The Ineffective United States Penal System

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The Ineffective United States Penal System "I have visited some of the best and the worst prison and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." -former United States Supreme Court Justice, Warren Burger In a famous psychological study conducted in 1986, mental health researches held an experiment to see the community, things changed. The rats became stressed out, violent, and developed nervous twitches, as well as eating disorders (Cozzone 8). God Bless America . . . "Every year, more people are arrested than the entire combined populations of our 13 least populous states. America incarcerates five times as many people per capita as Canada and 7 times as many as most European democracies. America spends approximately 100 billion dollars a year on the criminal justice system, up from 12 billion in 1972." --Bureau of Justice Statistics Many prominent government officials, government agencies, and non-profit organizations acknowledge that there is a serious problem with our penal system. There are many reasons and many possible solutions. Today, we will explore some possible solutions. Prison inmates are some of the most maladjusted people in society. Most inmates have had either too much discipline or not enough. They usually come from broken homes and have low self-esteem. Inmates are very insecure, causing them to be "at war with themselves as well as with society" (Szumski 20). Most inmates have not learned to follow everyday norms or strong moral values. Some believe, as do I, that if we want to rehabilitate criminals we must do more than just lock them up. For instance, we could develop programs ... ... middle of paper ... ...urrent system because nothing will change unless we do. There is plenty of evidence (thousands of research studies and crime rate comparisons) that supports a change. If we do not get involved and voice our opinions together and loudly, our crime problem could worsen beyond control. Bibliography: Works Cited Bennett, Lawrence. Counseling in Correctional Environments. New York: New York University Press, 1978. Cozzone, Chris. Welcome to Prison. 10 July 2000. . Doob, Christopher. Sociology: An Introduction. California: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994. Fox, Vernon. Community-Based Corrections. New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs, 1977. Hickey, Eric. Serial Murderers and Their Victims. 2nd ed. United States: Wadsworth Publishing Company Szumski, Bonnie. America's Prisons Opposing Viewpoints. California: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1985.

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