America 's Prison System Is Ineffective Essays

America 's Prison System Is Ineffective Essays

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America’s prison system is ineffectual. This stems from a series of issues. There is an absence of focus on the purpose of a prisons. In her essay, “Teaching Literature at the County Jail”, Christina Boufis is exposed to many of these problems firsthand. Because inmates are considered less than human by many, not much money goes towards care or rehabilitation. Resultantly, many people released from prison end up being arrested again, sometimes for the same crime. The paper “Prison’s Dilemma: Do Education and Jobs Programmes Affect Recidivism?” was published in the Academic Journal Economica by Norman H. Sedgley, Charles E. Scott, Nancy A. Williams and Frederich W. Derrick. The authors analysed studies on the effects of vocational and educational training on recidivism. Using Boufis as a jumping on point, this information provides compelling proof of the importance of specific types of rehabilitation in prison. These programs are integral in providing inmates with the skills necessary to not sink to the same crimes that got them arrested in the first place.
The core issue that really faces prison is a crisis of purpose. At their core, prisons should be focused on rehabilitating the prisoners so they can be contributing members of society. However, the public perception of prison inmates is drenched with animosity. Prisoners are seen as animals, less than human. Boufis shows an example of this, explaining how “jail is a liminal time during which many wait indeterminately to be sentenced on to prison or parole. Release dates can come and go mysteriously without the promised freedom and no explanation for the delay”(98). Prisoners are deprived of even basic knowledge of their legal situation. They are reduced to numbe...

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...00 federal offenders 8-12 years after release. The specific inmates that had at least six months of vocational training “were found to have a 33% reduction effect on recidivism” (499). This is a solid statistic that demonstrates the value of giving individuals marketable skills to prevent crime.
Whether someone will commit a crime or not is all about circumstances. An individual with few marketable skills and fewer opportunities is likely commit a crime because they have nowhere else to turn. This person is then put in prison and released when they are ready to not be a criminal anymore. However, if a person is put back into the same environment with no improved skills and possibly worse prospects due to having a criminal record, is it a wonder that recidivism is common? This highlights how integral vocational and educational training is in rehabilitation.

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