Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America

In the New Yorker, author Adam Gopnick discusses the prison epidemic that exists in America today and goes into detail about how this epidemic should and how it can be stopped,which would result in beneficial outcomes for America and the goevrnment in reducing crime. According to Gopnick, he says that during the 60s and 70s, many believed that imprisonment was the best answer to reducing crime on the streets. Resulting in jailing numerous people for smaller offenses like drug related crimes and ponzi schemes. This idea proved not to be effective and has lingering effects today, costing the country millions of dollars and has left America with the highest incarceration rate in the world with nothing to show for it.

Gopnick says that rather trying to curb crime through incarceration and changing social patholgies, it must be done through “erecting small, annoying barriers to entry.” This is not the cure, however, but this “intercession of thousand of smaller sancties” who reduce both the rate of imprisonment and the plague of crime.

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