Summary of the Journal article
Roodman’s (2017) journal article ‘The Impacts of Mass Incarceration‘ involves an in-depth analysis of various case studies carried out by various scholars to determine the effectiveness of tougher or harsher punishments in crime prevention and safety of the community in general. The author’s arguments are closely inspired by significant issues associated with the judicial systems pointed out by multiple studies. In particular, the author applies the example of the U.S.A scenario of mass incarceration and decarceration and their overall impact in deterring crimes within the society (Roodman, 2017). Overall, the journal article mentioned above incorporates the available data or research on mass incarceration to describe the implications of ‘tough–on–crime’ strategies in preventing crimes within societies across the globe.
Based on the article presented above, the author highlights the following major issues; firstly, decerceration in America enhances both an increment and reduction of crimes. Secondly, tougher punishments and sentences do not necessarily prevent crimes in society. In other words, such policies only prevent crimes when people are behind bars or deter crimes beyond prison walls; however, they increase criminal issues after the individuals are released back to society (Roodman, 2017). In other words, mass incarceration or harsh sentences only reduce and prevent crimes when people are serving their sentences in prison. The situation gains normalcy or even becomes worse once most imprisoned individuals are released back to society. The author’s argument also denotes that overreliance on harsher punishments to handle criminal behaviors has made justice systems of various nations worldwide overlook the aspect of rehabilitation of individuals (Roodman, 2017). Additionally, Roodman’s study indicates that more time spent in prison directly increases the number of crimes after release within society.
Overall, the author argues that the ‘tough–on–crime’ ideology prevents crimes in the short run but causes many negative impacts in the long run within society. Roodman’s work bridges the gap between the concept of harsher punishments and crime prevention within society. In other words, increased mass incarceration in different nations such as America is a short-term measure to reduce and prevent crimes. However, it has its consequences when most individuals are released. In other words, harsher punishments or policies do not effectively prevent crime within communities. Lastly, the author also claims that harsh sentences also increase prison crimes which are highly overlooked (Roodman, 2017). The continued occurrence of such activities prevents a change of behavior, thus the never-ending crimes in society after many individuals are released from prison.
Analysis of the journal article
The journal article, ‘The Impacts of Mass Incarceration by Roodman, is highly reliable and credible based on resources applied in developing the author’s main arguments. The author used approximately eleven scientific studies carried out by various scholars to establish his arguments regarding mass incarceration in the U.S.A and its relationship with crime prevention in society (Roodman, 2017). Additionally, the chosen scholarly articles used in the study were closely supported by other detailed research works to obtain more data for meaningful and reliable conclusions. Roodman’s work is also built and supported by significant arguments such as decarceration and mass incarceration, which are widely explored based on the definition of terms and their broad scope. Moreover, the arguments can be easily tested and witnessed based on current reports and occurrences within society. Also, the author applies various examples to indicate multiple societal scenarios that offer a detailed understanding of the impacts of tougher or harsher punishments in deterring crimes and ensuring peace within communities.
Roodman’s work highlights that tougher or harsher punishments do not effectively prevent crimes within communities. This view is closely supported by various scholarly sources with detailed analysis on the same issue. Additionally, the author’s view is based on significant ideologies such as mass incarceration and decarceration in America. Here, Roodman explores and explains the impacts of mass incarceration in terms in terms of increased crime rates in society. The author argues that becoming tougher in regards to punishments policies and sentences such as mass incarceration prevents and controls crimes in the communities in the short-run (Roodman, 2017). Such techniques will only deter people from committing crimes during their serving time in prison but once released; the situation becomes worse. Additionally, crime still occurs in prison, making many individuals develop worse behaviors resulting in existing crimes in society. Overall, Roodman’s work represents conflict theory and deviance, highlighting the economic and social factors that cause crimes in societies, such as mass incarceration.
Strengths and weaknesses
Generally, Roodma’s work applied the derived data technique. The author analyses different studies to obtain the required data that establishes his argument. The derived data approach is more reliable since the researcher has many resources that ensure the presence of adequate data for an accurate conclusion. On the other hand, it can be quite expensive to obtain some resources and time-consuming in the analysis process of each study to obtain the specific required data. Additionally, the author’s arguments were fair and objective based on his significant explanations regarding the relationship between harsher punishments such as mass incarceration and increased crime rates in society (Roodman, 2017). Lastly, I firmly agree and support the author’s arguments based on the following reasons; firstly, despite the formulation of strict policy to punish crime, society is still experiencing increased crime rates, especially in nations such as the U.S.A regarding drug trades. Secondly, being tougher towards crime increases recidivism rates that directly impact crime rates in communities.
Sociological theory and Social Issue
The conflict theory and deviance can generally describe Roodman’s work. The theory highlights significant economic and social causes of crime rates within the society (Akers, 2017). The author, in his work, identifies the issues of mass inacrceration as a major social issue contributing to the rise of crime rates within various communities such as the U.S.A. Mass incarceration is an example of harsh punishment for crimes. Despite their presence in many societies, there are still increased crime rates in prison and society due to recidivism (Roodman, 2017). In other words, becoming tougher on crime does not deter crimes in communities. Such an aspect aims to solve crime rates in terms of punishment, not rehabilitation, which helps people change their behavior.
The current news reported on the CBC News by Josh Grant in 2021 regarding the increase in gun violence around Montreal closely relates with the arguments presented above. Based on the report, there are increased crimes involving guns perpetrated by gang culture in the Montreal region (Grant 2021) (Grant, 2021). In the process, three people died while two others were injured. The government working in hand with other police officers decreed to work quickly in resolving the issue. The eyewitnesses helped in the investigation pointing out some of the major causes of violence and disagreements between people (Grant, 2021). Despite the presence of harsh punishments for such crimes and quick reactions from the government and police, the crime rates within the area in question are still on the rise.
The report concludes by stating that harsh punishments and police response are only one side involved in solving the issue. In other words, the punishment or imprisonment is not enough and effective since the crime rates have not reduced (Grant, 2021). Other people recommended a community approach to help build trust and rehabilitate the area’s people in question. This article closely relates to Roodman’s journal article, arguing that becoming tougher on crime does not reduce crime rates in society. In other words, like mass incarceration and police interventions in Montreal, crime rates are still increasing in the community. Strict punishments and sentencing people are not enough if a crime (social issue) is not approached by other strategies that involve rehabilitation, such as the community approach.
Grant, J. (2021, August 9). What’s driving the recent spike in gun violence around Montreal? CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/gun-violence-explained-by-criminologists-1.6132114
Roodman, D. (2017). The Impacts of Incarceration on Crime. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3635864
Akers, R. L. (2017). Social Learning and Social Structure. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315129587