Prison Reform in the United States of America

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Prison Reform in The United States of America
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones” (Nelson Mandela, 1994). The United States of America has more people behind bars than any other country on the planet. The prisons are at over double capacity. It cost a lot of money to house prisoners each year. A large number of the prisoners are there because of drug related offenses. There are prisoners who have been sent to prison for life for marijuana related drug offenses. Many prisoners have been exonerated after spending many years behind bars due to the corruption in our legal system. 32 States in United States of America still execute prisoners even though there is no evidence to suggest that capital punishment is a deterrent. Prison reform is needed in America starting at the legal system and then ending the death penalty.
There are too many people incarcerated in the United States of America. The U.S. imprisons 724 people per 100,000. In absolute numbers United States has more of its citizens behind bars then do China or Russia combined. (Gallagher 2008). There are about thousand U.S. citizens that become incarcerated in the prison system in any given week. Many of the prisons are so crowded that they have converted the gymnasium into a massive housing unit. These massive housing units hold hundreds of prisoners inside small gymnasiums. The bunk beds are stacked four or five high with every available space reserved for the bunk beds. Even though the prisons are over double capacity they have not added one extra toilet or shower at any of the facilities. Because of this many of the prisoners report tha...

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...nited States of America is throwing billions of dollars down an empty black hole trying to solve a problem that they don’t really even have. If just the slightest reforms were made towards drug rehabilitation instead of incarceration then many people’s lives could be saved to live productive lives in society and contribute towards the well being of everyone. If drug policy were changed to exclude incarceration then the U.S. would save billions of dollars every year from having to incarcerate these prisoners. If District attorneys were held responsible for withholding crucial evidence that can exonerate the accused then we would reduce the number of innocent people serving time for crimes that they did not commit. If the death penalty was abolished throughout The United States of America then we would know that no injustices are being served that cannot be reversed.

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