Underlying Causes of Incarceration and Preventing Recidivism


by : 
Darrow H.


The prison system in America is systemically flawed. Despite efforts to fight systemic racism and lower the black-to-white disparities in incarceration rates, a disproportionate number of black people are being incarcerated for crimes for which white people would not even be convicted. 1 in 3 black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes, as opposed to 1 in 17 white men (Knafo, 2013). This problem has negatively impacted the black communities in America because they are disproportionately criminalized and convicted. There are similar disparities when it comes to education, mental health, and socioeconomic status. Those who are less educated, have mental illnesses, and/or come from a poor background are more likely to end up in prison. Defy Ventures and the Young Women’s Freedom Center are working to lower the rates of incarceration and recidivism by addressing these disparities. This project focuses on the disparities in the prison system and within those being incarcerated through visits to the California State Prison at Solano and the Young Women's Freedom Center in San Francisco. Through the research at these two centers, my project will provide further information about these disparities and injustices within the system, to address the need for change in the prison systems in America.