested because of it. After a night in jail, Plessy
appeared in criminal court before Judge John Howard Ferguson to answer charges of violating
the Separate Car Act (Urofsky).
Another example of this is the story of Rosa Parks. Most people are familiar with the
story of what happened with her. She was sitting on the bus and someone came and asked her to
move to the back because she was an African-American. She refused to give up her seat and it
caused a whole big situation to happen. Police were called and she was arrested for not giving
her seat up to the white person. This situation happened after the Civil War, when people were
supposed to have equal rights. Rosa Parks, who was sometimes referred to as, "the first lady of
civil rights" or "the mother of the freedom movement" once said, Racism is still with us. But it

Schmidt 3
is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall
overcome.
Other colored people are coming to the United States and getting a bad reputation
because some are here illegally, or they just come here and cause trouble. Since the people of
color have been given a bad reputation it hard for them to not do something wrong. Even if it
may not be that bad for the white person to do, if a person of color does the same thing it is
made into a huge ordeal. They are treated differently just because the color of their skin is
different than most Americans. Over the years the amount of colored people in prisons has gone
up. Over 60 percent of all inmates are colored, even though they only make up about 30 percent
of the United States population.
The use of drugs plays a big role as to why a lot of people are in prisons. People get
involved with things like drugs and cannot find a way to get away from it. According to an
article entitle, The History of Mass incarceration in the USin One Chart by Daily Kos, the
phenomenon of mass incarceration began to take off in 1973 with the "War on Drugs,"
ballooning in the subsequent decades under Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes. The prison
population in 2012 was almost ten times the average prison population from the post-war era
(1945-1973). There was also a rise in incarceration in 1986 when legislatures passed the Anti
Drug Abuse Act which caused harsher sentences for crack cocaine also helped to load the
penal system with black prisoners. Blacks and whites appear to use and sell drugs at similar
rates, yet blacks are considerably more likely to be arrested and to serve time in prison for drug
offenses (Hymdwitz).
And since 2012, the numbers just seem to keep going up. Today there are some 2.2
million people in the United States who are incarcerated. According to The Sentencing

Schmidt 4
Project, [Prisons have seen] a 500% increase over the past thirty years. The numbers continue
to rise today, and will continue to rise in the future, especially in regards to people of different
ethnicity. Incarceration rates for white and Hispanic men almost tripled between 1960 and 2010.
Today, 63 percent of inmates are white and Hispanic (Hymdwitz).
When people are released from prisons, they often do not have money and have no place
to live. It is very hard for them to make the transition from prison to society. A book written by,
Devah Pager, called, Marked; Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration,
talks about how when people are released from prison they are left with this mark that defines
who they are. The book also mentioned that Pager did a study that, sadly, it does matter your race
when they are trying to find work. The study done by Pager concluded that a white man straight
of prison had the same chance as an African-American man who had no criminal record. This
makes it even harder for an African-American man to try to reset his life with a fresh start, if they
are automatically given an unfair disadvantage.
How are people of color supposed to fit back in with the rest of society when they are not
given the same opportunities? They often fall back into the bad ways of life because they have no
other choice of what to do with their lives. A lot of times those in prisons are people who have
been there before and continue to make the same mistakes. On average, white men spend on
average 0.33 years imprisoned and 2.31 years marked(Patterson & Wildeman). Whereas for the
African-Americans, on average, black men spend on average 1.79 years imprisoned and
11.14 years marked (Patterson & Wildeman). African-American men are marked a lot longer
than the average white man. This is a crazy stat that proves the point that whites and AfricanAmericans are not treated the same in the American society. The average African-American man
spends about one-seventh of their working life in prison. Plus, after getting out of prison the

Schmidt 5
chance of getting a job again is very low. People do not want to hire a person who has any sort of
criminal record behind them.
People of color should get the same rights that white people should get. The only time
that it would be excitable to do otherwise is when the person is not a United States citizen and is
here illegally in the first place. If people would just treat everyone the same there would not be
so much talk about this. The number of colored people in prisons is extremely high, and the way
they have to live their lives after being released is not going to help them to change their ways.
Yes, newly released inmates should be marked for a little while, but after a while weather
white, black, or blue they should all be given a clean slate and be able to prove themselves in
society.
One solution to the problem would be to have prisons act as schools. The inmates learn
different skills that they can use later in life when released from prison. It would help them to
someday be able to get a job and make a living on their own. They would be able to fit back in
with the rest of society if they kept up to date with all the changes that people outside of prisons
see every day. Paraphrasing from an article written by Joan Petersilia, inmates are all assigned
different jobs, but a lot of the time the jobs do not benefit then in any way. Criminals are not
leaning anything in prison or are not likely to want to change their ways. They return to society
without a plan, without money, and without a good reputation.
In July of 2015 President Obama was working to get better education in prisons. The
goal is to test the effectiveness of higher education programs for a U.S. prison population that
has grown dramatically There's strong evidence that a range of prison education programs help
reduce recidivism and improve a prisoner's chances of thriving once released (Westervelt). This

