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. Introduction: Day after day, millions of inmates sit in jail doing nothing productive with their lives. We are paying to house inmates that may not even have a good reason to be there. For example, drug offenders are being kept with murderers and other violent offenders.
Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences. The 1970s-1980s: The War on Drugs and Changes in Sentencing Policy Incarceration rates did rise above 140 persons imprisoned per 100,000 of the population until the mid 1970s.
A finding from a study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that 67.8 percent of ex-convicts were rearrested. Two-thirds of them spent their time in prison waiting for the release, only to go back into that dirty old cell again. Why don’t they try to get a real job, earn their own living and cherish the second chance we grant them. Let’s step down from the moral high ground for a second. Often released prisoners lack the skills and knowledge to keep up with the pace of society.
Chapter 4 is entitled "The Cruel Hand," stemming from Frederick Douglass's quote in 1853 where he describes "a heavy and cruel hand" being laid upon the black man. In this chapter, Alexander describes how relevant this quote still is today. This chapter got me thinking about when a prisoner has served his/her time behind bars and they are finally "free," they are anything but "free. " They are almost better off behind bars because at least there, they have a place to sleep and food to eat. A prisoner is released out into the real world after serving time behind bars and they are immediately expected to provide for themselves.
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
The documentary the “13th” had shocking statistics on how many people are incarcerated in the United States. The 1970’s was the beginning of the “mass incarceration era,” which started with 357,292 people incarcerated. From there, the prison population has continuously increased and reached a population of 2,306,200 in 2014. Many of these people incarcerated are African-Americans because the criminal justice system has always worked against them. African-Americans in the United States account for 6.5% of the population, meanwhile they account for 42% of the prison population.
When the American prison system began, it was believed that rehabilitation, the act of restoring one’s character, could be beneficial for criminals to start over. According to Tom Wicker, “The system…began as a reform impulse, the idea that if offenders were isolated, shielded from the public mockery that had accompanied hangings and the stocks, given time to repent, and worked hard, they could be turned away from crime and transformed into useful citizens” (xii). Criminals could become better citizens and have a positive outlook for a future if they worked hard and were secluded from the outside world. Although this idea seems more humane, it did not last long in the prison system because many people believed that any crime committed deserved
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.
This preconceived notion could not be farther from the truth. In reality, these reform movements are idiotically placing a bandaid over the tremendous issue that the prison system is. An imbalance of reforms between women and men, unrestrained sexual abuse in women’s prisons, and tyrannical gender roles are just three of countless examples of how prison reform movements only create more misfortune and fail to provide any real solution to worsening prison conditions. Perhaps instead of conjuring up additional ideas on how to reform prisons, America’s so-called democratic society should agree upon abolishing prisons as a whole. This being said, it is crucial to identify ongoing issues in today’s society, understand how they contribute to unlawful behavior, and seek a solution.
Specific Purpose Statement: To invite my audience to see the different viewpoints involved with life after prison in the U.S. Thesis: Those who were once in incarceration live with the title of being a former convict the rest of their life. I wish to explore their lives after incarceration and I hope to find the differing opinions some of you may have on those that have re-joined our community. Pattern of Organization: Multiple Perspective Pattern Introduction [Attention-Getter] How would you feel knowing you were standing behind a convict in line at a grocery store?
III. Prison system affects poverty ● America 's prison system is increasing the poverty in The United states. According to “Out of prison and out of work: Jobs out of reach for former inmates” an article by published by CNN, written by Tanzina Vega the united states has 5 percent of the world 's population but 25 percent of its prison population. A large part of this is due to unemployment. As can be seen in an article published by VICE named “Why Is Getting a Job After Prison Still Such a Nightmare for Ex-Cons?”.
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.
As learned from Ta Nehisi, in the 1970s African Americans started to fill cells more than their counter parts, simultaneously he tells us “rehabilitation was largely abandoned in favor of retribution- the idea that prison should not reform convicts but punish
Additionally, allowing prisoners opportunities to contribute while incarcerated gives prisons actual purpose other than depriving prisoners of human rights. Although historians believe that colonial governments established and left prisons congested and unsanitary because the prisoners were Africans, prisoner paralegal organizations exemplify that old views and justice in