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In America, there has been a great increase in the prison population. As Bellin pointed out in the article, the first major increase in the prison population is from the increase in homicides as well as the “tough on crime policies”. The increase in prison growth due to this is just absolutely absurd. Not only is this inhuman to just lock all these people in these cages, but in my opinion just utterly wrong. Not only is this detrimental to one’s mental health, but this now also affects their social abilities and just their all-around way of living life. Now I am not saying that people need to face the consequences of their actions, because I do think that when you break the law or willingly commit crimes you are obviously going to have to face the consequences. I feel that the increase in crime rates, especially on drug usage, is now causing a bigger issue than it has been before. I believe that the only reason drug-related crimes have now increased in prisons is because of the tough-on-crime policies. The more you tell someone they aren’t allowed to do something, the more they will find a way to do it. Due to this, the drug-related crimes increased throughout prisons and jails, which then also increased tremendously when it was repeat offenders. When Bellin mentions the two main purposes for incarceration rather than just for policy control, that now the longer sentences are to seek justice for victims and attempt to alter people's behavior. We need to change the policies of criminal sentencing, especially for significant violent crimes, to require sentences that adhere to historical norms. And second, fighting the nation's growing tendency to use jail as a tool to further its political objectives.


There are many people getting incarcerated nowadays. Many prisons in the US are getting filled daily for drug charges, domestic charges and misc charges. People are always committing crimes. These people could have the same reoccurring charges and never learn their lesson. In my opinion, I think that they should send people to prison for the reoccurring offenses that they occur. Prisons will start having lower rates if people would learn from their mistakes they make in the world.


The United States has seen a dramatic rise in its incarceration rates over the past few decades, with the imprisonment rate increasing from about 150 people per 100,000 in 1980 to more than 700 people per 100,000 in 2020. This sharp increase has been accompanied by a decrease in the overall crime rate, leading some to question the relationship between crime and incarceration in the United States.

In an effort to better understand the roots of mass incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin, a professor of law at the College of William & Mary, has conducted extensive research on the topic. In his work, Bellin argues that the increase in incarceration rates is not necessarily due to a corresponding increase in crime. Instead, Bellin suggests that the growth of incarceration is largely due to the increased use of mandatory sentencing laws, which require judges to impose fixed prison sentences for certain offenses.

In addition, Bellin points out that, in many cases, the increased incarceration rate is driven by the enforcement of laws that disproportionately target low-income and minority communities. This is especially true for drug offenses, which account for a significant portion of the nation’s prison population.

Finally, Bellin argues that the increased incarceration rate has had a significant impact on the criminal justice system, leading to overcrowded prisons, overworked court systems, and limited resources for rehabilitation and reentry. As a result, there is an urgent need for reform in order to reduce the nation’s incarceration rate and create a more equitable criminal justice system.

In conclusion, while the crime rate has declined in the United States, the incarceration rate has continued to rise due to factors such as mandatory sentencing laws and the targeting of low-income and minority communities. Jeffrey Bellin’s research provides valuable insight into the roots of mass incarceration, and his findings suggest that reform is needed in order to reduce the nation’s incarceration rate and create a more equitable criminal justice system.

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