Schmidt 6
would be huge in the United States, where it often seen that it is the same people making
mistakes and therefore having to be behind bars.
Westervelt did some research and said, What we found was that, if an individual
participates in any type of correctional education program whether it be adult basic ed, GED
preparation, college education or vocational training they had a 13 percentage point reduction
in their risk of being re-incarcerated... And for those that participated in post-secondary
education programs college programs their reduction in risk of re-incarceration was 16
percentage points. When talking about people in the millions being incarceration, 13 and 16
percent are a huge amount of people not going back to prisons!
Having prisons act like schools would benefit everyone in society. Those people, who
may have not been able to attend college, are now given the opportunity to change their lives and
take advantage of the situation. They are given a chance to change the path their life is on, and
are able to gain the skills necessary to get a job in society like the rest of the population. This is
similar to the relationship that Christians have with God, all people are sinners and God showed
us a new path, where believers could turn their lives around. Just like the Bible is used to teach
believers how to stay on the path, so to education is prisons could help inmates stay on the
straight path in life.
The Governor of New York is quoted in an article written by Jesse Saffron, Free College
for Prison Inmates. Cuomo says, Since the annual cost-per-inmate is $60,000, the governor
argued, the $5,000 required to educate one inmate is a small price to pay for a huge future
return. He is ultimately saying that because of the result that comes out of having education in
prisons, it is fine that the cost goes up $5,000. If it is something that is going to help the number

Schmidt 7
of people incarcerated become lower, than it is something the United States should look more
seriously at.
A second solution to help this problem in the United States is so re-evaluate where to
draw the line as to how really needs to be in prison for a long period of time. Prisons are
expensive, and the more the numbers grow, the more money that is going to have to go into
them. If the number of people incarcerated went down, the government would obviously not
have to put as much into the prisons and prison systems. There are two main ways that the prison
systems can be reduced.
The first in that the United States could lower the amount of people that they incarcerate
in the first place. Without hurting the general public, there are people in prisons who will not hurt
anybody anymore than any other person would. Instead of putting in prison all criminals, the
United States would use the prisons just for those inmates who are a threat to the citizens of the
United States. There are some people who are incarcerated, yet they would never hurt anybody,
but are in prison for something that they did that was against the law. Yes, someone may be
addicted to drugs, but many for something like that they do not necessarily have to be put into a
prison.
The second is to look at the people who are in prisons and see if there is any change in
their behavior. If inmates have shown over time that they have changed from their ways and are
now ready to be with the rest of society, then they should be let go. This would also help to lower
the imprisonment rate because those who are in prison but have now become better people would
be let go earlier than originally expected. It is already being seen today that prisoners are being
released because prisons are running out of room to put all the people.

Schmidt 8
The United States has more people incarcerated than any other country in the United
States, yet our population is not as high as other countries. Colored people are given an unfair
disadvantage and are not given the same respect as the white people who have also been
incarcerated. The United States could give an education to prisoners, or they could re-evaluate
who is actually in the prison systems. In an article called, Unwinding Mass Incarceration, the
author, Lobuglio talks about how he thinks that the United States should use a method that the
state of Massachusetts uses in that, criminal histories revealed to potential employers at 10
years for felony convictions and five years for misdemeanors.
As Christians, we should care about these people in prisons and want them to get on the
straight path in life. A way for us to do this is to go into the prisons and talk to people. Tell them
that Jesus does not care what they may have done in their past. If they confess their sins and
proclaim Jesus as their Savior, they will be in heaven with all the other believers. We are assured
of this in Romans chapter 10, verse nine, where is says, If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus
is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Maybe
you are a person who does not think that they could actually go into a prison to talk to people,
send a letter and become a pen pal with a person that is in prison.
Another thing that might be something easy for a Christian to do, is to try to help people
who are just out of prison, find a job. Be a friend to them, they are just coming out of prison so
there is a never high chance that they are not going to have a lot of friends. It will make is easier
for them to stay out of trouble when they have a Christian friend helping them to stay out of the
situation that they were in to get into prison in the first place.
Mass Incarceration is a big problem in the United States and will continue to grow if
something is not done about the number or people being put behind bars every year. There are

Schmidt 9
some who have really changed, but are still in prison and will continue to be until something
changes. Prisons should offer education to inmates to help make an easier adjustment back into
society when they are released. This would help improve their chances of being able to one day
have a job and maybe support a family.

Schmidt 10
Works Cited
Bonczar, Thomas P. "Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001." Bureau of
Justice Statistics (BJS) - Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001.
N.p., 17 Aug. 2003. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Hymowitz, Kay. "The Breakdown of the Black Family." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company,
4 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees. "The History of Mass Incarcertion in the US." Daily Kos.
N.p., 24 July 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Lobuglio, Stefan F, and Anne Morrison Piehl. "Unwinding Mass Incarceration." Issues in
Science and Technology Vol. 32.Issue 1 (2015): P56-61. Print.
Pager, Devah. Marked; Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration.
Chicago: U of Chicago, 2007. Print.
Patterson, Evelyn J, and Christopher Wildeman. "Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course
Revisited: Cumulative Years Spend Imprisoned and Marked for Working-age Black
and White Men." Social Science Research Vol. 53 (2015): P325-337. Print.
Petersilia, Joan. "Prisons Can Be Cages or Schools." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 16
Oct. 2005. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Saffron, Jesse. "Free College for Prison Inmates." National Review Online. 28 Feb. 2014. Web.
29 Nov. 2015.
The Sentencing Project. "The Sentencing Project News - Incarceration." The Sentencing Project
News - Incarceration. N.p., 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Urofsky, Melvin I. "Jim Crow Law | United States [1877-1954]." Encyclopedia Britannica
Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 29 Nov. 2015
Westervelt, Eric. "Measuring The Power Of A Prison Education." NPR. NPR, 31 July 2015.

