Prisons serve two main functions; separation and rehabilitation. Criminals cannot be allowed to walk around with everyone else without being punished; they must be separated from society. The thought of going to prison helps deter most people from crime. Rehabilitation is the main goal of prison; making a bad person into a good person by the time they are released. These seem like cut and dry functions, but as of late some believe that prisons in the United States have failed in their attempts to separate and rehabilitate.
One of the main reasons why many prisons have become overcrowded is because of states’ harsh criminal laws and parole practices (Cohen). “One in every 100 American adults is behind bars, the highest incarceration rate in the world” (Cohen). The amount of inmates in corrections systems, throughout the nation, sky-rocketed to 708 percent between 1972 and 2008. Today, there are about 145,000 inmates occupying areas only designed for 80,000 (Posner). Peter Mosko, “an assistant professor of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice” (Frazier) stated, “America, with 2.3 million people behind bars, has more prisoners than soldiers” (Frazier).
In 2007 88% of the prison population was due to substance abuse problems and addictions. The other small percent is due to conscious crime and violence. If the issue is narrowed down to this then there is some think to fix. If we break down the cost of prisons due to addiction rehabs and half-way housing and the amount of time prisoners spend in prison compared to the time spent getting help, I think there is a more effective and productive way to solve this issue. The other issue about this topic is these prisoners’ real criminals.
Overcrowding in prisons across the United States has been a controversial issue that needs to be more of a concern for the criminal justice system. In essence, prison overcrowding is a common social phenomenon in modern times- a phenomenon that occurs if and when the demand for prisoner space in prisons in a particular jurisdiction exceeds the capacity that the jurisdiction can provide to hold the prisoners. Prison overcrowding is felt more when the number of prisoners being incarcerated and admitted into prisons exceeds the number of prisoners being released or die- this would free up some prison space to cater for incoming prisoners. One of the major reasons as to why prisons are overcrowded is the tyranny in the judicial systems
He also said that most drug offenders go back to prison, because they do not get help with their addictions. They are being put into a place that is just making their addictions worse. People may say that the problem with overcrowding of prisons does not affect them, but if you’re a taxpayer this prob... ... middle of paper ... ...2013. Frantz, Michael. “Federal Prison Overcrowding-Costs, Reasons, and Alternatives!” PRLog.
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.
We spend more money on our inmates then we do with any other groups such as the old, the young that needed help, and the sick. Last year we spend 167,731 dollars per inmate. Deterrence is the use of punishment as a threat to deter people from committing crimes. It is hard to prove if the death penalty actually deters people because there are only a few executions every year. Ernest van den Haag, a Professor of Jurisprudence at Fordham University who has studied the question of deterrence closely, wrote: "Even though statistical demonstrations are not conclusive, and perhaps cannot be, capital punishment is likely to deter mo... ... middle of paper ... ...round 3.2 million per execution!
This law doubles sentences for second-time felons and gives life sentences for even non-violent third felony offenders. In March 2008, there were 41,284 prisoners serving time under this three-strikes law. In 2005, they estimated this law was costing the state $500 million each year. (Moore, 2009) Public Safety Concerns The biggest issue with public safety concerns is the public may be quick to overreact and not hear out the positive aspects of releasing certain offenders early on parole or probation. The public is quicker to want more prisons built, than to support programs that would rehabilitate those offenders who could be active parts of their communities without threat.
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. Our government deceives our perspective, causing taxpayers to just give their hard-earned money to unconstitutional profits apart of the justice system.