Prisons dont work essay

Rehabilitation has been put in a corner to be forgotten, and prisoners are routinely treated like vermin. Prison population has varying groups of inmates, with criminals who have committed gruesome crimes and those with less extreme cases. Psychologists argue, though, that mental health has a role in the formula — mental illness is prevalent among inmates, at least three times the national average. Discussions around the definitive purpose of imprisonment have been around for ages, but a growing body of scientific evidence are proving that the use of punishment is counterproductive.

Tracing back to history, rehabilitation had been a key part of the US prison policy up until the mids.

Why Prisons Don't Work- Wilbert Rideau Essay

Prisoners at the time were encouraged to acquire and develop professional skills. Facilities were also provided to help inmates resolve psychological problems relating to substance abuse and even aggression, which were believed to later be a hindrance to their reintegration into society.

This approach caused massive growth in the prison population, all the while having little to no effect on crime rates. As a result, America currently has more than 2 million people locked up in prisons, and another four to five million on either parole or probation.

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In general, a higher percentage of the population is involved in the criminal justice in the US compared to other developed countries. Many of the prisoners also suffer from mental illnesses. According to the U. Research has also shown consistently that incarceration does not equate to rehabilitation in most inmates, and a majority of them return to a life of crime immediately after release.

The U. Many experts argue that prisoners actually learn new and better ways to commit crimes as they are locked up with other fellow convicts. Connections are also made within, which ensnares them further into the criminal world. This makes prisons the most unsuccessful institution, as they fail to carry out their actual purpose — rehabilitation of convicts to give them a chance to be better and productive members of society.

Are Prison Sentences Effective Criminology Essay

It is only logical that when people pose a threat to others, we restrain them in spite of their background, financial standing, and who they are in entirety. This process takes away some of their freedom as punishment. In an ideal world, with the exception of sociopaths and psychopaths, the limited freedom of convicts would force introspection, which would ultimately dissuade them from repeating the crime once given their freedom back.

This system fails to work and the problem cannot be attributed to lack of punishment — it is due to lack of rehabilitation. Countless studies postulate that when people are subject to punishment, they often learn nothing.

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According to James Galligan from New York Times, people learn from example, and punishments only reinforce their violent behavior. Department of Education, this concept of people learning from example can simply be observed with child-parent relationships. The same applies with incarceration and rehabilitation. Putting people in jail will not stop crime, but will only stop criminals for their sentence time. By fixing the root of the problem being their psychological behaviour, then crime would significantly decrease as well.

Essentially, yes they should, but their incarceration should act more so as a deterrence for other people not to commit crime, as well as for ensuring the safety of the general public. Yes, they do deserve incarceration as punishment but psychological treatment should not be viewed as a luxury as it is ultimately better for society. The deprivation of their freedoms for extended periods of time is enough.

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The higher the severity, the more time and measures should be taken to ensure reform. As after all, only reform will really leave a positive impact on the overall community unlike the punishment alone. Another problem with the current prison system is that too many freedoms are given to the prisoners which sidetracks the whole reason of being there.

So why should you care? First off, it would save everyone money. The average cost in the U. Nobody else is paying for that except for the citizens of America.

Jails And Prisons

Second, with rehabilitation, the chances of a prisoner committing another crime significantly decreases, ensuring our own safety. By changing the way the prison system works with a program focused more on rehabilitation, we can not only reduce crime and save millions in tax dollars a year, but also create positive, contributing members to society that will ultimately make the world a better place.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. The most obvious solution to low wages for prisoners is to reform the regulations governing LFOs and how much can be taken from inmate pay.


Although private businesses in the PIE program are required to adhere to wage laws, they are exempted from certain sections of the tax code, namely unemployment taxes. They can get away with this because Section 26 U.

To a former prison laborer like me, this definition is much more dehumanizing than any low wage. Of prisoners who recidivate within five years of their release, 37 percent get arrested within six months. Unemployment checks — benefits that an inmate has already earned, as opposed to the various entitlement programs that we use in place of meaningful job training and placement for people leaving custody — could buoy reentrants who are assimilating into society until they find a job.

Of course, redefining prison labor would increase costs for companies participating in the PIE program, perhaps enough to make these jobs go away entirely when the company has to lay out even more money to pay unemployment taxes. Imagine how much more recidivism could be reduced if these private companies were forced to acknowledge their incarcerated workers as employees — and pay the tax associated with hiring people and having them work for the company. Even if we raise the low and absent wages of certain prisoners, those payments will get chipped away by LFOs, just as they do for other prisoners who earn minimum wage from private companies.

The only other option is to dismantle the entire prison labor system — which is ostensibly the goal of pleas to repeal the clause of the 13th Amendment that allows forced convict labor — and what will that accomplish? Some people argue that letting inmates escape work requirements will free them to engage in more rehabilitative programming. I know from experience that prisoners are already required to leave their jobs for these self-help groups. And that rehabilitative programming — school or group therapy — is being taken advantage of by many inmates.

What inmates are saying when they complain that prison labor is slavery is that they feel undervalued and dehumanized. This most recent prisoner strike was about mattering to others as equals, as people, and not being seen as lifeless targets for exploitation.

You’re In Prison

Article Browser The Trivialization of Impeachment. More articles. Previous articles. Reuters photo: Lucy Nicholson Giving prison employment the same legal status as regular work would help inmates before and after release. Most Popular. By Jim Geraghty. Making the click-through worthwhile: An already full news environment is greeted by two more shocks, one tragic, one hopeful.

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