Life after incarceration, here today gone tomorrow. 95% of adults sentenced to prison will return to our communities, and reentry will be their first step back into society. Imagine have a thousand questions flooding one’s mind all at once. Where will I live, how will I survive, and contribute to the family, while maintaining to the stipulations of one’s parole/ probation, without risking freedom. The number one goal for those newly released back into society by way of the reentry program is to never return to the inside of a prison cell.
Thesis: It is very important for the sake of Americans tax dollars that we change the way that prisons are run and increase the productivity of inmates so when they are released from jail they are ready to be a productive member in society and have the confidence to achieve new goals.
Ms. Kemba Smith is a mother, wife, domestic abuse survivor, former incarcerated prisoner, author, a motivator speaker and an advocate. In her book, Poster Child, The Story Kemba Smith Story, she shares her story of how making poor choices blinded by love and devotion can have long-term consequences. Ms. Smith also knows that there is “lesson in each experience in life and she embraced her experience, learned from it and now using that experience to teach others.” True to her promise she graduated from Virginia Union University, finished year as a law student at Howard University. She became an advocate for criminal justice and prison reform, and re-entry programs.
Prison reform has been an ongoing topic in the history of America, and has gone through many changes in America's past. Mixed feelings have been persevered on the status of implementing these prison reform programs, with little getting done, and whether it is the right thing to do to help those who have committed a crime. Many criminal justice experts have viewed imprisonment as a way to improve oneself and maintain that people in prison come out changed for the better (encyclopedia.com, 2007). In the colonial days, American prisons were utilized to brutally punish individuals, creating a gruesome experience for the prisoners in an attempt to make them rectify their behavior and fear a return to prison (encyclopedia.com, 2007). This practice may have worked 200 years ago, but as the world has grown more complex, time has proven that fear alone does not prevent recidivism.
In the article “Even Prisoners Must Have Hope”, Richard Stratton (the author) talks about his thoughts on the federal prison system in America. Stratton himself had served 8 years in jail for smuggling marijuana. He strongly advises not to make the prisons even worse than they already are. The harsh conditions and other peoples’ vengeful attitudes toward criminals only make the violence and crime continue. According to Stratton, instead of improving the harsh conditions and trying to rehabilitate and help prisoners that could lead to peace, our society inflicts more pain and punishment, enforcing a violent cycle.
These can be challenging for the offender for they are returning to familiarity of the life before prison, which could contribute to recidivism if not handled proactively. Relationships with family or friends can be irretrievably forgotten, damaged, or destructive for either the family or the offender. Those released from prison tend to be persons with low human capital and high incidences of substance abuse and addiction. They are persons with limited formal employment histories. The bottom line is, to achieve independence, the offender must shed old roles and images and develop new ones as productive members of the
I have never before visited a prison nor have I met a prisoner in my entire life. Why should I care about someone whom I would rarely see? But these inmates are our brothers and sisters who may have made bad choices, but don’t want their mistakes to hold them back. Throughout my life, my once miserable and hopeless circumstances were transformed by education, and I am certain that the same principle can be applied to anyone, including inmates, despite our differences in how we responded to circumstances. It is true that prison takes nearly everything away from them – even their hopes and dreams.
Few remember that not just the indicted are changed in the prison system-the authority figures become different, too. Thousands of people go to detention facilities and stay there from minutes to decades, but the authority figures stay there with every influx of new prisoners. The wardens, in particular, are a monumental part of the system. They regulate the prisoners causing them to adapt to situations, whether positive or negative. Samuel Norton, the warden in the adaptation of Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption, is embodied by the atmosphere of the prison.
They say three aspects of a thriving society are where we’re from, who we know, and how we think. On the flip side of that coin, these very same aspects can ironically be our undoing. That delicate balance can be the difference between a life in prison and a life dedicated to others. Yes, the sobering realities of life can be harsh but it can also shape and mold us into the people that we’re destined to be. In The Other Wes Moore, The lives of two young men are examined through three distinct lenses.
51% of all prisoners released are returned to the prison system and nearly 30% are returned within the first six months of their release (Pinard, 2006). Roughly two-thirds of all prisoners are rearrested within three years (Pinard, 2006). The high rates of incarceration and recidivism have reinvigorated debate about the purpose of the prison. The time is ripe to debate prison reform. "America 's penal system needs a top-to-bottom overhaul - and a movement of people ready to do something about it is taking shape nicely" (McCarthy,
While "tough on crime" policies may be effective in incapacitating offenders, little consideration has been given to the impact this mass incarceration effort has had on offenders following their release from prison. Every year more than 600,000 people are released from jails and prisons to face the challenge of re-entering society in a productive capacity (Geiger, 2006; Travis, Solomon, & Waul, 2001). Due to the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, reintegration is often met with a host of daunting and unnecessary barriers. Black Americans comprise a major segment of the neglected population and when they are released from prison the barriers to reintegration are often compounded by the stigma of their racial classification and the mark of a criminal
This question makes his readers think, stirring readers emotions on the situation, appealing to the listeners fear and values, using pathos is part of making his essay strong. Chapman broaches prisons, explaining the “advantages” of having prisons, first being humane, second was to purge the criminals crime through rehabilitation. Then stated how the United States adapted imprisonment as a for of punishment, which had five functions retribution, specific deterrence, general deference, presentation, and rehabilitation. After this statement Chapman counters argues by asking his audience if the above criteria actually is effective. Punishment is possibly the only thing that's accomplished according to Chapman, he beloved prison is ineffective, rehabilitation works, but not the way they intended for it to work for all those who are incarcerated.
In her book “The New Jim Crow” (2010), Michelle Alexander, a civil rights lawyer and an activist in the civil rights movements, that many people think has long been concluded, argues that the results of prison go well beyond the walls of the facility and can even have a perpetual effect on a person's life. Alexanders exact words on page 142 are “ Once labeled a felon, the badge of inferiority remains with you for the rest of your life, relegating you to a permanent second-class status.” Alexander supports her claim by interviewing people and describing their experiences in prison and their life after prison. She also informs the reader of laws that make it harder for felons to not only get jobs, but also limits their access to housing, and
Worsening the problem, as the increase in the incarceration of individuals continues, the sense of rehabilitation for inmates has been heavily reduced. This is not just by chance, but rather because the capitalistic private prison industry does not view incarcerated individuals as
First you hate them, then you get used to them. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That 's institutionalized.’ A prison should aim at retribution, incapacitation, deterrence and rehabilitation. I am very well convinced that prison has served its first three purposes by depriving offenders’ freedom, but the