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Web. 29 Nov. 2015

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Smarthinking's E-structor Response Form
(Your marked-up essay is below this form.)
HOW THIS WORKS: Your e-structor has written overview comments about your essay in the
form below. Your e-structor has also embedded comments [in bold and in brackets]
throughout your essay. Thank you for choosing Smarthinking's OWL; best wishes with
revising your paper!
*Strengths of the essay:

Welcome, Emily! I'm Keren C., and I'll be your tutor for this session. To begin with,
you began your introduction with factual evidence that shows how many people are
imprisoned in the US: Thomas P. Bonczar, who did a statistic with the Bureau
of Justice Statistics, says, At yearend 2001, over 5.6 million U.S. adults
had ever served time in State or Federal prison. Through these figures, it
wont be hard for the readers to see how serious the problem is about the prisoners
in the US. Good start, Emily!
Main Idea/Thesis:
Moving forward, lets discuss how to improve your paper starting with your thesis statement. If youre
not asked to have an announcing thesis like the one you have now, you would want to revise your
thesis to be fully assertive; the main idea will be clearer: In this research paper, I will focus on the
colored people in prisons and I will pose two solutions to the problem of mass incarceration.
Remember that a thesis is supposedly an assertion, not an announcement of intent, so it shouldnt
refer to the paper or what the writer will do but rather the topic. Instead of using such phrases as In
this paper, I will, simply write your claim directly.
Weaker:

In this paper, I will discuss why global warming is a problem and propose solutions to
address it.

Stronger:

The only way to solve the problem on global warming (problem) is for the
government to pass more effective environmental laws, apply stricter implementation
systems, and execute graver consequences (solutions).

Notice how my second example became a stronger assertion at the same time outlining the content of
my paper in just one sentence. If your topic is about mass incarceration, then whats your main point
about it? What will you discuss to prove that point? See if you can revise your thesis using my second
example as guide. For more help in writing thesis statements, please feel free to visit this link from
the handbook: Thesis Development (Chapter 3, Lesson 6).
Content Development:
Next, you would also want to make sure that your thesis and content in the body section match. They
dont right now. For instance, you pointed out in your thesis that the problem youll address is mass
incarceration. But then you discuss the problem after prisoners are released from prison, especially
the Hispanic:

Schmidt 13
People become incarcerated and then come back into society and cannot keep up with the new
ways of life; this is especially true of people of color. People of other ethnicities have a much
greater chance of being imprisoned sometime in their lives. Of adults in 2001 who had ever
served time in prison, nearly as many were black (2,166,000) as were white (2,203,000). An
estimated 997,000 were Hispanic (Bonczar).
So what is really the problem you are addressing: mass incarceration or the reentry of these released
prisoners to society? If you cant determine which problem you are addressing, then how can you be
sure that the solutions you proposed will work? Its like giving a cold medicine for fever. Instead of
addressing the problem, it might only worsen the condition.
Before you present your solutions to the readers, make sure that youve established first the problem
you wish to address. If you wish to focus about the reentry of released prisoners to society especially
the Hispanics, then revise your thesis. if you wish to focus about mass incarceration, then revise the
content of your body section.
*Emily N 8038576 has requested that you respond to the Word Choice:
Finally, properly document your borrowed information to avoid plagiarism. Take for instance this part:
Paraphrasing from an article written by Joan Petersilia, inmates are all assigned different jobs, but a
lot of the time the jobs do not benefit then in any way.
A proper documentation is required whenever you present borrowed information. When you quote or
paraphrase the words of an author, the idea is not of your own, so you need to document where you
got the information. This will let the readers know where they can get more information about your
topic so that you wont be accused of plagiarism, which as you might know, is a serious offense.
You seem to be using the MLA format in this assignment. With this format, it uses the author-page
style: Children exposed to violent computer games tend to be more aggressive than those who do not
(Havergaal 32).
When you paraphrase, you dont need to tell that to your readers. Theyll not that when they see the
parenthetical citations at the end of the borrowed information. Using this example, how will you
properly document your borrowed information above? Where else in your draft did you present
borrowed information without properly citing the source?
*Emily N 8038576 has requested that you respond to the Grammar & Mechanics:
Since the quality of your draft needs some more improvement, focus first on the areas I commented
above before we review your grammar issues. In the meantime, if you want to read more about
comma usage, use this link: Comma Usage (Chapter 5, Lesson 9).
Summary of Next Steps:
Emily, consider the following while revising your problem-solution paper:

Present an assertive thesis statement.

Make sure that the thesis and content of the body section match.

Schmidt 14

Properly document your borrowed ideas to avoid plagiarism.

Im confident you can produce a better draft through these revisions! -Keren C.

Find additional resources in Smarthinking's online library:


You can find more information about writing, grammar, and usage in Smarthinking's
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ass Incarceration in the United States is higher than any other country
in the world. Every day, more and more people are being thrown into
prisons and being held as inmates for years. Thomas P. Bonczar, who
did a statistic with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, says, At yearend

2001, over 5.6 million U.S. adults had ever served time in State or Federal prison. There are
some who are not given the same chance as others. Over the years, mass incarceration has
become a big problem in the United States, especially in regards to areas of colored people. In
this research paper, I will focus on the colored people in prisons and I will pose two solutions to
the problem of mass incarceration.

