Nicole Minnesota


The election is upon us which brings up many topics, one in particular is incarceration. Incarceration has became a problem since the 80's and the US incarceration rate has quadrupled since.

"Land of the free, and the home of the brave" or so we thought, the US has the largest incarceration rate in the world because of higher crime rates. High incarceration rates are a result of "truth is sentencing", which are laws that have limited discretion in sentencing and parole release. Incarceration became a concern in the 80's because of longer sentencing and increases in the likelihood of imprisonment according to a report in 2014 by the National Research Council. 

Back in the 1980's there was a war called "War on Drugs" which caused mass incarceration then and today. Today, it is no secret that race is an issue, statistics show that African American men are 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men. "African- Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests" according to NAACP. School to prison pipeline is a metaphor that represents the pattern of students who go to juvenile or adult criminal justice systems. As a result, zero tolerance policies and the use of police in schools have taken place. 

Many believe that School to Prison Pipeline is caused by teachers due to not enough counseling or not enough teachers. I think that it is unfair to sentence a child to 20 years for doing small offense. For example: a 12 year old losing his temper in school with another student and hit several teachers who tried to intervene. If I was in charge of this case and could decide whether to send him to a mental facility or juvenile for assault. I would send him to a facility as I would for drug addicts or individuals with DUI's. Prison is not a place for children who make mistakes or for addicts with mental illness. 35.3% of 18 to 25 year olds who abuse drugs have a mental illness. Illnesses should be taken care of in facilities with counseling bug never punished by prisoners. 


Nicole Sims

Benilde-St. Margaret's School

Non-Fiction Period 8

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