Life in Prison

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If you walked into a room with 84 adults, chances are two of them have been in prison. One out of 42 adults in the United States has been incarcerated. 2.3 million people serving time behind bars outnumber the residents of the fourth largest U.S. city. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many if its own citizens.” The U.S. has locked up more people than any other country (Paleaz, 2013). Are prisons in the U.S. doing what they were intended to do? Out of the millions of lawbreakers confined, how many are getting reformed, learning new trades, completing degrees or refining criminal behaviors? This would seem like a legitimate question, but the real question is, “Who is benefitting more from life in the pokey: are convicts getting the appropriate level of therapy, are state and federal organizations benefitting from the services of privatized correctional institutions or are correctional institutions creating an atmosphere that benefits in enslaving American? Life in Prison Were prisons intended to reform felons, to discipline them, to remove them from society or to pad pockets with cheap labor? This question has been kicked around since the earliest modern prisons of the 1820’s. Penologists agree that prisoners should be able to learn a trade and/ or continue their education. Prison is a complex punishment. Imprisonment affects material possessions because of a lack of income while incarcerated. Inmates lose their jobs and end up withdrawing entire life savings unless they were wealthy. The impacts to the life time earning capacity takes a major hit affecting retirement plans. Convicts and former convicted felons often never reach retirement, but end up working b... ... middle of paper ... ... York: Bantaam Books, 1970. 29. Print. Pelaez, Vicky. "The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?." Global Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Dec. 2014. Pollock, Joycelyn. "The Rationale for Imprisonment." Texas State University–San Marcos, 28 Sept. 2005. Web. 25 Jan. 2014. . Tabarrok, Alexander. "Private Prisons Have Public Benefits: Newsroom: The Independent Institute." The Independent Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2014. . Yeoman, Barry. "Catalog." America's prisons : opposing viewpoints. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. .

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