Prisons May Cause Individuals To Reoffend

1772 words - 8 pages

Introduction
Currently, statistics indicate that 60 percent of criminals have reoffended at some point in their lifetimes. Many argue that prison causes an individual to reoffend, however many oppose this belief and argue that other factors cause a high rate of reoffending. This controversial topic raises multiple questions regarding prison and its role in reoffending, as well as what other factors can cause an individual to reoffend. The question then raised is: “to what extent does prison cause an individual to reoffend?” This question will help to determine the major factors causing individuals to reoffend, as well as give insight into additional statistics related to the topic. ...view middle of the document...

” This violence causes males to be more likely to commit crimes, as they are naturally more violent. Another factor contributing to the higher number of male reoffenders than females is a result of the extremely higher number of male prisons. In a 1994 Australian prison census, it was determined that 95 percent of prisoners were males. It has further been identified that the most common age of reoffenders is estimated to range between the ages of 20 and 29.

Jail does cause individuals to reoffend
It is believed that, due to a number of factors, serving time in jail causes individuals to reoffend. It has been identified that modern prison has become too comfortable and that punishment within these facilities has decreased. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, prisoners lived harsh lives; many prisoners died from the conditions of the prisons alone, regardless of punishments they received. Communication with relatives and friends was extremely difficult, with meetings only occurring once a month. When they were able to communicate, their relatives were on the opposite side of brass barriers. Prisoners within these times also suffered more frequent and severe physical punishment . In contrast, modern prisons society, are cleaner and safer and punishment is not as severe nor frequent. This is mainly due to the increased push for human rights for all people; most countries are held responsible for the well-being of all of their citizens, which includes their criminals. This results in punishment becoming less severe, which helps to protect the mental and physical health and well-being of prisoners. Prisoners under low and medium security are able to have visitors more frequently, and these prisoners are able to sit with their visitors with no barriers. Due to the nature of prisoners under high-security, individuals are more confined when meeting with visitors. This decrease in punishment and increase in comfort has resulted in the deterrence effect of prison becoming neutralized, meaning that prisons do not discourage prisoners from committing criminal acts. This results in prisoners not discontinuing criminal behaviour as they are not daunted by the consequences that are involved. Further, prison offers little help for prisoners during their sentence, which consequently makes them more likely to reoffend. A study conducted in 2010 determined that half of short term prisoners spent most of their days in their prison cells, and little was done by prison workers, such as counsellors, to help prevent them from committing crimes upon their release. As a result, these criminals are likely to display the same behaviour upon their release as they were not helped to alter their behaviour. In addition, prisons often try to destroy individualism, which results in high rates of reoffenders. Many prisoners are given uniforms, and their names are replaced with a set of numbers which help to identify them. This results in a loss of identity for...

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