Prisons: Rehabilitation In The United States

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Rehabilitation in the United States Prisons

The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. As of December of 2013 about 1.57 million people were behind bars in county, state, and federal jails and prisons (Flatow N., 2014). This statistic results in prisons overflowing with people, most of them serving time for a misdemeanor offense. Unfortunately, inmates are serving extended time for minor drug charges, actions from their anger, or lack of judgement. More often than not, people that have been imprisoned are released to go back time and time again. This is called recidivism. Between the rising prison populations, high recidivism rates, and the lengthy prison sentences, the cost to taxpayers is astronomical. The …show more content…

As a result, they miserably lack the opportunity to get back on their feet. Many are released back into society with no financial means or resources such as, housing, employment, and family. When these resources are taken away the chances of them reoffending increases. Resources are difficult to find even without the complications of a prison term. Upon release, many offenders return to the same social environments that added to their trouble in the first place. The inability to withstand peer pressure often results in the perpetrator reoffending. For instance, when people who are lacking funds may try to find other sometimes illegal means to get money. Even as an adult the susceptibility to peer pressure exists. According to Dr. Laurence Steinberg, the brain is still developing maturely in the teen years and well into their mid 20s in areas like reasoning and judgment (Patti R., 2015, P 1). This is a huge reason why teens are so susceptible to peer pressure. We can’t always be sure of what drives a young teen to commit a crime, but there are certain risk factors that make them more vulnerable to criminal activity. A risk factor is a personal characteristic or environmental condition that helps predict the onset, continuity, or escalation of violence. Some of the top risk factors are: family issues, psychological/mental characteristics, peer influence and socioeconomic status (What Causes Someone, 2016). If an adolescent exhibits six or more of these risk factors, they are ten times more likely to become violent. It is imperative to identify and resolve more of these risk factors when children are young. In order to decrease the number of people in prisons as well as mentally ill inmates. In the United States, the number of the general prisoners population has increased from 220 per 100,000 in 1980 to 700 per 100,000 in 2012 (University of Bergen,

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