Prison’s were established a long time ago to try to put an end to the rapidly increasing crime rate, however over time we are seeing the effectiveness of the most prisons decreasing. As a result of this epidemic, prisons have a higher recidivism rate and over 40 percents are currently operating over maximum capacity (Holder.) Through different types of research, we are finding out that our prison systems are no longer effective and there is a serious need for improvement. The United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we incarcerate almost ¼ of the worlds prisoners (Holder.)
The Unites States of America’s prison system is a flawed mess. To open the eyes of our government we must first take a stand against unlawful government decisions, and show support for the greater good of society. What are our own tax-dollars paying for, what are the flaws in the justice/prison system, why is overcrowding in prisons causing tension, and what are ways our society and government can rebuild the system that has been destroyed over the years? Most criminals in prisons are not a danger to our society because they commit crimes just to use jail as a shelter, causing the overcrowding of prisons and wasting away of what we really should be paying for.
“In 2007, one percent of American adults were in prison, which is by far the highest incarceration rate in the world.”( Trachtenberg, B., 2009). Why? Trachtenberg believes it’s because prisons do not rehabilitate people. A violent criminal is sent to prison because he is a threat to society. He is supposed to serve a lengthy term so that he will learn his lesson and become a productive member of society. During his time there he is supposed to learn to appreciate work by cooking, doing laundry, or some other prison job. While he is there he can receive his GED so that he can get a job when he gets out. This plan has good intentions but it has been proven to be ineffective.
And yet, crime rates are higher than any other country on average. The United states spends billions on facilities every year. As budgets from the penal system increase, there are fewer resources for education, health care, economic development, state & local police, and other public services that prevent crime. But has this increase of incarceration made our country safer? Long prison sentences have had a decrease on crime. However, no more than 25% of it was because of incarceration. About $70 billion is spent on corrections yearly and about $240 billion is spent on facilities. “Criminals learn better how to commit crimes, but not how to be productive in the free world or how to abandon their selfishness. Solid evidence proves that returning parolees increase crime rates in their neighborhoods.” Perhaps if we spent more money on corrections rather than facilities, this might not be a problem and more people would stay out of jail. Conditions in prison have a direct effect on criminals physically, mentally, and psychologically. Prison does not appear to help offenders. “Imprisonment can be an expensive way of making bad people worse.” (Former home secretary Lord Douglas Hurd.) If the money we spent towards facilities was used for alternative solutions to reform criminals, incarceration levels would most likely decrease. Restorative justice, for example gives victims the chance to communicate with their offenders to explain the real impact of the crime. Restorative justice can also help prisoners develop relationships outside of prison, which can help with positive personal growth. I believe this gives offenders a chance to change their ways. 49% of victims involved in a victim offender programme found that it helped their recovery
In this world we live in many feel that prisons exist to punish, not counsel, offenders. That may be true that Prisons exist for punishment, but they also have an important contribution to make to reducing re-offending by engaging prisoners in rehabilitation programs and purposeful work. Society is flawed in its thinking that by putting criminals in a place away from society we would be better off. To make it worse I am sure that more that 60 percent of Americans are against social reform because they have made up their mind that once a crook, always a crook. This is flawed mainly because it seems to assume that showing people that what they've done is wrong will always accomplish something, that punishing those who commit crimes
Whenever you imagine prison, you think up ideas and violent images that you have seen in the movies or on TV. Outdated clichés consisting of men eating stale bread and drinking dirty water are only a small fraction of the number of horrible, yet “just” occurrences which are stereotypical of everyday life in prison. Perhaps it could be a combination of your upbringing, horrific ideas about the punishment which our nation inflicts on those who violate its’ more serious laws that keeps people frightened just enough to lead a law-abiding life. Despite it’s success in keeping dangerous offenders off the streets, the American prison system fails in fulfilling its original design of restoring criminals to being productive members of society, it is also extremely expensive and wastes our precious tax dollars.
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.
Yolanda Valentin a 21-year-old prisoner, born as Daniel Valentine, looks and sounds much like a woman if it wasn’t for her sex assignment. After being placed in a cell with two male inmates, Valentin was repeatedly abused. She informed correctional officers of the continued, brutal sexual violence her cellmate was putting her through. The prison system did not respond to her. After all, from their point of view Valentin should have opted for solitary confinement to protect herself from the general population of male inmates. In solitary she would have sat quietly, by herself, for 24 hours in a cell made explicitly for violent prisoners. Valentin, a transsexual inmate in transition, asks herself constantly: “A lot of times I wake up, and I look around at my surroundings, and I see all these men. I think, ‘What am I doing here?’”(Baus).
