One of the biggest issues with America’s prison system is overcrowding. Overcrowding affects the cost of incarceration and the mentality of prisoners. However, the issue has yet to be seriously addressed. In fact, many politicians claim that mass incarceration has led to a dramatic decline in crime, citing statistics from the 1990s, when crime rates fell by almost 40 percent. However, further research has proven that mass incarceration has little effect on crime rates.
The reality of the situation is that prolonged exposure to very little human contact can lead to various mental and personality disorders that can make an inmate even more of a detriment to society (DOP, 16). Solitary confinement is also more expensive to taxpayers (Washington Post). There is no mental or financial support for continuing the practice of segregated
This means that those charged with lesser crimes are pushed to the back of their caseloads. Public defenders are overworked and underpaid meaning that many times they cannot do their job to the best of their abilities. Sadly because of this system, many of their clients sit in holding cells for months or years, awaiting for a trial that is continually pushed off by their attorney. While the system of free public defenders seemed like an equal foot for criminal clients to stand on in the justice system, it is in reality a very messy and disorganized system that overlooks those without the most pressing issue. Gideon V. Wainright was a landmark case, arguably one of the most important cases of the sixties.
Feasibility: LCTC not feasible as inmates released from prison without viable educations or vocational training have little prospects for employment causing them to return to crime. 3. Sustainability: LCTC is not sustainable as it contributes to high taxes, inmate recidivism, unsafe society and a need for more police and prisons. V. Alternative ll: Reinstate Pell grant
They say law enforcement must have more power to prosecute and convict juvenile offenders for serious crimes and to deal with gang members. Con: Opponents say Department of Justice statistics show that serious juvenile crime has steadily declined in recent years and California already has tough laws against gangs and youth crime. They argue that the measure carries a high price tag; more jails and prisons will need to be built, taking money away from other government services and current efforts to prevent violence. Case Examples One of the most discussed cases was that of Alonza Thomas, Opponents of Prop 21 are furious with his case; they state that, not only did Alonza hurt no one, he also suffered permanent harm from the prison. They believe that he would have been better off without Prop 21, and he would have turned into a much better person.
However, the construction of new prison facilities has not provided a sustainable solution for the reduction in crime rates in the society. Incarceration has also proven to be expensive. There are several costs associated with incarceration. These include costs of building new facilities, costs of paying prison staff, maintaining the prisons and costs of treating particular classes of prisoners such as elderly and mentally ill inmates. The United States spends billions of dollars on incarceration each year with the average yearly increase in state spending on prisons from 1999 to 2009 being approximately 3 percent (James, 2011, p.632).
Being tried according to their age is fairer. A lot of people believe that age should not be considered at all when the felony is extremely severe. Justice needs to be served and they need to pay for the crime they have committed, juvenile or not. According to the Time magazine article ‘What Makes Teens Tick’ Dr. Jay Giedd states that “The very last part of the brain to be pruned or shaped to its adult dimensions is the prefrontal cortex, home of the executive functions.” An adult brain is different than teens, because an adult brain is more developed. Adolescents lack the ability to make good decisions, be more organized, and the ability for good planning.
Recent discoveries show, “Of 134 jihadist-inspired terrorists who have carried out or plotted attacks here since 9/11, 96 were U.S. citizens” (Jenkins). In the United States there has been a serious rise in domestic terrorism, however the government refuses to acknowledge it. Instead their focus has been abroad, rightly so in some cases, while more domestic attacks make headline news. The change in visa laws does nothing, because since 9/11 86% of the terror attacks have been plotted or carried out by American citizens. Therefore, the United States needs to step up its efforts to combat domestic terrorism because the jail time is too short for current terrorists, there are no true task forces for current attacks, and there has been an increase of these groups and attacks.
Proposers of mandatory sentencing have always preached that such penalties are reflective of public attitudes toward mandatory sentencing. In reality, the public supports mandatory sentencing only when asked to consider the most serious crimes of violence, and when the poll questions prevented respondents from considering the potential deficiencies associated with mandatory sentences of imprisonment (such as a loss of proportionality in sentencing). Recent polls conducted in Australia and in the United States demonstrate that public support for mandatory sentencing has declined in recent years. This, in turn, explains the decline in support for mandatory sentencing among polity. Which brings us to the bend along the road, where I believe it is time for the society to do away with Mandatory Minimum Prison
“Over two million men, women, and juveniles in the Unites States live behind bars” (ACLU). The current situation in the United States’ prison system is not an ideal one and there is little being done to fix it. Incarcerating that many people has many consequences to our economy and mostly our society. Being a developed nation, we should not have so much people in prison. The United States imprisons more people than any other nation on earth and that is a sign that the prison system is broken and defective.
Race, Class, and Incarceration The main goal of the U.S. law enforcement has been to make the world a safer place but in the process of making the world a safer and “better” place there have been quite some downfalls. One of those many downfalls would have to be the American prison system. In today’s society police enforcement has given so much focus on prosecuting street crime while failing to acknowledge white-collar crime and other major crimes that occur every day. As demonstrated in Trends in U.S. corrections, the U.S. has had the highest rates of incarceration as of 2011 adding up to more than seventy hundred thousand(The Sentencing Project 3). Race and class play an important role on who is punished for such crimes as well as who gets
The shorter mandatory minimums have only been effective on drug offenders and no other offenses. After the sentencing commision was created the “Senators Dick Durbin (D–IL) and Mike Lee (R–UT) have introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act.” (Larkin and Bernick) This explains in detail that the sentences for drug offenders will be shortened. Likewise, The smarter sentencing act has lessened sentences on drug offences. Furthermore, This act has helped shrink the very large prison population by getting drug offenders out of the prison system faster. With this “Congress also decided to eliminate the courts’ discretion to exercise leniency in some instances by requiring courts to impose a mandatory minimum sentence for certain types of crimes.” (Larkin and Bernick) Uniquely, congress has tried to stop the discrimination in the jail system.
This article, written by William Spelman, focuses on the controversial relationship between prison populations and crime rates. Spelman demonstrates the controversy by referencing studies that yielded a wide array of results ranging from rising prison populations causing a decrease in crime to having no effect at all, and even a study that showed crime increasing as prison populations did. Spelman states that this controversy has long been present when discussing this issue. He expresses concern with the divergent findings due to the fact that they are largely all based on the same data set. This, Spelman believes, is largely due to the fact that the varying studies used different methods in conducting their research.
Criminals that are apprehended are punished with jail time. Some go to state run jails, federal prison, boot camps, or maximum security prisons. I theory that criminal sanctions should scare criminals straight, and convinced them that they never want to commit a crime again because of jail time. You would think that the loss of freedom, privilege to vote, and ability to enjoy life would scare someone straight. Well it does not, Research has found that prisoner’s in max security prisons has a higher return rate, than prisoner’s in state ran jails.