Punishment And Tough On Crime Era Policies Essay

1983 WordsDec 13, 20168 Pages
In this period of mass incarceration and tough on crime era policies, harsh prison and jail conditions are being utilized as a form of deterrent to reduce crime and improve public safety. Accordingly, well over “2.3 million people are in prison or jail, and 700,000 former offenders are returned into society each year and 77 percent were sent back to prison costing taxpayers massive amounts of revenue.” (Mears & Cochran, 2015) As a result of this the United States possesses the “highest incarceration rate in the world” due to this faulty theory. (Mears & Cochran, 2015) For many politicians and the general public, they believe the idea that stringent and austere prison conditions will create a milieu in which an offender will want to reform to avoid these intolerable living environments. This situation is exacerbated by the lack of studies, and politicians not heeding the existing research. According to Listwan et al., limited number of studies that has paid systematic attention to how exposure to the deprivations or pains of imprisonment might foster reoffending. This omission is somewhat perplexing, given that the pains of imprisonment have long been documented and that policymakers have explicitly celebrated the painfulness of prisons as a way of teaching offenders that “crime does not pay.” (Listwan et al., 2013) However, these intentions are faulty, and it raises a myriad of issues about mass imprisonment and reentry. Brutal and insufferable prison conditions create an

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