Question: Discuss the history of the prison system in the United States. Be sure to identify the various stages that the American prison system has gone through. Also identify what problems were present with each stage as you see them.
People in The United States have been affected by the prison system, it has saved many lives, but on the other hand, people have prosecuted for minor crimes, to end up spending a lot of time in jail, which breaks apart families for far too long, it also creates a big rift between the people of this fine nation and their distrust of the law. Back in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan has issued a law that has cut funding for the mental institutions in the United states as called the deinstitutionalization of mental health, and to show ways of how we can bring our mental health system into place. Also in the same era laws have been put in place to put harsher laws on drug offenders called mandatory minimum sentencing, some people like non-violent, first-time drug offender are being treated the same way as a drug lord, and a way that we can fix that is push laws in congress to loosen minimum sentencing. Not to forget to mention the death penalty, how tax payers are wasting our money on keep prisoners on death row. Having a poor mental health system, strict mandatory minimum sentencing, racial bias in our prisons, and death penalty laws has led people to enter our prison system wrongfully. By fixing those rules we can help our society grow, and achieve greatness by doing right to our prison system.
Have you ever been to prison before? Unfortunately it is not uncommon for many people in the United States to end up in prison at any given time in their life. Chances are, if you have not been to prison you know somebody that has been imprisoned, as America has the highest rate of incarceration in the whole world. Although America’s population only accounts for 5% of the world's population, we have the highest prison rate at 25% of the whole world’s incarcerated population (Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2015). Why do we continue to see these prisons overcrowded, and how exactly does this affect the inmates?
The average cost of housing an inmate is approximately $20,000 to $30,000 per year. This price tag comes at the direct expense of public money that could be spent on public education, medical care and public assistance. And it is one reason why so many states face fiscal crises today. The state of California spends 2.5 times more money housing and feeding its inmates than it does educating students.The current unemployment rate in the US is high. And if we factored in all the people who are not looking for work because they are behind bars, it would be higher especially among young black Americans and people without a high school
Prison is an institution for the confinement of persons convicted of criminal offenses. Throughout history, most societies have built places in which to hold persons accused of criminal acts pending some form of trial. The idea of confining persons after a trial as punishment for their crimes is relatively new.
With the highest incarcerated rate in the world, does the United States prison systems offer quality rehabilitation or just punishment? According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there was approximately 706 prisoners per 100,000 residents, or about 2.2 million prisoners in 2012 and within 3 years, almost 6 out of 10 released inmates will be rearrested and half will be back in prison. According to data from www.gpo.gov , the vast majority of prisoners are not rehabilitated. Two-thirds of released prisoners are re-arrested and one-half are re-incarcerated within three years of release from prison. Rates of recidivism rise to approximately 75%-85% of released prisoners are likely to be re-arrested within a decade of release. Successful rehabilitation is vital when releasing an inmate into the community as it produces a significant reduction in criminal recidivism. The purpose of incarceration is to protect the public and punish as well as rehabilitate the criminal. It is designed to change an inmate's view of life and alter their future behavior when re-entering society. Prisons offer education, labor, and other rehabilitation sources to inmates, so why is the recidivism rate so high with these programs in place?
Convicting, sentencing, and imprisoning are just the first few steps of reducing crime. All the effort, time, and money that go into keeping criminals locked up and off the streets are really for nothing in the end if he or she commits the same crime again after release. James Haley, who is the book editor of “Prisons” points out, “Every year, close to six hundred thousand inmates are released from state and federal prisons around the country. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, two-thirds of former convicts commit new crimes and one-half are re-incarcerated within three years of being released from prison” (138). Are US prisons truly effective when so many prisoners are committing new crimes upon release? It is for the better interests of American safety that some prisoners are locked up for life, but this should not include the constant return of re-offenders. The life of most convicts involves committing a crime and being sentenced to jail only to repeat the same process again. Many re-offenders see incarceration as a ticket to a place to sleep and food to eat.