Incarceration Of Men, Women, And Juveniles

1142 words - 5 pages

Incarceration of Men, Women, and Juveniles

Prison populations have been on the raise since the early 1970s. Today we incarcerate over 2 million men, women and juveniles in the various correctional facilities around the country. These facilities can range from local jails or detention facilities to the new so called "Supermax" prisons. Conditions can also vary across the spectrum for these different correctional institutions. Each type of inmate has his or her own challenges when faced with incarceration. Many factors play into determining "the experience" they have. Age and sex are one of the things that determine what type of institution you are committed to. Adult male prisoners are committed to adult male prisons. Adult female prisoners are committed to adult female prisons. Juvenile offenders however, both male and female are sometimes unique in this aspect. There is a growing tendency to sentence juvenile offenders to adult prisons for their crimes. Perhaps because society has grown weary of the constant assault by these same juveniles on our sense of fairness and justice. Each day we see more and more juveniles committing violent crimes on our streets and in our schools. If this trend continues we will begin to see more issues dealing with how juveniles are treated in these adult prisons. Most of our juvenile offenders end up in State run systems as they are rarely prosecuted in the federal courts. Sentencing these youths to adult correction facilities opens them up for a broad range of abuse. The most compelling issue here would be that these adult institutions simply were never designed to handle juveniles or youthful offenders. The very treatment they receive from their "adult" fellow inmates will likely lead them back to the institution rather them giving the encouragement not to be a repeat offender. It is basically like throwing the sheep to the lions. There is just no way that this is a good use of our criminal justice system. Juveniles should be kept in their own facilities to the maximum extent possible where they can receive the treatment that just may lead them back to being productive members of society. Even though there are some of the same issues in juvenile facilities as there are in adult facilities, such as overcrowding, prisoner assaults, and custodial abuse. There are systems in place to monitor them and deal with the problems. When these things go on in adult prisons there most often is the attitude of callousness, whereby problems are looked at as part of the system, a kind of "who cares about the inmate" attitude.
Adult male prisoners are subjected to harsh conditions across the country. The physical conditions that you would see on the old prison movies like "Alcatraz" are not so prevalent any more. For the most part all of these old prisons have been replaced or modernized. There still remain some issues of decaying facilities but predominantly the harsh conditions...

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