United States Prison System

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United States Prison System: Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Programs for criminals Prisons, at their core, are designed to stop people from committing crimes. The United States prison system is currently failing at meeting this basic principle. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any democratic nation in the world (Bureau Justice of Statistics). The problem is revealed through the recidivism rates, with sixty six thousand criminals being re- incarcerated within three years of being released ( Lawrence). The prison environment creates hardened criminals who leave prison with no new skills and commit the same crimes in smarter ways, being even harder to catch. This trend needs to be changed. I believe prisoner rehabilitation …show more content…

According to a Washington Post article written by Jerome G. Miller, The US has the highest incarceration rate of any democratic country. US Prisons hold more than 2.4 million inmates, or 1% of the US population. Based on the percentage of the population in Prison, the United States incarcerates five times more people than Britain, nine times more than Germany, and 12 times more than Japan (Miller). These high incarceration rates are coupled with high recidivism rates, which lead to prisons being overcrowded. The majority of criminals in prison will be released. According to the US attorney’s office of Alabama, 97% of the offenders in jail today will be released and let back into society, with 44% of those held in state prisons being released within a year ( Lawrence). Despite having already spent time in prison, a majority of these criminals will recommit the very same crimes that got them locked up in the first place. The Bureau of Justice statistics states that within five years of release 82 percent of property offenders were arrested for a new crime. More specifically, within five years, 77 percent of drug offenders, 74 percent of public order offenders, and 71 percent of violent offenders will be …show more content…

According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, $50 billion dollars are spent on corrections annually, with the increase in spending over the past 20 years increasing faster than almost all other essential government services, including transportation, higher education, and public assistance. The national average that each prisoner costs the states is $23,000 dollars annually( Miller). Although prisons are effective at keeping criminals locked up, they are ineffective at creating law abiding citizens. Many, if not all, that are released from prison are no better off than the day they were arrested, and don’t have the skills or life stability to provide for their families and follow the law. Having a prison record on a person's record means that are unhirable for most jobs, meaning that the best job they can get are minimum wage jobs, which don't provide enough money to support their families or have the luxuries they want. Therefore, many of the former prisoners, having tried adapting law abiding lifestyles, switch back to a life of crime because they make more money doing it. That is one of the reasons that recidivism rates are so high, criminals don’t have the social or technical skills necessary to make it in the world without committing

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