Analysis Of Why Prisons Don T Work By Wilbert Rideau

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How would you feel if you were thrown in an American prison in the horrendous state they are in today? Many people are content with the prison system we have. In the essay, “Why Prisons Don’t Work,” Wilbert Rideau, an African American man who was convicted of murder at age nineteen, challenges this complacency with the system and claims prisons do not change the convict from the person they were when they committed the crime. Putting uneducated people who made silly, impulsive choices in jail is not the way to make a community safer. Prisons do not offer good rehabilitation programs for inmates. Prisons are simply ineffective in the state that they are in now. Placing young people in jail for a mistake they made long ago is not a fix for dangerous communities. For example, if an 18 year old commits a nonviolent crime, he could be placed in jail for five years. He would be taking a spot of residence in jail when he is not a threat to the public, while vicious criminals ran around wreaking havoc on the streets. Putting young adults in prison for a quick mistake will not make communities safer when the problem is …show more content…

In the essay, Rideau speaks on his own experience in a Louisiana jail. He says, “This prison houses 4,600 men and offers academic training to 240, vocational training to a like number.” Out of nearly five thousand men in that prison, only about five hundred are receiving instruction on things that may help them once they leave the prison. Education is not a priority. Locking uneducated men away for twenty years and then returning them to society with the same few skills they had when they entered prison is not the way to better the world. Rehabilitation can and will work for nearly everyone who has not committed serial acts of a specific crime. The problem is, prisons do not even offer these programs in the first

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