Incarceration Of The United States Criminal Justice System

Decent Essays

Incarceration Rates in the US are The United States criminal justice system has failed to rehabilitate criminals. Even after being punished for their crimes, convicts continue their wrongdoings without having gained valuable lessons from being incarcerated and are sent back to prison. Jails are supposed to aid those imprisoned by helping them gain skills that will reduce future occurrences and enable them to act morally in society. Punishing criminals is not as productive as it is thought to be, shown by the increased incarceration rate from 250,000 in 1976 to almost 2 million by 2003 (Lynch 26, 49). Instead of learning how to work towards managing their problems, prisoners are expected to learn from their mistakes by being …show more content…

Furthermore, Americans account for 25 percent of all prisoners, even though they make up only five percent of the worldwide population of prisoners and non-prisoners (Hawkins). Since many of them will return to jail, incarcerating large amounts of convicts does not appear to be useful. These increased incarceration rates have increased prisoners’ costs. Mark Cohen, expert on government enforcement, states that in 1998, “the cost for one career criminal was $1,500,000”. Just a decade later, that cost has significantly increased from about 2,600,000 to $5,300,000 (Cohen and Piquero). Since the total charge is a conservative estimate, it could be more or less than the actual. The dramatic increase should be alarming to everyone in the United States, and should lead people to question their government representatives on whether or not it is an appropriate amount of money to spend on criminals. For example, concerned citizens could write letters to their representatives to suggest the following plan: create programs that allow inmates to unite and speak about their problems with each other, along with a psychologist. In a recent news article, a former prisoner named Alacia Alamo speaks about the Alternatives to Violence Project (Benson). The workshop taught her how to communicate with others and enabled her to adapt a new attitude

Get Access