His heart beat out of his chest and his expression showed the anxiety and adrenaline coursing through him. Shuffling along the hall, the thud of doors locking behind him rang in his ears. The urge to run, to flee, almost took hold, yet he managed to comply with the guards dragging him onward. He still couldn’t get the wails of his mother out of his head and the image of the judge looking down on him. Of all mistakes he had made this was the worst and he was paying the price now. The guards suddenly shoved him into a crowded cafeteria, where men turned to stare back at him. None of their expressions gave him any warm fuzzy feelings and in that moment he knew his life before had just ended. “Mess around and you’ll be put in the hole,” growled out the guard before leaving him to the other inmates. He thought they were joking, but with one small skirmish, he would realize that this place was no joke and “the hole” was a place you fought to stay out of.
While this story may seem like an exaggeration, the environment inmates must endure can be dangerous and lethal to all inside the system. Whether an inmate is in for one year or twenty, the prison environment gives no room for regrowth and rehabilitation. After the “Tough on Crime” movement of the 1960s and 70s incarceration boomed due to the sole focus of punishment in order to deter crime. These policies would ultimately lead to the increase in the prison populations, instead of deterring of crime which was advertised as the main goal (Political Research Associates). The focus on punishing offenders has been top priority since the late 20th century, but use of only this method will not solve the growing problem of the corre...
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...mprisoned costs this much that means over $7 billion is spent on incarcerating inmates each year. This figure would not include the government provided lawyer costs, costs of employing the officers tasked with manning these prisons, and programs provided for prisoners outside the prison. The need for retaliation against crime does not prevent crime from reoccurring thus continuing the cycle of crime and the costs that come with it. In order to decrease these figures, crime numbers must go down and for this to happen, the reasons for crime occurring must be addressed as well. While we continue to address what causes crime, those who have already committed it can still become productive citizens that would prevent the reoffending rate from increasing. For those who wish to turn their lives around and reenter the community, programs and employment could offer a way out.
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