The prison system is a very complex industry and, believe it or not, is one of the main reasons that the incarceration rates of people continue to rise in the United States. Interestingly enough, the system that is created to punish the offenders, actually helps the prisoners learn from within the system only to return to jail when released into society because of its culture. Furthermore, the real reason for the increase in occupants is because of what is currently an epidemic in the United States. Are there any factors that shed light onto why this is? For example, does race play a factor since there are more blacks in prisons than whites?
This also goes for the inmates that have been deemed to be mentally ill. These inmates should be placed in mental hospitals instead of being sentenced to prisons. This would allow drug abusers and the mentally ill to receive the proper care that they need, while also helping to reduce the prison population. The Center of Economic Policy Research stated that in 2012 only 8.5 percent of inmates that were incarcerated in federal prison systems were violent offenders (Kamrany, Boyd, 2012). Some believe that the main cause of overcrowded prisons are because of the unreasonable amount of crime that has been occurring throughout the united states for the past several years (Revercomb, 1985).
It elaborates further on the concept of “jail diversion” explaining a program in Bexar County Texas that is having success in doing just that as well as helping mentally ill lead better more successful lives. The author states that there is a high percentage of homeless mentally ill in jails and too much is expected of law enforcement and the criminal justice system in regards to mental health care. This is corroborated in the readings of Slate et al. (2013) as police officers are described as “street corner psychiatrists” and “providers of “psychiatric first aid”. The author also describes the growing pressures on emergency rooms to treat mentally ill who are over twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital than those with other
Some Attica prisoners began to identify themselves as political prisoners rather than convicted criminals. These events were the perfect concoction to create a four-day mass riot. The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center’s “Attica NOW!” collection contains interviews of Attica inmates who recount daily mistreatment from guards and rules that were abused by guards to punish inmates. These interviews also talk about the lack of educational opportunities and the fact that they were forced to perform slave labor (Slade). During the 1960’s and 1970’s President Nixon declared a war on drugs causing the demographic of criminals to shift as Attica was now a dumping ground for African Americans and Hispanics facing drug charges, causing Attica to become overcrowded, and increased the already poisonous racial atmosphere in the prison.
The reading “Facing the Demon Head On: Race and the Prison Industrial Complex” by Manning Marable is about race and the prison industrial complex in the U.S. Manning first talked about what he saw and experienced when he visit the prisons, and then he talked about the New York Theological seminary (NYTS) program in the prisons. He found out that there were number of people in the prisons who wanted to earn their bachelor’s degrees and learn more. Also, he discussed the racial discrimination in the U.S. He stated a lot of data to show people that black and minority prisoners are a lot more than the white people. Even the black and white people facing the same charge, black people usually sentence longer time in prison than white people.
Prisoners Being Released As you have seen in the recent news headlines this past week, the Justice Department, (part of the Obama Administration) will be releasing 6,000 inmates from federal prisons starting at the end of this month. It is said to be “part of new sentencing guidelines for drug crimes established last year”(“Justice Department…”). It will be “one of the largest one-time releases of federal prisoners ever”(“Justice Department…”). The main reasoning for the new guidelines regarding drug crimes and the releases is because of all the overcrowding in prisons. It seems more logical to release non-violent offenders so there is room for the violent ones.
The experiment was scheduled to run for two weeks, but was terminated due to the emotional distress the participants were experiencing. The aim of the experiment was to ‘understand the development of norms and the effects of roles, labels and social expectations in a simulated prison environment’. Before the experiment begun the participants were tested to eliminate applicants with psychological problems, medical disabilities or a past of drug and crime misuse. Zimbardo wanted to make the experiment as realistic as possible, having the prisoners arrested in the correct way by city police and taken to the ‘Stanford County Jail’. He then instructed
Andrew Cuomo addressing the racial tensions and strain in an upstate New York Prison. The prison was diverse, including, white, black, and hispanic inmates majorly. According to “The Stain of Racism in New York’s Prisons”, inmates who were either black or hispanic they either received harsher punishment or maybe even punished twice. No matter your race all inmates should be treated equally. Also , The article did stated that, “Since 2006, white inmates serving two to four years for one count of third-degree burglary were released after an average of 803 days while black inmates sentenced for the same crime served 883 days.” which proves that no matter if it is the same crime you may get a longer sentence due to your
Drug Courts serve a small amount of the assessed 1.2 million drug dependent individuals presently included in the equity framework. To really break the cycle of drug addiction individuals and wrongdoing in America, we should put a Drug Court inside scope of each American criminal justice systems as needed. Qualified drug-addict dependent people might be sent to Drug Court in lieu of conventional sentencing or consequences due to their illegal drug use and addiction. Drug Courts keep people in
According to statistics, approximately two million juveniles under the age of 18 in the United States are arrested each year. Over 600,000 of them are placed in detention centers annually and approximately 95,000 reside in secure juvenile correctional settings on any given day. Further numbers suggest that the United States leads all industrialized nations worldwide in juvenile incarcerations. With criminal records also come detrimental consequences including: difficulty of finding employment, loss of public housing, immigration concerns, increased drop-out rates and the potential of recidivism. Research on the development of the juvenile brain and the negative consequences that come with focusing solely on commitment into a facility make
Researchers have discovered that the war on drugs has led to the overcrowding of African Americans in the prison system (Lurigio & Loose, 2008). One of the reasons for the overpopulation of Blacks in America’s criminal justice system is because of the different sentencing laws between powder cocaine and crack cocaine. The United
So how do you punish the criminals and treat the mentally ill? That was the question that many states were wrestling with. States answered this question by building separate prisons and Asylums. Early prisons were commonly holes in the ground like abandoned mines and populated with both criminals and mental ill people(Brinkley, A. 2013 pg 333).
Many criminals and gangs use prisons as a headquarters to recruit new members and run operations for their personal benefits. This leads to first time offenders to commit additional crimes when being released from prison (English, 2010). Overpopulation can also cause safety issues to all correctional officers as well as safety of the inmates. All of these issues can be attributed to the overpopulation of incarcerated prisoners. These issues need to be addressed not only for the safety of correctional officers and prisoners, but to actually adhere to the philosophy of rehabilitation of prisoners, as well rebuilding the budget and qualities of the communities and states
It is believed that letting a criminal free from incarceration puts society at risk. Before the reform recidivism rates were high, scaring the public with the idea that criminals can reenter society. When comparing individuals who were sentenced to prison to those in diversion programs, those in diversion programs were more likely to stay out of jail while those who went to jail were more likely to have re-arrests. It was reported that 64% of the treatment sample were arrest-free over a two-year follow up period. Those in the diversion program had recidivism rates as low as 36%; this compares to the group who were given jail time with a recidivism rate of 54% (Parsons, Wei, Henrichson, Drucker, & Trone, 2015).
There have been cases where juveniles committ suicide while in adult prison because they have experienced physical abuse, mistreatment by staff members and long stays in solitary confinement. The data on solitary confinement should be made public because taxpayers fund the correctional system prisons. The public needs to know what juveniles goes through as they are sent to adult facilities.