The Importance of Prison Reform

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In this world we live in many feel that prisons exist to punish, not counsel, offenders. That may be true that Prisons exist for punishment, but they also have an important contribution to make to reducing re-offending by engaging prisoners in rehabilitation programs and purposeful work. Society is flawed in its thinking that by putting criminals in a place away from society we would be better off. To make it worse I am sure that more that 60 percent of Americans are against social reform because they have made up their mind that once a crook, always a crook. This is flawed mainly because it seems to assume that showing people that what they've done is wrong will always accomplish something, that punishing those who commit crimes will deter others from following the same pattern. The problem with prison is that prisons are not a place of rehabilitation.

There are people who steal and sell drugs simply because they have no other means of survival. There are people whose lives in the outside world are so terribly difficult that for them, that prison life is a cushier existence than their ordinary day-to-day existence, and many of these people intentionally commit crimes so they will be arrested and thrown in jail, simply so that they can get a decent meal and a bed. These people are then introduced to major offenders, who have not been rehabilitated and become worse than their "mentors." For these people, even if they feel that their criminal existence is indeed a moral wrong, prison does nothing to make them repent or change their way of life.

A poorly planned criminal justice program can incapacitate the goals of reintegration of ex-criminal into society. With the way things are in prison prisoners are c...

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...way to isolate such individuals from the latter and help them instead of turning them into hardened criminals. Prison life and the exclusive association with other criminals is a training school for a life of crime for the majority of petty criminals. The un-rehabilitated criminals after serving a sentence in prison are released into society more hardened in a life of crime than before. The questions we need to ask are: Will longer prison terms help to deter criminals from committing more crimes when they are released? How many more tax dollars will be taken from other programs to lock up these offenders? If the system we have now doesn't work, and neither do longer prison terms, should the system itself be reprogrammed? The current prison system is what is really wasting taxpayers money because they get nothing out of it. Keeping people in prison is expensive.
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