Schmidt 15
Mass incarceration has been a problem in the United States for many years. [Specific
details lead to specific ideas. Why is mass incarceration a problem for the US? What is
mass incarceration?] People become incarcerated and then come back into society and
cannot keep up with the new ways

of

life; this is especially true of people

of

color. People of other ethnicities


have a much greater chance of being
imprisoned sometime in their lives.
Of adults in 2001 who had ever
served time in prison, nearly as
many were black (2,166,000) as were white (2,203,000). An estimated 997,000 were Hispanic
(Bonczar). From this statistic, it is clear that there are many more Hispanics incarcerated than
any other ethnicity in the United States. Sine this statistic was taken in 2001, the number of
blacks in prison has also gone way up.
The history of African-Americans being imprisoned goes back to when they were treated
as slaves before the Civil War. They were treated very poorly, and were only around to help make
life easier for the white people. Ever since they have been in America, they have been treated
differently. Colored people have not been given the same amount of respect as white people in
the United States. During the Civil War, they were looked down upon and still to this day have
that mark on them. It is said the one out of every six African Americans will end up in prison
during some point in their life. After the Civil War, there were laws know as the Jim Crow
Laws. Jim Crow law, in U.S. history, [was] any of the laws that enforced racial segregation in

Schmidt 16
the South between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the beginning of the civil rights
movement in the 1950s (Urofsky). These Laws are still seen in society today.

There are many incidents in history,

Another example of this is the story

even after the Civil War, that show that

of Rosa Parks. Most people are familiar with

white people do not show as much respect as

the story of what happened with her. She

they should to black people. One example of

was sitting on the bus and someone came

this deals with a man named, Homer Plessy.

and asked her to move to the back because

Homer was an African-American man, but

she was an African-American. She refused

still a citizen of the United States. Homer

to give up her seat and it caused a situation

had bought a train ticket to Covington.

which escalated quickly. Police were called

When he boarded on the train and into his

and she was arrested for not giving her seat

seat, someone stopped him and told him that

up to the white person. This situation

he would have to go back to the train car for

happened after the Civil War, when people

the colored people. He did not move because

were supposed to have equal rights. Rosa

he said that it was the seat that he had

Parks, who was sometimes referred to as,

purchased and that he should not have to

"the first lady of civil rights" or "the mother

move. He was later arrested because of it.

of the freedom movement" once said,

After a night in jail, Plessy appeared in

Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to

criminal court before Judge John Howard

prepare our children for what they have to

Ferguson to answer charges of violating the

meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.

Separate Car Act (Urofsky).

This is a photo of Rosa Parks when she was


arrested in 1955.

Schmidt 17
History of Mass incarceration in the USin
Other
One Chart by Daily Kos, the
colored people are
phenomenon of mass incarceration began to
coming to the
take off in 1973 with the "War on Drugs,"
United States and getting a bad reputation
ballooning in the subsequent decades under
because some are here illegally. Since the
Reagan, Clinton, and both Bush presidents.
people of color have been given a bad
The prison population in 2012 was almost
reputation, it is hard for them to not do
ten times the average prison population
something wrong. Even if it may not be
from the post-war era (1945-1973). There
that bad for the white person to do, if a
was also a rise in incarceration in 1986 when
person of color does the same thing, it is
legislatures passed the Anti Drug Abuse
made into a huge ordeal. They are treated
Act which caused harsher sentences for
differently just because the color of their
crack cocaine also helped to load the penal
skin is different than most Americans. Over
system with black prisoners. Blacks and
the years, the amount of colored people in
whites appear to use and sell drugs at similar
prisons has gone up. Over 60 percent of all
rates, yet blacks are considerably more
inmates are colored, even though they only
likely to be arrested and to serve time in
make up about 30 percent of the United
prison for drug offenses (Hymdwitz). It is
States population.
clear to see that blacks and whites are
The use of drugs plays a big role as
looked at as equal by some police officials.
to why a lot of people are in prisons. People
And since 2012, the numbers just
get involved with things like drugs and
seem to keep going up. Today, there are
cannot find a way to get away from it.
some 2.2 million people in the United
According to an article entitled, The

Schmidt 18
States who are incarcerated. According to
The Sentencing Project, [Prisons have

This graph was taken from The Sentencing


Project website, and shows the rise in the
prison population from 1925-2013.

seen] a 500% increase over the past thirty

When people are released from

years. The numbers continue to rise today

prisons, they often do not have money and

and will continue to rise in the future,

have no place to live. It is very hard for

especially in regards to people of different

them to make the transition from prison to

ethnicity. Incarceration rates for white and

society. A book written by, Devah Pager,

Hispanic men almost tripled between 1960

called, Marked; Race, Crime, and Finding

and 2010. Today, 63 percent of inmates are

Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration, talks

white and Hispanic (Hymdwitz).

about how when people are released from


prison they are left with this mark that
defines who they are. The book also
mentioned that Pager did a study that, sadly,
the race of a person does not matter when
they are trying to find work. The study done
by Pager concluded that a white man
straight of prison had the same chance as an
African-American man who had no criminal
record. This makes it even harder for an
African-American man to try to reset his life
with a fresh start, if they are automatically
given an unfair disadvantage.

Schmidt 19
How are people of color supposed to

African-American man spends about one-

fit back in with the rest of society when they

seventh of their working life in prison. Plus,

are not given the same opportunities? They

after getting out of prison, the chance of

often fall back into the bad ways of life

getting a job again is very low. People do

because they have no other choice of what to

not want to hire a person who has any sort of

do with their lives. There have been cases

criminal record behind them.

where people in prisons are inmates who

People of color should get the same

have been there before and continue to make

rights that white people should get. The only

the same mistakes. On average, white men

time that it would be acceptable to do

spend on average 0.33 years imprisoned and

otherwise is when the person is not a United

2.31 years marked(Patterson & Wildeman).

States citizen and is here illegally in the first

Whereas for the African-Americans, on

place. The number of colored people in

average, black men spend on average

prisons is extremely high, and the way they

1.79 years imprisoned and 11.14 years

have to live their lives after being released is

marked (Patterson & Wildeman). African-

not going to help them to change their ways.

