Problems with the American Prison System

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Throughout history into today, there have been many problems with our prison system. Prisons are overcrowded, underfunded, rape rates are off the charts, and we as Americans have no idea how to fix it. We need to have shorter sentences and try to rehabilitate prisoners back to where they can function in society. Many prisoners barely have a high school education and do not receive further education in jail. Guards need to pay more attention to the well being of the inmates and start to notice signs of abuse and address them. These are just a few of the many problems in our prison systems that need to be addressed. Overcrowding in our state and federal jails today has become a big issue. Back in the 20th century, prison rates in the U.S…show more content…
(Harris pg. 1) Many of these problems have to do with prisons mixing different groups and expecting inmates to not fight one another. There are many different types of people in prison. This includes race, religion, age, and nonviolent and violent inmates. “People who break the law are not all alike. They are an enormously diverse group of human beings.” says a sheriff at a prison in Illinois. Black individuals are imprisoned nearly six times the amount of white individuals. Latinos are two times the white rate. 13% of the U.S. population is black, 14% of the black populations are drug users, and 37% of the black prison population are in for drug use. (Wilson pg. 1 par. 9) Prison is full of many racists and black and white individuals are put in the same cell. Because of the higher black population in prison, if a fight breaks out between races, the odds are always in the black peoples favor. Also, prisons routinely put violent and nonviolent inmates together. This puts the nonviolent inmate in danger. Lastly, age differences have become an issue. When inmates of different ages, six years or more, are placed in the same cell, a fight is ten times more likely to happen. (Harris pg. 2) Inmates need to be educated and rehabilitated in order to be released back into society. If prisoners receive a good education they are less likely to commit misconduct in the future. The Three State Recidivism Study
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