Prison Persuasive Essay

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In the simplest terms, prisons exist for punishment, deterrence, and reform. Many forget that nearly all prisoners will return to society. Prisons should give inmates the right opportunities to turn their lives around. Through fair, just, engaging, and structured successful reentry programs, they can make a positive difference, which means everyone will be that much safer. Over time, prisons have begun to overflow and loss sight of their mission. Prison reform is important not only for the inmates, but also affects all of society. To make the best of our prison system we need to reduce prison admissions, and increase successful reentry. The problem with prisons today is that they are overflowing at a dangerous rate, and…show more content…
The number of mandatory minimum penalties in the federal criminal code has jumped from 98 in 1991 to 195 in 2011. Fifty-five percent of inmates in federal prisons are serving sentences with a mandatory penalty of five years or more. That’s up from 43.6 percent in 1990 (National Institute of Justice). The United States is one of the few countries on Earth that does not guarantee retroactive ameliorative relief in sentencing. With that being said, those convicted of a crime are not automatically given relief if the punishment for that crime is revised (or eliminated entirely) after their sentencing. For instance, 2010’s Fair Sentencing Act significantly lowered the federal mandatory punishments for crack cocaine possession (VICE). However, it failed to provide retroactive relief for the thousands upon thousands of individuals already harshly sentenced under the older statutes. There are just too many inmates serving long sentences for nonviolent drug…show more content…
In 2012, almost 7,000 people were convicted in federal courts for marijuana offenses, more than for any other type of drug (U.S. Commission). Therefore, rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance would help drop this number severely. With 2.4 million Americans, currently incarcerated, it’s a true wonder why we aren’t doing more to help them reenter society. It 's vital that each one does so having grown as a person, addressed the issues behind their offending, taken responsibility, and repaired some of the harm they have caused. As stated by, the National Institute of Justice, within three years of release about 67.8% are rearrested, and after five years about 76.6%. That is to say, if prisons got the help they needed to help them rejoin society this number would be drastically
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