Pros And Consequences Of The United States Prison System

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The United States has the highest prison rate in the world at 724 per 100,000 people are incarcerated.(Borowski) With the immense number of criminals incarcerated, one would assume that the countries crime rate is extremely low. But, because a majority of these inmates are incarcerated for non-violent crimes, it is still embarrassingly high. On the other hand, there is no evidence or valid argument that the crime rate would be lowered if there was a mass release of incarcerated criminals. In fact, it is reasonable to suggest that the United States crime rate would rise if these criminals were released. Ultimately the United States jailing system is flawed with the overpopulation of jails, policies for the mentally ill, lack of education for…show more content…
The United states incarcerates nearly 1 in 100 American adults. The prison population quadrupled from 1970 to 1990 (Pollock). The incarceration rate has exceeded two million and the federal prisons are operating at 31% over capacity (Robinson) When the state and the local governments started passing tough-on-crime legislations, the country’s incarceration addiction grew at a mega rate. Moreover, while the society admits that incarceration helps in rehabilitating and transforming people’s characters, other methods of deterring crime can also be utilized to help manage the problem prison overcrowding. According to Alinejad and Nazarinejad (2015), while creating new facilities will help accommodate new inmates, and then the number of detainees that need rehabilitation in prisons will continue to increase as time elapses. As a result, the country’s judicial system needs to explore alternative incarceration methods other than…show more content…
Over 2.7 million children in the US have at least one parent behind bars, with a lot having both, putting them at a major disadvantage. (Albanese) These children are either supported by a single parent, who has to devote most of their time working to put food on the table, or thrown in foster homes without ever learning how to truly function in society. There are currently more jails than colleges in the United States.(Borowski) States can reduce their incarceration rates through such reforms as reclassifying low-level felonies to misdemeanors where appropriate, expanding the use of alternatives to prison (such as fines and victim restitution), and eliminating prison sentences for technical violations of parole/probation where no new crime was committed.(Stemen) And they could use the freed-up funds in a number of ways, such as expanding access to high-quality preschool, reducing class sizes in high-poverty schools, and revising state funding formulas to invest more in high-poverty neighborhoods.(Mitchell) But reordering state priorities away from maintaining large prison populations and toward investing in human capital will pay off over the long term. While incarcerated, inmates can take advantage of many different types of educational programs if they choose too. Such programs include GED classes, Alcoholic Antonymous programs, Anger Management classes, and other
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