A major part of the evolution within the prison system is prisoner rights. Even though citizens loose many of their rights once committing a felony, there are still rights afforded to those individuals incarcerated. Prisoner rights are important to maintaining balance within the prison system. They give the prisoners a voice, which prevents prison officials from abusing their power. Prisoner rights are necessary to maintaining a particular level of care for inmates, for it forces the correctional staff to be more hands on in their approach. This way they may also receive the treatment necessary for proper rehabilitation, as well as the tools
Within this paper, you will find a comprehensive review of the United States prison system, and why it needs to analyzed to better support and reform the people of this country. I plan to persuade the other side (politicians and society) into seeing that the way the prison system is now, is not ethical nor economical and it must change. We have one of the world’s largest prison population, but also a very high rate of recidivism. Recidivism is when the prisoners continuously return to prison without being reformed. They return for the same things that they were doing before. So, this leads us to ask what exactly are we doing wrong? When this happens, we as a nation must continuously pay to house and feed these inmates. The purpose of a prison needs to be examined so we can decide if we really are reforming our inmates, or just continuing a vicious cycle. What is the true purpose of prison besides just holding them in a cell? There must be more we can do for these hopeless members of society.
The United States currently has the highest number of prisoners in the world. According to Glaze and Herrmann (2013), approximately 6.9 million adults are under some form of correctional supervision in the United States. Crime in the United States is relatively equal to that of any other industrialized nation, so why does the United States house so many inmates irrespective of the fact that the nation cannot successfully manage a budget for the institution as well as manage the inmates? An inmate, Victor Hassine, provides insight as to what prisoners physically and mentally experience during incarceration as well as his ideas on the effects of prisons on inmates in his book, Life without Parole.
Equalizing the constitutional rights of prisoners and the functions of the jail or prison can create great strain on not only the correctional facilities’ staff but on the inmates as well. The treatment of prisoners is typically left completely to the prudence of prison administrators and other correctional officials. With that being said, this paper will discuss the differences between harmonizing those constitutional rights of prisoners and the functions of the facility. It will also explain the rights that prisoners are required to have, and how these rights are balanced within other aspects of the correctional institution.
As we evolved into a more civilized society many things changed. Medicine became better; schools and education improved, and treatment of our prisoners became more humane. The constitution of our country clearly prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. No longer would captors be allowed torture that captive with iron maidens or contraptions of the like. These basic rules seem obvious to us today, but they represent the foundation of prisoner rights, the idea that even if we break the rules of our society we are still afforded basic rights that can not be taken from us. What are these rights? When did they come about? Why did they happen? In this paper
People who suddenly find themselves sentenced to prison usually face a great deal of fear and uncertainty. These feelings stem from the differences that an inmate experiences versus how a “civilian” experiences life on the outside of prison. Accepted societal norms put aside for the codes and norms of prison inmates.
Every civilization in history has had rules, and citizens who break them. To this day governments struggle to figure out the best way to deal with their criminals in ways that help both society and those that commit the crimes. Imprisonment has historically been the popular solution. However, there are many instances in which people are sent to prison that would be better served for community service, rehab, or some other form of punishment. Prison affects more than just the prisoner; the families, friends, employers, and communities of the incarcerated also pay a price. Prison as a punishment has its pros and cons; although it may be necessary for some, it can be harmful for those who would be better suited for alternative means
Prison population. Prisons in the United States have changed throughout the years and became the standard for punishment. Here in America we jail on more offenses for longer periods of time than in any other country (Deady, 2014). Our prison population has increased to over 500% in the last forty years (The Sentencing Project, 2014). A lot of this is due to the crack down on crime and the war on drugs. With the influx of inmates in our prison system we must look at what our prison
America has the highest rate of incarceration per capita of any other industrialized nation. That is an amazing fact. Don’t believe it? Then do some research. The World Prison Brief, a database hosted by the International Centre for Prison Studies, provides an online table* that list the world’s prison population broken down by nation. With a total population of over 320 million, the U.S. ranks at 698 prisoners per 100,000 people. That beats just about every nation in the world, including China and Russia combined.
The United States is regarded as a country of innovation and progress. However, the prison and disciplinary systems in the U.S. fall short in several aspects. With the highest incarceration rate in the world, one might expect American prisons to be prepared for providing quality care and rehabilitation for inmates. Unfortunately, this is not the reality - with a growing number of privatized prisons, the quality of life for inmates and their families is dissipating. The U.S. prison system is in desperate need of reform; closing down private prisons will help in alleviating monetary pressure, reducing abuse reports, and lowering the rate of reincarceration in individuals. Prison reform should be seen as a priority, as nonviolent offenders are suffering far more than they should, and are purposely conditioned to be reincarcerated after their release. Private prisons are rapidly growing in the U.S. to keep up with a growing number of inmates. With the rising number of prisoners, prisoner abuse levels are also rising exponentially. This is due to the fact that private prisons are a booming industry that exploits prisoners for profits. Private prisons may seem beneficial at a glance; however, they enforce lax regulations and are notorious for overcrowding and “barbaric” conditions. Prisons should rehabilitate nonviolent offenders in
Even though prisoners are incarcerated, they still are entitled to certain rights. There is a lot of debate about which rights prisoners should have because they can’t have too much freedom, and they also can’t have too little freedom. If inmates have much freedom, chaos would reign over the facility. No inmate would learn to truly change their ways and fit back into the community successfully. If too little freedom is given, inmates would be neglected and treated like animals. The perfect balance is needed to achieve a functional correctional facility.
According to statistical data found in the Bureau for Justice Records, there are a number of problems that most prisons in the country face. The records indicate that the number of adult federal and state inmates increased from `139% in `1980 to 260% (Walker, 1999). As a natural default, the United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This in itself brings about one of the major problems that are faced in modern incarceration which is overcrowding in most prison facilities. The number of offenders in the country has increased rapidly over time while the country prison system has not really been able to cope with this rapid increase. Prisons intended for one or two inmates are now crowded with more than fifty individuals. Because of this most prisons are overcrowded and most of the facilities available are unable to cater for the needs of all the prisoners (Siegel, 2009).
While lawful incarceration deprives prisoners of most of Americas Constitutional rights, they do maintain a few constitutional rights. Federal courts, while hesitant to impede with the internal administration of prisons, will interfere to rectify violations of the constitutional rights that prisoners are still entitled to. A prison guideline that oversteps on a prisoner’s constitutional rights is lawful only if it is reasonably related to the safety of the inmates or the rehabilitation of that prisoner.
The ethical theory of utilitarianism and the perspective on relativism, of prison labor along with the relativism on criminal behavior of individuals incarcerated are two issues that need to be addressed. Does the utilitarianism of prisoner’s right laws actually protect them? Or are the unethical actions of the international and states right laws exploiting the prison labor? Unethical procedures that impact incarcerated individuals and correctional staff, the relativism of respect as people and not just prisoner’s; the safety of all inmates and correctional staff, are all issues worth continuous reflection.