American men are marked a lot longer

Yes, newly released inmates should be

than the average white man. This is a crazy

marked for a little while, but after a while

stat that proves the point that whites and

whether white, black, or blue, they should

African-Americans are not treated the same

all be given a clean slate and be able to

in the American society. The average

prove themselves in society.

Schmidt 20
One solution to the problem would

In July of 2015, President Obama

be to have prisons act as schools. The

was working to get better education in

inmates learn different skills that they can

prisons. The goal is to test the effectiveness

use later in life when released from prison. It

of higher education programs for a U.S.

would help them to someday be able to get a

prison population that has grown

job and make a living on their own. They

dramatically There's strong evidence that

would be able to fit back in with the rest of

a range of prison education programs help

society if they kept up to date with all the

reduce recidivism and improve a prisoner's

changes that people outside of prisons see

chances of thriving once released

every day. Paraphrasing from an article

(Westervelt). This would be huge in the

written by Joan Petersilia, inmates are all

United States, where it is often seen that it is

assigned

the same people making mistakes and,

different

therefore, having to be behind bars.

jobs, but a

Westervelt did some research and

lot of the

said, What we found was that, if an

time the

individual participates in any type of

jobs do not benefit then in any way.

correctional education program whether

Criminals are not learning anything in prison

it be adult basic ed, GED preparation,

or are not likely to want to change their

college education or vocational training

ways. They return to society without a plan,

they had a 13 percentage point reduction in

without money, and without a good

their risk of being re-incarcerated... And for

reputation.

those that participated in post-secondary


education programs college programs

Schmidt 21
their reduction in risk of re-incarceration

population. This is similar to the relationship

was 16 percentage points. [The MLA uses

that Christians have with God, all people are

the present tense when recapping the idea

sinners and God showed us a new path,

of authors, for example: Jones argues that

where believers could turn their lives

the sun will implode in 100 years (32).

around. Just like the Bible is used to teach

Your verb said is in the past tense. So

believers how to stay on the path, so to

what is its present tense to properly follow

education is prisons could help inmates stay

MLA rules?] When talking about people in

on the straight path in life.

the millions being incarcerated, 13 and 16

The Governor of New York is quoted

percent are a huge amount of people not

in an article written by Jesse Saffron, Free

going back to prisons!

College for Prison Inmates. Cuomo says,

Having prisons act like schools

Since the annual cost-per-inmate is

would benefit everyone in society. Those

$60,000, the governor argued, the $5,000

people, who may have not been able to

required to educate one inmate is a small

attend college, are now given the

price to pay for a huge future return. He is


ultimately saying that because of the result
that comes out of having education in
prisons, it is fine that the cost goes up

opportunity to change their lives and take

$5,000. If it is something that is going to

advantage of the situation. They are given a

help the number of people incarcerated

chance to change the path their life is on,

become lower, than it is something the

and are able to gain the skills necessary to

United States should look more seriously at.

get a job in society like the rest of the

Schmidt 22

A second solution to help this

inmates who are a threat to the citizens of

problem in the United States is so re-

the United States. There are some people

evaluate where to draw the line as to how

who are incarcerated, yet they would never

really needs to be in prison for a long period

hurt anybody, but are in prison for

of time. Prisons are expensive, and the more

something that they did that was against the

the numbers grow, the more money that is

law. Yes, someone may be addicted to drugs,

going to have to go into them. If the number

but many for something like that they do not

of people incarcerated went down, the

necessarily have to be put into a prison.

government would obviously not have to put

The second was to reduce the

as much into the prisons and prison systems.

number of prisoners is to look at the people

There are two main ways that the prison

who are in prisons and see if there is any

systems can be reduced.

change in their behavior. [But there is a

The first way that the United States

system that is already applying this

could reduce prison numbers is that they

principle. Its the parole system. If this

could lower the amount of people that they

solution is already in place, its not

incarcerate in the first place. Without hurting

effective in solving the problem, dont you

the general public, there are people in

think? How then might you offer other

prisons who will not hurt anybody anymore

solutions that will help solve the

than any other person would. Instead of

problem?] If inmates have shown over time

putting in prison all criminals, the United

that they have changed from their ways and

States would use the prisons just for those

are now ready to be with the rest of society,

Schmidt 23
then they should be let go. This would also

because prisons are running out of room to

help to lower the imprisonment rate because

put all the people. The graph shows that

those who are in prison but have now

there are people in prisons for crimes that

become better people would be let go earlier

are violent, but there are also a lot of people

than originally expected. It is already being

in prisons for non-violent crimes.

seen today that prisoners are being released

Schmidt 24
The United States has more people

what they may have done in their past. If

incarcerated than any other country in the

they confess their sins and proclaim Jesus as

United States, yet our population is not as

their Savior, they will be in heaven with all

high as other countries. Colored people are

the other believers. We are assured of this in

given an unfair disadvantage and are not

Romans chapter 10, verse nine, where is

given the same respect as the white people

says, If you declare with your mouth,

who have also been incarcerated. The United

"Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart

States could give an education to prisoners,

that God raised him from the dead, you will

or they could re-evaluate who is actually in

be saved. Maybe you are a person who

the prison systems. In an article called,

does not think that they could actually go

Unwinding Mass Incarceration, the

into a prison to talk to people, send a letter


and become a pen pal with a person that is in

author, Lobuglio talks about how he thinks


that the United States should use a method

prison.
Another suggestion that might be

that the state of Massachusetts uses in that,

something easy for a Christian to do, is to

criminal histories revealed to potential

try to help people who are just out of prison,

employers at 10 years for felony convictions

find a job. Be a friend to them, they are just

and five years for misdemeanors.

