Are Prisons Effective?

Powerful Essays
Are Prisons Effective?

Imprisonment; is it beneficial or non-beneficial? This argument is presented from the viewpoint of both sides of this issue. One group, "The Council on Crime in America", is pro-incarceration; while on the other side of this issue, " The National Criminal Justice Commission", is con-incarceration. Both sides have presented their viewpoints clearly and factually.

Those who are for incarceration present their opinions in such a way as to sway the reader toward accepting what they say as the only answer to fight back against the growing crime rate. If the prisoners are locked up in prisons, then they cannot commit crimes. Moreover, they feel that the criminals can be rehabilitated behind bars. Also, they view imprisonment as a deterrent against future crimes. For example, if a law-breaker sees his friend imprisoned for a crime he committed, then the other party will be less willing to break the law and end up in prison as well. Furthermore, punishment itself would satisfy most of society when the criminal is imprisoned.

Prison offers law-breakers a chance to receive drug treatment, educational benefits, and as stated before, a chance at rehabilitation. Also, incarceration costs less than leaving criminals out of prisons because the cost of housing inmates is less than the cost of their crimes incur. Plus, those in favor of imprisonment state that most inmates are repeat offenders that have probably committed many crimes that they have not even been caught committing. For example, some people feel that "low level drug dealers" should not be imprisoned, but these so called "low level drug dealers" usually can be credited with other crimes. Pro-incarceration feels that putting these crimi...

... middle of paper ...

...obbers must be incarcerated, but the balance of non-violent criminals does not treat every criminal the same. More minorities and poor whites end up behind bars than those who can afford a high priced lawyer. Moreover, only the strong survive in prison while the weak or new prisoners are subject to rape, robbery and beatings. Thus, inmates must resort to survival tactics just to get by from day to day. This makes a non-violent offender worse than before he or she arrived at prison. Prisoners who have committed the same exact crimes do not always get the same time serve. Prisoners get humiliated besides being punished. When these prisoners are released, they must rebuild their self-esteem and families. Plus, if imprisonment was meant to be a deterrent against crime, why are there so many other criminals ready to take over for the criminal who is incarcerated.
Get Access