Essay on Halfway Houses

3162 Words Apr 7th, 2006 13 Pages
Halfway Houses: And Other Prison Alternatives

For as long as there have been people, there have been violations of societal norms. With these violations comes the question, how do we solve these problems or violations? There have been many attempts to solve these problems, for example, in many cases from the beginning of time retribution has been the answer. Another form of punishment was eventually invented that would isolate offenders from the rest of the community. This punishment called incarceration, or prison, takes the violator out of the society in an effort to stop any future misdoings. From their inception, prisons have attempted to act as both a deterrent and a rehabilitator. However, in certain times one of these is
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A 1993 study by Spohn and Holleran found, "No evidence that imprisonment reduces the likelihood of recidivism. Indeed, we find compelling evidence that offenders who are sentenced to prison have higher rates of recidivism and recidivate more quickly than do offenders placed on probation. "They also found "persuasive" evidence that imprisonment has a more pronounced criminogenic effect on drug offenders than on other types of offenders". Therefore, evidence exists that incarceration may not only not work for drug offenders, but may actually make them more likely to commit crimes in the future.

The prison system's overcrowding is making them more and more expensive to afford. Also, mandatory sentences have hindered the Judiciary's ability to sentence offenders with discretion; so many offenders are sent to prison automatically, without regard for mitigating circumstances. For some of these offenders, prison may not be the most appropriate remedy. The cost to house and feed the inmates is skyrocketing. As with the general public, the cost to provide medical treatment, especially to those elderly and special needs inmates, has increased substantially.

There is overwhelming evidence that people who are incarcerated for long periods of time become "institutionalized". They become so comfortable within this way of life that once they are released they will commit crime in order to be re-incarcerated.

Every day
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