People's Agenda/Criminal Justice Reform

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This essay is on Wikiversity to encourage a wide discussion of the issues it raises moderated by the Wikimedia rules that invite contributors to “be bold but not reckless,” contributing revisions written from a neutral point of view citing credible sources -- and raising other questions and concerns on the associated '“Discuss”' page.
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A graph of the incarceration rate under state and federal jurisdiction per 100,000 population 1925–2008 (omits local jail inmates). The male incarceration rate (top line) is 15 times the female rate (bottom line).

The incarceration rate in the United States today is five times what it was 40 years ago -- roughly half a percent of the population since 2003 vs. 0.1 percent between 1925 and 1974; see the accompanying plot. The Wikipedia article on the United States incarceration rate discusses the changes in law and judicial practices that have driven this increase and offers only one explanation for the socio-political context that drove those changes in law:

  • Mental Health and Police training/knowledge
  • Ban the box
  • Data collection on all police stops
  • Promoting community policing
  • Demilitarization of police departments
  • Victims of crime support
  • Stop civil asset forfeiture
  • Caps on fines and fees
  • Make diversion costs affordable
  • Decriminalization of marijuana
  • ACLU SMART justice agenda
  • Repeal the Death Penalty
  • Protect Juvenile Justice Reform
  • Stop privatization of prisons and detention centers
  • Support suspended/revoked drivers license reform
  • Support independent investigation of officer involved shootings

Notes[edit]

  1. A review of the revision history of the Wikipedia article on the United States incarceration rate reveals that the discussion of the media was added in August, 2013. There have been roughly 200 edits since then with no questions raised about those assertions nor no alternative explanations suggested. This article averaged over 600 views per day over the past 90 days. That suggests that if there were a plausible alternative explanation, it would likely have been mentioned by now.