Prison Reform Essay

2891 words - 12 pages

Prison Reform

In today's society, we are facing many changes. Our own family, neighbors, and countrymen are afraid of many dangers which influence their lives. Although many people have fear which resonates in their consciousness and unconsciousness, the United States has a comparatively low crime rate. Despite this low crime rate, America incarcerates it's citizens five times the rate of Canada and seven times that of most European democracies.(Slambrouck, Paul. 24) Our society needs to be changed. We cannot blame the individuals involved in wrongdoing but we can blame our society who raised these criminals. Of course someone who kills another human being needs to be put away in some form; but we need to make changes. We need to help as many maladjusted people as we can. There are some steps which really seem to work. There are many prison inmates who come from broken homes and have low self-esteem. What needs to be done to help these insecure people, who are at war with themselves and society, is to rehabilitate them. The problem is the prison officials do not try to teach the prisoners how to learn from their mistakes.(McGovern, Celeste. 42) What actually happens is that criminals tend to be better thefts, and have the ability to out smart the police. Our politicians need to stress how important vocational, educational, drug-treatment, and religious programs are, in order to improve the attitude and demeanor of these convicted felons. This is the only way to keep ex-con's from jail.(DeLuca, H.R. 38) Another problem with America's prison system is overcrowding. There is a huge amount of young conscienceless offenders who are entering today's prisons. Imagine trying to compact eight gallons of water in a five gallon container and making it all fit. It does not work! It is impossible yet inside our prison walls this is a very common thing to happen. Prison officials make confused, angry, and psychotic individuals horde into a six-by-ten cell. (Pettiinico, George. 31) People who commit crimes are the product of society. They are a tell tale sign which demands reform. We need to show them the true path to take. Denial of freedom is punishment enough, there is no need to make harsher penalties for nonviolent offenders. The only in pact that will come from that is huge costs for tax-payers and an overall more dangerous society.
Although I believe there needs to be serious reform in American prisons, there are many different reasons why the system is set up the way it is. When a family is victimized by some form of crime they usually feel very afraid and vulnerable. This happens because criminals intrude into peoples personal lives. Therefor the victim wants everything the police can possibly do to put the deviant behind bars. Many people feel that the problem is solved when criminals get sent to jail. On the outside it looks like the system works and this will, in time, ease the pain the victims felt. People gain their sense of security...

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