Our legal system has to pay more money in order to accommodate our older inmates because they require more medical needs. The Criminal justice system is spending a significant amount of money on our elderly sick inmates even though they are unable to commit any more crimes, leading to more problems in the system. Since most states have cracked down on criminal behaviors the population among prisons has risen in the last decade. In some prisons the population has risen as much as six times “The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, with 756 prisoners per 100,000 of the population”(Turner). Our aging inmate populations in our criminal justice system older than fifty are more than likely to have up to three chronicle diseases while incarcerated.
We Are Spending Too Much On Prisons Would you believe that America has spent around five hundred billion dollars on prisons. (Butterfield) Why are the tax payers of America spending so much money on prisons and not other effective solutions to stopping crime? The American legislation is closed minded about reducing crime. They believe that prison is the one and only solution. Since crime keeps occurring, more and more prisons need to be built and kept running for the increasing numbers of inmates that are pouring into prisons.
Access to post-secondary education is essential to improve the lives of non-violent offenders in the American justice system. Education has been proven to reduce recidivism rates and increase the success of an offender’s re-integration into society. In a study conducted in 1994 by the American Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly half of the 302,309 released offenders surveyed in fifteen different states were convicted of a new crime within three years of their release. This data shows that prison fails to properly rehabilitate offenders, since after prison ex-convicts continue to live in a way th... ... middle of paper ... ...and reentry. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2009.
they will mix with other criminals and be influenced negatively. Longer sentences have shown to be an effective way to lower recidivism rates. According to “Acquisitive Crime: Imprisonment, Detection and Social Factors", researchers concluded that an increase of just one month in the average sentence length in burglaries – from 15.4 to 16.4 months – would reduce burglaries in the following year by 4,800, out of an annual total of 962,700. A longer sentence would be even more successful if programs such as job training were in place. Job training needs to be offered in prisons to help prisoners start a career when they are released.
All across the United States of America, police officers are unfortunately, due to the lack of funding, being laid off, prisoners are being set free, the court systems are being bombarded with cases and the overall crime rate in this country continues to climb higher and higher despite our efforts to lower it. Since the economic crisis in 2008 resulting in our country falling into a recession, the criminal justice system has been forced to make cuts all the way to the very foundation. Many states throughout America were forced to release a large number of their prisoners early because of a lack of funding. For example the State of Florida released over 2500 of their inmates due to the budget crises caused by the recession. The State of Texas has been allowing convicted criminals to serve less than fifty percent of their sentence because the state simply can’t afford to keep them behind bars any longer.
60,000 of these individuals were there for marijuana according to one study. With the legalization of marijuana, it would cut the amount of tax we pay for these jails and prisons, costing us a total of 1.2 billion. Last year a total of 7 to 10 billion dollars was used towards arresting and processing against marijuana. The big picture here is that 90% of those arrests were just for possession. It is crazy that as a country we spend most of our time trying to stop the biggest drug in America when it is just wasting our money.
“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice,” stated Desmond Tutu. In 2011, studies found out that in the state of California, they’ve spent over four billion dollars on capital punishments since 1978. Trials that can result in the death penalty are 20 times more expensive on tax payers than those that can’t. The death penalty should be abolished world-wide. There are plenty of reasons that the death penalty should be outlawed.
Our system is failing because “The U.S. prison population has more than quadrupled since the early 1980s: when mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drugs when into effect” (Borowski, 2016). this clearly depicts a failing system in need of reform. Millions of people are suffering due to a system that has been targeted at incarcerating people who commit low level crime or nonviolent crimes. We are truly living in a period of governance through crime which has only set fear on people and increase the prison population drastically. This system has been used since president Nixon took into office and instated his war on drugs that gave the birth to the huge problem of mass incarceration.
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.
Death row prisoners are deemed dangerous to society and other prisoners, and so they are classified as maximum custody. This means that they are kept in a cell by themselves. Keeping prisoners on death row costs $90,000 more per year than regular confinement due to single cell housing and the extra guards that are needed in those prisons (Barnes 2 of 2). Security for the death row inmates is greatly increased which adds about 100,000 dollars to the cost of incarcerating each death row prisoner (Williams 1 of 2). California’s 714 capital prisoners cost $184 million more per year than those sentenced to life without parole.