Are Prisons Effective? Essay

1490 Words 6 Pages
Are Prisons Effective?


Imprisonment; is it beneficial or non-beneficial? This argument is presented from the viewpoint of both sides of this issue. One group, "The Council on Crime in America", is pro-incarceration; while on the other side of this issue, " The National Criminal Justice Commission", is con-incarceration. Both sides have presented their viewpoints clearly and factually.

Those who are for incarceration present their opinions in such a way as to sway the reader toward accepting what they say as the only answer to fight back against the growing crime rate. If the prisoners are locked up in prisons, then they cannot commit crimes. Moreover, they feel that the criminals can be rehabilitated behind bars. Also, they
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They stated their opinions, backed up by statistics and facts, on why imprisonment is not beneficial for all concerned. They stated that in some areas, young men consider imprisonment as a rite of passage or a badge of honor. Furthermore, disapproval is expressed about how the government spends more tax dollars housing prisoners than it does on school budgets, libraries, parks and others. They go on to point out that incarceration helps contribute to crime when a person becomes an inmate in prison, he or she must follow "the laws of the jungle". Only the strongest of the prisoners can survive the violent environment in prison. Therefore, when a prisoner is released, he or she takes this violent attitude with them. People such as Joanne Page, who have worked with recently released prisoners, find them shaped by the behavior they learned in prison. Professionals relate their anti-social behavior to post-traumatic stress disorder. They also feel that prison conditions make it hard for the prisoner to make the transition from incarceration to freedom. Moreover, a large portion of male offenders who receive longer prison terms that their crime calls for disrupts their family structure and hurts the workforce when they return. They also state that incarcerating a non-violent, "small time" criminal does not help to keep the crime rate down because there are plenty of other…