Problems with the American Prison System Essay

Problems with the American Prison System Essay

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Throughout history into today, there have been many problems with our prison system. Prisons are overcrowded, underfunded, rape rates are off the charts, and we as Americans have no idea how to fix it. We need to have shorter sentences and try to rehabilitate prisoners back to where they can function in society. Many prisoners barely have a high school education and do not receive further education in jail. Guards need to pay more attention to the well being of the inmates and start to notice signs of abuse and address them. These are just a few of the many problems in our prison systems that need to be addressed.
Overcrowding in our state and federal jails today has become a big issue. Back in the 20th century, prison rates in the U.S were fairly low. During the years later due to economic and political factors, that rate began to rise. According to the Bureau of justice statistics, the amount of people in prison went from 139 per 100,000 inmates to 502 per 100,000 inmates from 1980 to 2009. That is nearly 261%. Over 2.1 million Americans are incarcerated and 7.2 million are either incarcerated or under parole. According to these statistics, the U.S has 25% of the world’s prisoners. (Rick Wilson pg.1) Our prison systems simply have too many people. To try and help fix this problem, there needs to be shorter sentences for smaller crimes. Based on the many people in jail at the moment, funding for prison has dropped tremendously.
With prisons growing at the rate they are now, there must be more funding. 1 out of every 131 U.S citizens is incarcerated. The rest of the citizens have to pay for this person to have a place to sleep, eat, and exercise out of their taxes. These taxes can and should be used for more important issues. I...


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...."Los Angeles Times 6 Oct. 2011: 1-2. Print.


Dodd, Vikram. "Why Prison Education?." . Prison Studies Project, Teaching Research Outreach, 16 Jan. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. .


Wilson, Rick. "The Growing Problems of the Prison System." American Friends Service Committee. American Friends Service Committee, 27 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .


Harris, Dan . "Prison Rape Widely Ignored By Authorities." . abc News, 16 Apr. 2002. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. .


Lozoff, Bo. "Seven Ways to Fix the Criminal Justice System." New Renaissance Magazine: Renaissance Universal. Renaissance Universal Featuring New Renaissance, 21 June 2003. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. .

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