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Incarceration and the Three-Strike Law

            Most Americans have heard it, "three strikes, and you are out!". Most would associate the familiar phrase to the game of baseball. However, in addition to baseball the phrase is connected to the Three Strikes Law. Beginning in the 1970's the United States saw an increase in crime rates and realized new laws had to be put in place. In 1993, the "three strikes and you are out" law was first enacted in the state of Washington. After the law was passed, there began to be a rapid spread of states adopting the Three Strikes law. With the adoption of the Three Strikes law came many consequences for states. The Three Strikes law is a contributor to the United States problem of mass incarceration. In addition, this law does not take into consideration that as individuals mature they commit less crime. Also, the sentencing guidelines for the Three Strikes law are unfair and too harsh, which is ruining the lives of many men and women. Over all, the "three strikes and you are out" law has had negative impacts on society and as a result of the impacts the United States is still dealing with the consequences. .
             To understand the consequences of Three Strike law, it is important to know the purpose for states adopting the law and particulars about Three Strikes law. With rising crime rates, the United States thought it was necessary to endorse harsher punishments. According to Karch and Cravens (2014), "between 1993 and 1995, 24 states and the national government adopted Three Strikes laws as part of a broader movement in criminal justice policy that guaranteed longer sentences for convicted criminals" (p. 462). With deterrence and punishment among the goals for the "three strikes and you are out" law, it was also to ensure the toughest sentences excluding the death penalty, was given to habitual offenders to promote public safety. In addition, the offenders who experienced these harsh sentences were not given the opportunity for parole.

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