Essay about The Prisons And The United States

Essay about The Prisons And The United States

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Between 1980 and 2014 the number of people incarcerated in the United States has gone up dramatically. Whether this is because of better policing, better law enforcement, more advanced forensic technology, or a more efficient criminal justice system in general, who knows, but this isn 't necessarily a good thing. This level of overcrowding is causing economic difficulties. On average it cost about $30,000 annually to maintain one offender within a facility, and when the prison population of the United States is considered that number is astounding. Also, constitutionally this is a huge violation. There is only so much room in our prisons for inmates and just about every one of them is beyond its capacity. This has caused a lack of space, lack of effective medical care, and a lack of effective security. In most prisons, inmates have to triple bunk and some of them don 't even have cells, some of them are house in places like the gymnasium just because of the lack of space. Several inmates have file law suits stating that the prisons are in violation of their 8th amendment right that protects them from cruel and unusual punishment. These law suits were also filed because of inadequate medical and mental health care. Due to the overwhelming population in these prisons and the insufficient amount of staff, it is difficult to provide the health care that each individual inmate requires.
There is some debate as to whether or not private or public prisons are better in quality. In some ways the private prisons are better in that they have a lower level of violence, since they can pick the inmates that they house, and that the rehabilitation of prisoners is better in private prisons. This is probably because they have smaller population...


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...ts, instead of sending them to jail, tickets could be issued as they are for speeding and parking violation. This system has many benefits including making a profit off of small time offenders, not putting another offender in jail with the space that the facility doesn 't have, and it doesn 't ruin the life of a first time offender by giving them a criminal record. Finally, the United States prison system currently focuses more on containment rather than rehabilitation, resulting in repeat offenders, and it should focus on rehabilitation. Inmates should be educated and trained while serving their sentence in order for them to re-enter society and live a crime free life, and the criminial justice system would be much more effective this way. If the goal of the criminal justice system was to rehabilitate rather than just to punish, there would be a lot less recidivism.

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