Incarceration Has Been The Center Of The United States Justice System Essay

Incarceration Has Been The Center Of The United States Justice System Essay

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Incarceration has been the center of the United States justice system ever since the opening of the nation’s first prison. In order to understand how the aspects of the first corrections institutions correlate to later correctional practices seen today. Whether it was temporary or permanent, there has always been some form of detainment for offenders, and they were always held against their will. Imprisonment of offenders in earlier times was done primarily to hold the accused until the authorities determined the offender’s actual punishment. Jails and prisons create a vicious and expensive cycle of crime that usually just end up overcrowding correctional facilities.
The problem with overcrowding caused lawmakers to come up with better solutions and alternative methods to incarcerating criminal offenders. Alternative programs are constructed to help prevent violence and strengthen community ties. Also it has been proven that accused persons who actually turn out to be innocent build up animosity towards the justice system and harbor negative feelings as it seems the inequities of it will arbitrarily confine some offenders while releasing others before a trial.
“Extended confinement of presumed innocent persons, as with pretrial detention of the non adjudicated felon later found not guilty, is a serious problem” (Allen p. 191). Alternative programs are more cost effective than traditional incarceration methods. These programs offer local judicial enforcers a wide range of correctional options for offenders under their jurisdiction. Fines, weekend confinement, and community work orders are just a few alternatives to incarceration.
Price-tag justice is the term used to describe fines that are imposed resulting from criminal convi...


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...ndated such as hearings.
Jails may help to keep criminal offenders off of the streets and away from the public; however, they are also being kept away from their life, family, work, and friends. Ties between the community and jail are already tenuous and are only strained when alleged offenders are not offered correctional alternatives. There have been plenty of studies done to help the legal system to decide which offenders need to be detained and which are okay to be released. Such developments have only given the legal system the proper tools needed to better equip prisons and other correctional institutions with alternative methods to incarceration. As time goes on, the inflated usage of correction alternatives will help to cut the costs of incarcerating offenders by giving them the chance to become reformed citizens and reintegrate themselves back into society.

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