coming out of prison so there is a never high

As Christians, we should care about these

chance that they are not going to have a lot

people in prisons and want them to get on

of friends. It will make is easier for them to

the straight path in life. A way for us to do

stay out of trouble when they have a

this is to go into the prisons and talk to

Christian friend helping them to stay out of

people. Tell them that Jesus does not care

Schmidt 25
the situation that they were in to get into

are discussing your solutions in the first

prison in the first place.

place. Nice one, Emily! ] There are some

Mass Incarceration is a big problem

who have really changed, but are still in

in the United States and will continue to

prison and will continue to be until

grow if something is not done about the

something changes. Prisons should offer

number or people being put behind bars

education to inmates to help make an easier

every year. [Its good that you include in

adjustment back into society when they are

your conclusion the problem you are

released. This would help improve their

addressing when you proposed your

chances of being able to one day have a job

solutions. It reminds the readers why you

and maybe support a family.

Schmidt 26

Schmidt 27
Works Cited
Bonczar, Thomas P. "Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001." Bureau of
Justice Statistics (BJS) - Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001.
N.p., 17 Aug. 2003. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Hymowitz, Kay. "The Breakdown of the Black Family." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company,
4 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees. "The History of Mass Incarcertion in the US." Daily Kos.
N.p., 24 July 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Lobuglio, Stefan F, and Anne Morrison Piehl. "Unwinding Mass Incarceration." Issues in
Science and Technology Vol. 32.Issue 1 (2015): P56-61. Print.
Pager, Devah. Marked; Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration.
Chicago: U of Chicago, 2007. Print.
Patterson, Evelyn J, and Christopher Wildeman. "Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course
Revisited: Cumulative Years Spend Imprisoned and Marked for Working-age Black
and White Men." Social Science Research Vol. 53 (2015): P325-337. Print.
Petersilia, Joan. "Prisons Can Be Cages or Schools." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 16
Oct. 2005. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Saffron, Jesse. "Free College for Prison Inmates." National Review Online. 28 Feb. 2014. Web.
29 Nov. 2015.
The Sentencing Project. "The Sentencing Project News - Incarceration." The Sentencing Project
News - Incarceration. N.p., 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Urofsky, Melvin I. "Jim Crow Law | United States [1877-1954]." Encyclopedia Britannica
Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 29 Nov. 2015
Westervelt, Eric. "Measuring The Power Of A Prison Education." NPR. NPR, 31 July 2015.

Schmidt 28
Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

Schmidt 29

ass Incarceration in the United States is higher than any other country
in the world. Everyday more and more people are being thrown into
prisons and being locked up for years. Thomas P. Bonczar, who did a
statistic with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, says, At yearend 2001,

over 5.6 million U.S. adults had ever served time in State or Federal prison. There are some
who are not given the same chance as others. Over the years mass incarceration has become a big
problem in the United States, especially in regards to areas of colored people. Mass incarceration
is a problem that has arisen in the United States, the US needs to come up with some solutions to
help reduce the numbers; two solutions being posed in this paper are: prisons acting more like
schools, and reducing the number of people already in prisons.
Mass incarceration has been a problem in the United States for many years. People get
locked up and then come back into society and cannot keep up with the new way of life, this is
especially true of people of color. People of other ethnicities have a much greater chance of
being imprisoned sometime in their life. Of adults in 2001 who had ever served time in prison,
nearly as many were black (2,166,000) as were white (2,203,000). An estimated 997,000 were
Hispanic (Bonczar). From this statistic it is clear that there are many more Hispanics
incarcerated than any other ethnicity in the United States. Sine this statistic was taken in 2001 the
number of blacks in prison has also gone way up.
The history of African-Americans being imprisoned goes back to when they were treated
as slaves before the Civil War. They were treated very poorly, and were only around to help make

Schmidt 30
life easier for the white people. Ever
since they have been in America
they have been treated differently.
Colored people have not been given
the same amount of respected as
white people in the United States.
During the Civil War, they were
looked down upon and still to this day have that mark on them. It is said the one out of every six
African Americans will end up in prison during some point in their life. After the Civil War, there
were laws know as the Jim Crow Laws. Jim Crow law, in U.S. history, [was] any of the laws
that enforced racial segregation in the South between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the
beginning of the civil rights movement in the 1950s (Urofsky).

There are many incidents in history,

him that he would have to go back to the

even after the Civil War, that show that

train car for the colored people. He did not

White people do not show as much respect

move because he said that it was the seat

as they should to black people. One example

that he had purchased and that he should not

of this deals with a man named, Homer

have to move. He was later arrested because

Plessy. Homer was an African-American

of it. After a night in jail, Plessy appeared

man, but still a citizen of the United States.

in criminal court before Judge John Howard

Homer had bought a train ticket to

Ferguson to answer charges of violating the

Covington. When he got on the train and

Separate Car Act (Urofsky).

into his seat someone stopped him and told

Schmidt 31
Another example of this is the story
of Rosa Parks. Most people are familiar with
the story of what happened with her. She
was sitting on the bus and someone came
and asked her to move to the back because
she was an African-American. She refused
to give up her seat and it caused a whole big
situation to happen. Police were called and
she was arrested for not giving her seat up to
the white person. This situation happened
after the Civil War, when people were
supposed to have equal rights. Rosa Parks,
who was sometimes referred to as, "the first
lady of civil rights" or "the mother of the
freedom movement" once said, Racism is
still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our
children for what they have to meet, and,
hopefully, we shall overcome.
This is a photo of Rosa Parks when she was
arrested in 1955.
Other colored people are coming to
the United States and getting a bad
reputation because some are here illegally,
or they just come here and cause trouble.

