The Effects Of Incarceration

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Introduction: Prisons were initially created to deter criminals from committing crimes and with the hope that one would learn to reflect on his/her mistakes during incarceration. Since the 1900s, the incarceration rate of the United States has outnumbered that of every other nation in the world, with rates being as many as four to eight times that of other nations (Haney, 2001; Visher, 2013). In the past, prisons focused on rehabilitation, which is a place to prepare convicts for proper reentry; support such as education, vocational, and counseling programs were readily given to those that needed it. However, today, there has been a large de-emphasis placed on reintegration, and the focus shifted from rehabilitation to incapacitation. And because of a society who has opted for the incapacitation of offenders, alongside reduced funding, there is a lack of “willingness to assist ex-offenders” (Seiter & Kadela, 2003). Moreover, not much has been put into place to address issues offenders face post-release, with only a scattered few numbers of rehabilitation programs to aid them (Petersilia, 2001). At the same time, not only are ex-offenders not being helped, but during the inmate’s incarceration, families take on more burdens especially if they are already struggling. Extended lengths of incarceration are leaving ex-offenders with traumatic psychological effects that follow them into post imprisonment and without the right skills necessary upon their return to society. As they reintegrate into society, ex-offenders must learn to cope with the complications that they will experience in their daily lives. Psychological Effects as a Result of Incarceration Previously, about 70% of prisons utilized indeterminate sentencing along with a ... ... middle of paper ... ... as a parole board, who will help facilitate reentry, inmates will be taught essential skills, such as learning to count and read (Petersilia, 2001), needed to be successful. Support groups lshould also be made available to any ex-offender in need. One discrepancy founded in the research was the substantial lack of research done on the effects of long term effects of incarceration on female inmates and how that affects their lives post-incarceration. With the purpose of trying to fully understand how long-term incarceration affects reintegration, researchers must first conduct more studies on female inmates and how incarceration has affected their being as well as their life beyond prison walls. Another aspect that researchers should further investigate, is how the incarceration affects those who are mentally ill and how they have to deal with post incarceration.

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