Prison Overcrowding in America: Could the Decriminalization of Marijuana be a Possible Solution?

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacob,M. Hicks (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: The adoption of sentencing guidelines in recent decades accompanying a "get tough" mentality of many judges has helped to push along a consistent increase in prison populations on a state level over the past 30 years. Such an increase has been analyzed as both a beneficial removal of criminals from society as well as a detrimental hemorrhage of taxpayers' dollars. It also usurps the time of law enforcement and correctional officials. Countless variations of crimes as well as variables such as race, socioeconomic status, employment opportunities, geographic location, level of education, etc., all affect the level of crime and incarceration in the United States, and the dispersion between different demographics are only driving these levels up. Studies are being conducted however to attempt to find ways to lower the issue of prison overcrowding, many focusing on reverting to indeterminate sentencing methods of decades past. However there is still little research being conducted on how changing drug laws, and the decriminalization of certain substances might affect the level of overcrowding and stress on the American Penile System. In the following case study I intend to look into the question of whether or not the growth based affects of the War on Drugs declared in the 1980s and the subsequent sentencing reform acts on the prison population of the United States, can be reversed or positively affected by changing drug laws and/or by the decriminalization of marijuana.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Prison, Decriminalization, Arrest rate, Incarceration rate, Prison overcrowding, Marijuana

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