The Incarceration Of The Prison System Essay

The Incarceration Of The Prison System Essay

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“It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity” (Howard Zinn). No one enjoys prison, that’s the idea behind incarceration, it’s unpleasant, dangerous and can create habitual criminals. Zinn applauds the notion that some individuals can leave the Canadian prison system relatively unscathed. However, this is not the case for many of the guests of a Canadian corrections institution. Most citizens would agree that prisons are a stark necessity, but an often-overlooked characteristic of our prison system is that it is exceptionally costly. There significant costs incurred both financially as well as socially, as the costs of housing a prisoner is astronomical and the experience of being incarcerated, has a massive impact on prisoners and the prospect that time incarcerated, will produce a career criminal. However, the Justice System regularly takes “the easy way out” and just tosses offenders into prison. Yet, there are substantial advantages for promoting alternative methods of punishment on minor and non-violent offenders, these alternatives would have a dramatic influence on reducing federal expenditures and the likelihood that they will make a return visit to the federal corrections system.

Canadian prisons are a pricy undertaking, yet the public often doesn’t realize just how expensive it is. In 2014 the average Canadian family income was $78,870 (Stats Canada). That money is a means for survival, it pays for the mortgage, the electric and heating bill, car payments and feeds your family. Now contrast that cost of providing for your law-abiding loved-ones, the sacrifices made saving for th...


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...reaping the benefits of its taxation.

The costs associated with housing, feeding and maintaining prisoners and the prisons securing them, are inescapable. The negative societal implications of prison can be nullified by increasing the application of alternative methods for minor offenders. It is a worthwhile endeavor to continue focusing additional attention on drug rehabilitation, therapy and overall treatment of that illness. Efforts to decrease the prison population won’t necessarily drop costs in the short term, but changes produced, can have beneficial long term effects. Housing our violent offenders in prison is and always will be a necessary evil; it is a cost that most citizens are comfortable bearing. In spite of that, the Canadian judicial system should further stress the importance of alternative punishment for minor offenders, avoiding “the easy way out.”

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