Mass Incarceration in America

By: Pilar Salazar

What is it?

The term "mass incarceration" is used by historians and sociologists to describe the significant rise in the number of incarcerated people in the United States' prisons over the past four decades. Charities like the American Civil Liberties Union fight to decrease the amount of people imprisoned each year.
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Why is this cause important?

The United States has the largest prison population in the world. While the United States holds 5% of the world's population, it is home to 25% of the world's prison population. Not only do we have too many people in prisons, but half of them are incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. Federal prisons are currently costing tax payers billions every year.

What actions can you take about this cause?

1. Educate yourself on the issues surrounding the mass incarceration problem in America, and look at the related statistics. Then, try to inform others to bring awareness.

2. Donate to charities such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that work to defend those dealing with America's difficult sentencing policy, and sign their petitions so their sentence reform proposals will make it to our government officials.

3. Support businesses that employ those with criminal records and help them get people back on their feet.

4. If you're especially dedicated to the cause, call and write your senators or representative and urge them to push for reforms of the prison system and sentencing policies.

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