Criminal Rehabilitation in the United States Justice System

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Nationally, every 7 minutes, another person enters prison. And every 14 minutes, someone returns to the streets, beaten down and, more often than not, having suffered a great amount of violence during his or her incarceration. Professionals will tell you that incarceration really does very little to stop crime, but we go on spending billions of dollars in order to lock up more and more people. We have become the country with the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world. (National Criminal Justice Commission) This quote from Dave Kelly shows many of the issues with the United State’s criminal justice system today. The prison population is increasing because prisoners are being taken in at a higher rate than they are released. Also these prisons have become dangerous; inmates are exposed to a great deal of violence inside prison walls. These problems do not result from stingy spending on the prisons, which can be seen from the billions of dollars that are thrown at prisons to keep U.S. citizens locked up. This dangerous and inefficient system must be reformed for the benefit of U.S. citizens that are involved in them whether through paying taxes or being in these prisons. Although the fear of punishment deters crime, United States criminal justice systems should focus on rehabilitation. In its past, the United States justice system has focused on punishment and imprisonment and improving its ability to do so. Crime in the United States has generally been responded to with punishment and large amounts of imprisonment. This has resulted in an imprisonment rate currently standing at nearly 720 prisoners per every 100,000 citizens (“People, not prisoners”). To supply enough room for all these prisoners, approximately... ... middle of paper ... ...013: 4. General OneFile. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. "A solitary scandal." America 18 Mar. 2013: 5. General OneFile. Web. 16 Apr. 2014 Weissmueller, Zach. “Swift and Certain Punishment Works Better than Severe Sentences.” Criminal Justice. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “‘Long Prison Terms Are Wasteful Government Spending’: Criminologist Mark Kleiman on Replacing Severity with Swiftness and Certainty.” Reason (July 2011). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. Wilson, James Q. “Greater Incarceration and a Change in Culture Explain the Decline in Crime.” Criminal Justice. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Crime and the Great Recession.” City Journal 21.3 (Summer 2011). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2014
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