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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press
Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

Factors Contributing to the Increase of the U.S. Incarceration Rate in 2020

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DOI: 10.25236/ieesasm.2021.082


Yiyao Sun

Corresponding Author

Yiyao Sun


In face of the severe epidemic in 2020, governments around the world have taken a series of defensive measures. One of them is the U.S. home quarantine policy, which is based on the purpose that physical isolation will prevent patients carrying virus from remaining and spreading in society. While it does facilitate the prevention and control of the epidemic, the policy creates a closed environment that isolates an individual physically from society. Under such circumstance, the accompany and communication of a community can only be formed through the Internet, which inevitably gives rise to some side effects. This article summarizes a phenomenon based on a large number of statistics, surveys and news reports in the past: the prevention and control of the epidemic has led to a significant increase in poverty, domestic violence and divorce rates. These three factors in turn result in, according to previous psychological experiments, to a high incidence of mental illness and an elevated incarceration rate. Higher rates of incarceration will not directly pose a negative impact on the level of stability in society. Deeper through the lens of social psychology, the physically enclosed environment leads to the phenomena that people rely more, even exclusively, on information interaction through the Internet and other new media. The collective negative emotions, which then become intensified and extreme after the dissemination of information online, are more likely to trigger violent, chaotic, and dangerous behavior, leading to a more unstable social state.


Epidemic, Defensive measures, Incarceration rate, Mental illness