What Happens Behind Prison Doors? Essay

1536 words - 6 pages

Have you ever wondered what happens behind prison doors? Prisons are defined as a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment. A prison is also referred to a place of detention. Embodiment of the United States is a concrete power under the Constitution of the United States, which means that prisons are under authority of both the federal and state governments. Different United State prisons contain different prisoners based on the crime or felony committed. Security levels range from minimum-security prisoners to Supermax facilities that house the more dangerous criminals. Dangerous criminals are usually sent to the state prison and less serious offences such as misdemeanors are sent to the local county or city jails to serve short terms of confinement. Prisons are located at the national, state, and local levels that each confines a number of people. At each prison level, a variety of programs are offered to help the prisoners and teach them how to act properly in today’s society. More happens behind the prison doors then the United States leads the population to see.
Prisons have dated back to the twentieth century when the United States had almost two million people confined in prisons or jails. Prisons have been a form of government punishment that has shaped our nation to what it is today. The first jail was established in Philadelphia, in 1970. It was called the Walnut Street Jail and was recorded as the first use of imprisonment through solitary confinement. The basic principles of the new system were to reform those in prison, and to segregate those according to age, sex, and type of offenses charged against them (Schoenherr). The second prison was called Sing-Sing and was authorized in 1824. The stress of this prison was to separate criminals from all contact with corruption and then teach them discipline. In order to teach them morals, inmates worked at convict labor 10 hours per day, 6 days per week. Prisons continued to set up throughout the years leading to many prisons located throughout the United States.
After the arrest, the next step confronting an accused defendant is the period of jail time awaiting trial. The trial could take any where from two to three years to process. An alternative form of trial is known as a speedy trial. This limits the length of time a person may be detained to jail. A speedy trial takes between sixty to ninety day and it adequate because the greater the chance that the truly guilty will escape without facing unnecessary jail time. One of the most vicious effects of a jail experience is that is exposes people to a course of higher education in crime. When people are placed in confinement, society runs the risk of improving their education and making them more efficient burglars, thieves, or counterfeiters, or even murderers, then when they first went in (Alpher). Since many inmates cannot be released on bail, prisons have begun to...

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