The recidivism rate of prisoners continues to rise. Should drug users and alcoholics continue to be incarcerated because they don’t have the ability to help themselves and stop using drugs? That is a form of neglect and continuing to waste taxpayer dollars to neglect the issue is only digging the national debt deeper, and avoiding the real
Rehabilitation prepares inmates that are within a few years of release to integrate back into society. It should be required in prisons to have rehabilitative programs. They are indispensable for the inmates’ health, and it gives the occupants of prison a chance to change for the better. There is an understanding that it will not work right away or for some, however giving inmates programs to help fight their drug and alcohol addiction will have higher chances of not returning to prison for those reasons. The education such as a GED will help inmates get jobs as more places that hire require such.
A huge issue in America is the growing industry of privatized prisons. Usually referred to as the Prison Industrial Complex, the issue ties together many problems like the connection between the massive rate of imprisonment for nonviolent crimes as well as the growing political influence of the private prison industries and companies that thrive on inmate population. As this problem gets larger and larger, the prisons in the United States fill up continuously, because of a mentality that years of imprisonment can fix pretty much any problem. Between 1970 and 2005 the US' prison population grew by a massive 700% (Kirkham), far outpacing both population growth and crime rates. Today it's got to the point where America is home to 5% of the world's population but a quarter of the world's prisoners (The PEW).
The US Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is used to attribute the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies. The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. After spending $5.2 billion on prison construction over the past fifteen years, California now has not only the largest but also the most overcrowded prison system in the United States. The state Department of Corrections estimates that it will need to spend an additional $6.1 billion on prisons over the next decade just to maintain the current level of overcrowding. At least 37
This increase is believed to be the result of the required sentences correlated with the increase of crime associated with drugs (Shigekawa). About one-third of the 1.5 million Americans arrested for drugs spend time in prison. It is also believed that the increase of prisoners is caused by the new sentencing guidelines. These guidelines decrease the judge’s influence on if someone should be convicted or not and increased the length of sentences. The three-strikes law causes nonviolent repeat offenders to serve long
Injustice in The Prison System “Today we have the highest rate of incarceration in the world,” (Stevenson). The prison population in the U.S. has grown extremely fast over the past three decades. With almost “six million people on probation or parole,” it is clear that there is a problem with our prison system (Stevenson). I believe the prison system in the United States is outdated and unjust because of unfair sentencing, racial discrimination, and the privation of the prison system. Under the current prison system, many offenders of nonviolent crimes are getting much longer sentences than actually necessary.
It is hard to solely blame the political shift and war on drugs for the mass incarceration problem, when the high rates are still lingering in the United States. The disadvantaged make up a large concentration of the incarcerated population (Western & Wildeman, 2009). There are plenty of problems with the legal portion of the correctional system, but there are also sociological
The American criminal justice systems hold more than 2.3 million people in all kinds of prisons, jails, juvenile detentions, etc... (Wagner and Rabuy). There are people in this country that do not need to be thrown in prison for some minor crime they committed. Prisons are filling up way to fast; they get so full that they how to find other secure places to put them. A current situation in the U. S. today is the prisons are overcrowded caused by harsh and biased policing, and currents laws; the effects of these problems are high recidivism rates, and minor offenders turn into hardened criminals. There are many causes of prisons overcrowding, one is the harsh and biased policing.
powder cocaine.” As Politicians began cracking down on crime and get tough on drugs, people began to go to prison. Such a vast majority of people were going; the government could not build prisons fast enough. The citizens of the united states began to want a different solution for ending crime because they were tired of paying tax dollars for prisons. According to the Washington State Institute of Public Policy, in 1975 it cost an individual taxpayer $200 to cover his/her part of the criminal justice budget. By year 2000, the annual cost had risen to $1,200, a six-fold increase, yet crime rates have remained about the same.
One staggering number that comes up when researching mandatory minimums is the percentage of people in federal prison for drug offences now, versus before mandatory minimums for drug offences were put in place. It is reported that as of now sixty percent of the federal prison population is made up of drug defendants (prisonpolicy.org), this is twenty two percent higher than it was before mandatory minimums. Note, this only reflects a growth in inmate population, not a reduction in crime or drug use. Another number relating to the results of mandatory minimums is the amount of people in jail who desperately need help. “Some 80 percent of the men and women behind bars – some 1.4 million individuals – are seriously involved with drug and alcohol abuse.”(prisonpolicy.org).