Benefits Of Incarceration

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Incarceration refers to the constitutional deprivation of an offender the capacity to commit crimes by detaining them in prisons. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any free nation. The U.S incarcerates five times more people than the United Kingdom, nine times more than Germany and twelve times more than Japan (Collier, 2014, p.56). Incarceration has several objectives. One of these is to keep persons suspected of committing a crime under secure control before a court of competent jurisdiction determines whether they are guilty or innocent. Incarceration also punishes offenders by depriving them of their liberty once the court of law has convicted. Moreover, incarceration deters criminals from committing further crimes…show more content…
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). With the number of incarcerated offenders growing each year, the cost of incarceration is expected to continue rising. According to the National Association of State Budget Office, correctional spending by state governments by 2011 was estimated to be at $50 billion annually (Collier, 2014,…show more content…
According to Phelps (2013), as from 1998 to 2007 states that had the greatest increases in incarceration rates failed to observe a corresponding drop in crime rates. On the other hands, states such as New York, Texas, New Jersey and North and South Carolina that lowered their incarceration rates in favor of community corrections programs experienced a drop in crime rates (p.53). Incarceration has also failed in correcting prisoners. Most of the prisoners always go back to committing crimes once released from prison. It has led to a rise in the recidivism rates of prisoners. Recidivism refers to the repetition of criminal behavior (James, 2011). According to the United States Bureau of Justice 2010 statistics report, three-quarters of released prisoners are constantly rearrested for new crimes and more than half of these go back to prison in a period of two to three years after their release. Ex- inmates account for an approximated 19 percent of all arrests (Phelps, 2013, p.55). Criminals who return to the community are also most of the times worse off after a period of confinement than when they entered. It is attributable to the fact that these inmates learn antisocial and criminal attitudes from other
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