America's Prisons Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

In what ways have correctional policies reflected changes in the social, economic, and political environments of society?

Expert Answers info

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

Correctional policies have reflected changes in social, political, and economic environments throughout the years. The United States imprisons far more people than other industrialized countries do. One factor for this is that a political environment to get tough on crime developed, which was related to the war on drugs. As drug trafficking and drug usage rose, a demand for stiffer penalties increased. These penalties involved jail time for those convicted of these crimes. People also demanded minimum sentencing requirements for people with multiple felony convictions. With the elimination of the federal parole system in 1987, people who were given life sentences would no longer be eligible for parole.

Another factor impacting correctional policies was economic. Private companies made big profits building prisons. Companies that provide services to prisons, such as providing meals to prisoners or providing prison guards, have also benefitted as the prison population has increased. Some...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 531 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial