The 90s is one of the most troubled times in the United States where crimes and violence were everywhere. Mafias and gangs have flooded the cities and almost controlled and influenced every business, sports, religion, and education there was. It was like an epidemic slowly swallowing the whole country.
The Detailed Information
According to recorded data, the total crime rate percentage continuously increases its number by 40% from the year 1984 to 1992. Mostly, the murder rate relates more to the African American community where it climbed 20 percent during the mid-year of 1984 up to the period 1993. With the rapid increase of crime and violence issues in the country on these years, the American Congress passed the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law enforcement Act or commonly known as the 1994 Crime Bill. The passing of the bill seemed to encourage a lot of states to build more prisons, and that’s due to its restructured grant funding.
Since then, the number of people put in bars has skyrocketed to almost 50 percent. That is roughly around 1.5 million to 2.2 million people in the US alone. Unfortunately, the people with color have taken the heavy toll of this massive percentage climb and make up the 37 percent of the total prisoners in the United States.That’s despite being at 13 percent of the nation’s total population.
The discrepancy of numbers is apparent. Although current data shows that there is a decline in crime rate, the total populations of prisoners are blowing up in incarceration facilities. There are a lot of prisoners serving time for non-violent related crimes which in return inflates the population of prisoners in prison cells all over the United States.
The Justice System
The justice system today is still built from the policies made a long time ago. It goes with a lower budget that somehow highlights a visible racial inequality. Due to the current state of the justice system, Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California passed a new bill that aims to reverse the old policies. He coined the new bill as the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act. The new act seeks to send a right amount of the federal funds to different federal states to reduce incarceration and crimes at the same time. The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act is the lone solution introduced in the Capitol Hill that would probably help in mitigating state prison population. At the same time, the act will also focus on minimizing the apparent racial discrimination in the justice system. Senators Booker and Blumenthal support the implementation of the bill.
The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act
The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act is designed to redirect the federal funds. It would give authorization of $20 billion in incentive funds for ten years to several states that can minimize their population by 7 percent every three year period while keeping crime rates at a minimal record. By creating a brand new grant that supports state activities that consistently reduce crime rates in their vicinity, all of these are possible to happen. The new act, if fully implemented would result in a total of 20 percent reduction in the prison population in the whole country.
However, this reform cannot eliminate mass incarceration alone. The state must first reduce their numbers of prisoners at the very minimum. The new act asserts that the freedom to choose the best way to handle the situation is given to each state. There’s an encouraged implementation of local expertise to every state.
Since the foundation of the new act will base on the local and state implementation, the order to make a massive dent to the nation’s prison population can affect the whole justice system. If the bill gets passed, it will send a message that the society is beyond capable of making a positive impact towards addressing the crime rates and imprisonment overpopulation problems of the country.