Mass incarceration

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Mass incarceration is a term used to refer to the fact that in the 21st century, the United States' incarceration rate is exceptionally high compared to that of other countries and to its incarceration rate earlier in its history.[1] As of July 7, 2015, the United States' prison population rate (716 per 100,000 people) was higher than that of any other country in the world.[2] From 1980 to 2010, the United States' incarceration rate more than tripled from 220 to 731 per 100,000 people.[3] Even though the United States' crime rates have been declining since the early 1990s, the United States' incarceration rate has increased over most of the time since then.[4]

Effect on crime rates[edit]

A 2015 report by the Brennan Center for Justice found that the increase in the United States' incarceration rate has had very little effect on the United States' crime rate during the 1990s, and that it had almost no effect on crime rates in the 21st century.[4][5]


  1. ^ Coates, Ta-Nehisi (October 2015). "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration". The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Ye Hee Lee, Michelle (7 July 2015). "Yes, U.S. locks people up at a higher rate than any other country". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Gopnik, Adam (30 January 2012). "The Caging of America". The New Yorker. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Rakoff, Jed S. (21 May 2015). "Mass Incarceration: The Silence of the Judges". New York Review of Books. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Roeder, Oliver; et al. (12 February 2015). "What Caused the Crime Decline?". Brennan Center for Justice. Retrieved 3 June 2016.