Since the people of color have been given a


bad reputation, it is hard for them to not do
something wrong. Even if it may not be
that bad for the white person to do, if a
person of color does the same thing, it is
made into a huge ordeal. They are treated
differently just because the color of their
skin is different than most Americans. Over
the years the amount of colored people in
prisons has gone up. Over 60 percent of all
inmates are colored, even though they only
make up about 30 percent of the United
States population.
The use of drugs plays a big role as
to why a lot of people are in prisons. People
get involved with things like drugs and
cannot find a way to get away from it.

Schmidt 32
According to an article entitle, The History

The Sentencing Project, [Prisons have

of Mass incarceration in the USin One

seen] a 500% increase over the past thirty

Chart by Daily Kos, the phenomenon of

years. The numbers continue to rise today,

mass incarceration began to take off in

and will continue to rise in the future,

1973 with the "War on Drugs," ballooning

especially in regards to people of different

in the subsequent decades under Reagan,

ethnicity. Incarceration rates for white and

Clinton, and both Bushes. The prison

Hispanic men almost tripled between 1960

population in 2012 was almost ten times the

and 2010. Today, 63 percent of inmates are

average prison population from the post-

white and Hispanic (Hymdwitz).

war era (1945-1973). There was also a rise


in incarceration in 1986 when legislatures
passed the Anti Drug Abuse Act which
caused harsher sentences for crack cocaine
also helped to load the penal system with
black prisoners. Blacks and whites appear to
use and sell drugs at similar rates, yet blacks
are considerably more likely to be arrested
and to serve time in prison for drug
offenses (Hymdwitz).
And since 2012, the numbers just
seem to keep going up. Today there are
some 2.2 million people in the United
States who are incarcerated. According to

This graph was taken from The Sentencing


Project website, and shows the rise in the
prison population from 1925-2013.

Schmidt 33
When people are released from

often fall back into the bad ways of life

prisons, they often do not have money and

because they have no other choice of what to

have no place to live. It is very hard for

do with their lives. A lot of times those in

them to make the transition from prison to

prisons are people who have been there

society. A book written by, Devah Pager,

before and continue to make the same

called, Marked; Race, Crime, and Finding

mistakes. On average, white men spend on

Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration, talks

average 0.33 years imprisoned and

about how when people are released from

2.31 years marked(Patterson & Wildeman).

prison they are left with this mark that

Whereas for the African-Americans, on

defines who they are. The book also

average, black men spend on average

mentioned that Pager did a study that, sadly,

1.79 years imprisoned and 11.14 years

it does matter your race when they are trying

marked (Patterson & Wildeman). African-

to find work. The study done by Pager

American men are marked a lot longer

concluded that a white man straight of

than the average white man. This is a crazy

prison had the same chance as an African-

stat that proves the point that whites and

American man who had no criminal record.

African-Americans are not treated the same

This makes it even harder for an African-

in the American society. The average

American man to try to reset his life with a

African-American man spends about one-

fresh start, if they are automatically given an

seventh of their working life in prison. Plus,

unfair disadvantage.

after getting out of prison the chance of

How are people of color supposed to

getting a job again is very low. People do

fit back in with the rest of society when they

not want to hire a person who has any sort of

are not given the same opportunities? They

criminal record behind them.

Schmidt 34
People of color should get the same

prisons is extremely high, and the way they

rights that white people should get. The only

have to live their lives after being released is

time that it would be acceptable to do

not going to help them to change their ways.

otherwise is when the person is not a United

Yes, newly released inmates should be

States citizen and is here illegally in the first

marked for a little while, but after a while

place. If people would just treat everyone

whether white, black, or blue, they should

the same, there would not be so much talk

all be given a clean slate and be able to

about this. The number of colored people in

prove themselves in society.

One solution to the problem would

or are not

be to have prisons act as schools. The

likely to

inmates learn different skills that they can

want to

use later in life when released from prison. It

change

would help them to someday be able to get a

their

job and make a living on their own. They

ways. They return to society without a plan,

would be able to fit back in with the rest of

without money, and without a good

society if they kept up to date with all the

reputation.

changes that people outside of prisons see

In July of 2015 President Obama was

every day. Paraphrasing from an article

working to get better education in prisons.

written by Joan Petersilia, inmates are all

The goal is to test the effectiveness of

assigned different jobs, but a lot of the time

higher education programs for a U.S. prison

the jobs do not benefit then in any way.

population that has grown dramatically

Criminals are not leaning anything in prison

There's strong evidence that a range of

Schmidt 35
prison education programs help reduce
recidivism and improve a prisoner's chances
of thriving once released (Westervelt). This
would be huge in the United States, where it

Having prisons act like schools

is often seen that it is the same people

would benefit everyone in society. Those

making mistakes and, therefore, having to be

people, who may have not been able to

behind bars.

attend college, are now given the

Westervelt did some research and

opportunity to change their lives and take

said, What we found was that, if an

advantage of the situation. They are given a

individual participates in any type of

chance to change the path their life is on,

correctional education program whether

and are able to gain the skills necessary to

it be adult basic ed, GED preparation,

get a job in society like the rest of the

college education or vocational training

population. This is similar to the relationship

they had a 13 percentage point reduction in

that Christians have with God, all people are

their risk of being re-incarcerated... And for

sinners and God showed us a new path,

those that participated in post-secondary

where believers could turn their lives

education programs college programs

around. Just like the Bible is used to teach

their reduction in risk of re-incarceration

believers how to stay on the path, so to

was 16 percentage points. When talking

education is prisons could help inmates stay

about people in the millions being

on the straight path in life.

incarceration, 13 and 16 percent are a huge


amount of people not going back to prisons!

