Why So Many Inmates?

Now that we have studied the police, the courts, and corrections, let’s listen to Dr Wellford, UMCP, and Dr. Sondervan, UMUC, discuss why there are so many people in prisons.  Some of you touched on this topic in the previous discussions.  Let’s take a closer look at this challenging subject.
Watch three short videos  Wellford, Locke, Gambrills and Sondervan – 4.2 (or google the videos)


The videos will lead us to questions we should all think about.  Choose two of the following questions to answer:

  1. Does Wellford believe that the fact that the United States has a large prison population has led to decreased crime? Explain.
  2. Wellford suggests applying a cost-benefit analysis to the high level of incarceration. What are the conclusions of such an analysis?
  3. Why don’t we get more crime prevention from our policies, according to Wellford? What is Wellford’s solution? Do you agree with it or not?
  4. Summarize the trends that Sondervan mentions. Did anything surprise you? What and why?
  5. What separates the United States from other countries in terms of incarceration rates? What’s your opinion about this fact?
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