Can Criminals Be Rehabilitated

2467 Words10 Pages
Jacoby Davis
March 25, 2009
Easter, Mitchell

“Can Criminals Be Rehabilitated?”

The USA has a higher percentage of its citizens behind bars than any other nation. Our crime rate is higher than that of any other advanced nation. Among the leading industrialized nations our murder rate is 3-1/2 times higher than the second place nation, Italy. The majority of persons released from prison in the US- estimates run as high as 70%- are convicted of new crimes within five years. These are statistics that are very real. My purpose is to research and determine if a convicted criminal can be rehabilitated. We will take this opportunity to further delve into the controversial world of rehabilitation for the “outcast dredges” of our
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Another report from the National Institute of Justice claimed that illiteracy was the primary cause of crime. And it’s no wonder; if one cannot learn, where can he or she turn in order to survive? A recent study of juvenile offenders placed them, on average, at a third grade reading level. Jobs were simply not an option; they simply did not have, and could not learn, the necessary skills. And thus they were absorbed into the gangs, and the attendant drugs and crime. Higher education in penitentiaries used to be ordinary, but in 1994 Congress eliminated federal funding for inmates to go to college and many programs were abolished. The reasons were: why should the government give free college educations to inmates when there are so many unconvicted students who cannot afford it? One of the best ways to rehabilitate criminals is through educating them while they are in prison, but most people do not want to pay for prisoners to go to college when even they have trouble coming up with money for their own kid’s education. We’re hung up on solving problems by “Getting Tough” and place too little value on “Getting Smart.” Not only must we educate the prisoners, we must also take the time to educate the police officers. We must begin this educational rehabilitation process by rating the prisons the same way we rate our schools: By their success rate.
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