The Governor of New York is quoted


in an article written by Jesse Saffron, Free
College for Prison Inmates. Cuomo says,

Schmidt 36
Since the annual cost-per-inmate is

prisons, it is fine that the cost goes up

$60,000, the governor argued, the $5,000

$5,000. If it is something that is going to

required to educate one inmate is a small

help the number of people incarcerated

price to pay for a huge future return. He is

become lower, than it is something the

ultimately saying that because of the result

United States should look more seriously at.

that comes out of having education in

A second solution to help this

incarcerate in the first place. Without hurting

problem in the United States is so re-

the general public, there are people in

evaluate where to draw the line as to how

prisons who will not hurt anybody anymore

really needs to be in prison for a long period

than any other person would. Instead of

of time. Prisons are expensive, and the more

putting in prison all criminals, the United

the numbers grow, the more money that is

States would use the prisons just for those

going to have to go into them. If the number

inmates who are a threat to the citizens of

of people incarcerated went down, the

the United States. There are some people

government would obviously not have to put

who are incarcerated, yet they would never

as much into the prisons and prison systems.

hurt anybody, but are in prison for

There are two main ways that the prison

something that they did that was against the

systems can be reduced.

law. Yes, someone may be addicted to drugs,

The first way that the United States


could reduce prison numbers is that they
could lower the amount of people that they

but many for something like that they do not


necessarily have to be put into a prison.

Schmidt 37
The second was to reduce the
number of prisoners is to look at the people
who are in prisons and see if there is any
change in their behavior. If inmates have
shown over time that they have changed
from their ways and are now ready to be
with the rest of society, then they should be
let go. This would also help to lower the
imprisonment rate because those who are in
prison but have now become better people
would be let go earlier than originally
expected. It is already being seen today that
prisoners are being released because prisons
are running out of room to put all the people.
The graph shows that there are people in
prisons for crimes that are violent, but there
are also a lot of people in prisons for nonviolent crimes.

Schmidt 38

who have also been incarcerated. The United


The United States has more people

States could give an education to prisoners,

incarcerated than any other country in the

or they could re-evaluate who is actually in

United States, yet our population is not as

the prison systems. In an article called,

high as other countries. Colored people are

Unwinding Mass Incarceration, the

given an unfair disadvantage and are not


given the same respect as the white people

Schmidt 39
author, Lobuglio talks about how he thinks

As Christians, we should care about

that the United States should use a method

these people in prisons and want them to get

that the state of Massachusetts uses in that,

on the straight path in life. A way for us to

criminal histories revealed to potential

do this is to go into the prisons and talk to

employers at 10 years for felony convictions

people. Tell them that Jesus does not care

and five years for misdemeanors.

what they may have done in their past. If


they confess their sins and proclaim Jesus as
their Savior, they will be in heaven with all
the other believers. We are assured of this in
Romans chapter 10, verse nine, where is
says, If you declare with your mouth,
"Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead, you will
be saved. Maybe you are a person who
does not think that they could actually go
into a prison to talk to people, send a letter
and become a pen pal with a person that is in
prison.
Another item that might be
something easy for a Christian to do, is to
try to help people who are just out of prison,
find a job. Be a friend to them, they are just
coming out of prison so there is a never high

Schmidt 40
chance that they are not going to have a lot

every year. There are some who have really

of friends. It will make is easier for them to

changed, but are still in prison and will

stay out of trouble when they have a

continue to be until something changes.

Christian friend helping them to stay out of

Prisons should offer education to inmates to

the situation that they were in to get into

help make an easier adjustment back into

prison in the first place.

society when they are released. This would

Mass Incarceration is a big problem

help improve their chances of being able to

in the United States and will continue to

one day have a job and maybe support a

grow if something is not done about the

family.

number or people being put behind bars

Schmidt 41

Schmidt 42
Works Cited
Bonczar, Thomas P. "Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001." Bureau of
Justice Statistics (BJS) - Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001.
N.p., 17 Aug. 2003. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Hymowitz, Kay. "The Breakdown of the Black Family." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company,
4 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees. "The History of Mass Incarcertion in the US." Daily Kos.
N.p., 24 July 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Lobuglio, Stefan F, and Anne Morrison Piehl. "Unwinding Mass Incarceration." Issues in
Science and Technology Vol. 32.Issue 1 (2015): P56-61. Print.
Pager, Devah. Marked; Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration.
Chicago: U of Chicago, 2007. Print.
Patterson, Evelyn J, and Christopher Wildeman. "Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course
Revisited: Cumulative Years Spend Imprisoned and Marked for Working-age Black
and White Men." Social Science Research Vol. 53 (2015): P325-337. Print.
Petersilia, Joan. "Prisons Can Be Cages or Schools." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 16
Oct. 2005. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Saffron, Jesse. "Free College for Prison Inmates." National Review Online. 28 Feb. 2014. Web.
29 Nov. 2015.
The Sentencing Project. "The Sentencing Project News - Incarceration." The Sentencing Project
News - Incarceration. N.p., 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Urofsky, Melvin I. "Jim Crow Law | United States [1877-1954]." Encyclopedia Britannica
Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 29 Nov. 2015
Westervelt, Eric. "Measuring The Power Of A Prison Education." NPR. NPR, 31 July 2015.

Schmidt 43
Web. 29 Nov. 2015.