Last updated: February 11, 2019
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Prisons In America Essay, Research Paper

America & # 8217 ; s prisons have been called “ alumnus schools for offense. ” It

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bases to ground: Take a group of people, strip them of ownerships and privateness,

expose them to constant menaces of force, overcrowd their cell- block,

deprive them of meaningful work, and the consequence is an embittered lower class more

purpose on acquiring even with society than lending to it. Prisons take the

nonviolent wrongdoer and do him unrecorded by force. They take the nonviolent

wrongdoer and do him a hardened slayer. America has to wake up and recognize that

the current construction of our penal system is neglecting awfully. The authorities

has to invent new ways to penalize the guilty, and still pull off to maintain American

citizens satisfied that our prison system is still effectual. Americans pay a

great trade for prisons to neglect so severely. Like all large authorities solutions, they

are expensive. In the class of my surveies covering with the condemnable justness

system, I have learned that the authorities spends about eighty-thousand

dollars to construct one cell, and $ 28,000 per twelvemonth to maintain a captive locked up.

That & # 8217 ; s about the same as the cost of directing a pupil to Harvard. Because of

overcrowding, it is estimated that more than ten-billion dollars in building

is needed to make sufficient infinite for merely the current prison population. The

field truth is that the really nature of prison, no affair how humane society

efforts to do it, produces an environment that is necessarily lay waste toing to

its occupants. Even if their release is delayed by longer sentences, those

occupants necessarily return to damage the community, and we are paying top

dollar to do this possible. Why should revenue enhancement remunerators be forced to pay sums to

maintain nonviolent felons sitting in prison cells where they become acrimonious and

more likely to reiterate their discourtesies when they are released? Alternatively, why non

set them to work outdoors prison where they could pay back the victims of their

offenses? The authorities should originate work plans ; where the felon is

given a occupation and must release his or her net incomes to the victim of their offense

until the mental and physical amendss of their victims are sufficed. A tribunal

will find how much money the felon will hold to pay for his damages

costs, and what occupation the felon will hold to make to pay back that damages.

The most obvious benefit of this attack is that it takes attention of the victim,

the disregarded individual in the current system. Those who experience belongings offense

deserve more than merely the satisfaction of seeing the wrongdoer go to prison.

Daniel Van Ness, president of Justice Fellowship, has said: All the legal

systems which helped organize western jurisprudence emphasize the demand for wrongdoers to settle

with victims. The discourtesy was seen as chiefly a misdemeanor against the victim.

While the common public assistance had been violated and the community hence had an

involvement and duty in seeing that the wrong was addressed and the

wrongdoer punished, the discourtesy was non considered chiefly a offense against the

province as it is today. ( 76 ) Damages offers the felon a agency to reconstruct

himself-to undergo a existent alteration of character. Mere imprisonment can non make this ;

nil can destruct a adult male & # 8217 ; s psyche more certainly than populating without utile work and

intent. Feodor Dostoevsky, a captive for 10 old ages during tsarist repression,

wrote, “ If one wanted to oppress, to eliminate a adult male absolutely, to bring down on

him the most awful of penalties & # 8230 ; one demand merely give him work on a

wholly useless and irrational character ” ( 77 ) . This is precisely what

goes on in the “ make work ” attack of our prisons and it is one of

the lending factors to prison force. To cite Jack Kemp, writer of Crime

and Punishment in Modern America: The thought that a burglar should return stolen

goods, wage for harm to the house he broke into and pay his victims for the

clip lost from work to look at a test meets with cosmopolitan support from the

American people. There is, of class, a ground that the construct of damages

entreaties to America & # 8217 ; s sense of justness. Restitution besides provides an option

to imprisonment for nonviolent felons, cut downing the demand for taxpayers to

/ & gt ;

continue constructing prisons. ( 54 ) Working with the intent of paying back person

that has been wronged allows a condemnable to understand and cover with the existent

effects of his actions. Restitution would be far less expensive than the

current system. Experience shows that the cost per captive can be every bit low as 10

per centum of that of captivity, depending on the grade of supervising

necessary. Removing nonviolent wrongdoers from prison would besides alleviate

overcrowding, extinguishing the necessity of allowing one million millions more public

dollars for prison building. Restitution would discourage offense with the same

effectivity as prison. Prisons themselves have non done much of a occupation when it

comes to deterrence. States with the highest captivity rates frequently have the

highest offense rates. But surveies of theoretical account damages plans demonstrate that

they greatly cut down the incidence of farther offense, since they restore a sense

of single duty, doing the wrongdoer more likely to be able to

adjust to society. Reducing recidivism is the most direct manner to cut down offense.

Condemnable justness governments besides tell us that it is non so much the type of

penalty that deters offense, but instead the certainty of penalty. With

regard to disincentive, virtually any countenance, imposed fleetly and certainly, has a

deterrent consequence. An efficaciously run damages plan will discourage offense. It is

believed that in many instances, aggressive damages plans would be a greater

hindrance than the menace of prison. To cite writer David Simon, I remember

speaking in prison with a hardened inmate who had spent 19 of his

38 old ages locked up. He was in for a heavy narcotics offense that drew

a compulsory life sentence. “ How in the universe could you have done it? ”

Simon asked. “ I used to be a rod bearer, ” the inmate answered,

“ on the World Trade Center building-eighty floors up, acquiring 18

dollars an hr. One trip and I was dead. With hash I could do $ 300,000 a

hebdomad. One trip and I was in prison. Better odds. ” ( Simon 75 ) The

immediate final payment of offense is so great that many are willing to put on the line prison. The

certainty of damages, by necessitating payment, takes the net income out of offense.

The assets of organized offense members and large clip narcotics traders, for

illustration, could be seized at apprehension and confiscated on strong belief, with the

wrongdoer ordered to do farther damages through work plans. That is existent

penalty. Many Americans believe in our current prison system, and besides

believe that it is an effectual signifier of penalty for the felon. Some would

state that felons can populate decent, civilized lives in prison and alumnus to

decent, civilized lives in the free universe. My inquiry to these people is ; how

can felons populate civilized lives in an environment that lone offers pandemonium and

mild signifiers of lawlessness? It is good known what goes on behind closed doors in

prison ; awful atrociousnesss that make the blood furuncle and the tummy curdle are

the lone thing these captives are accustomed to while they are in prison. Most

inmates learn small of value during their parturiency behind bars, largely

because they adapt to prison in immature and frequently self-defeating ways. As a

consequence, they leave prison no better-and sometimes well worse-than when

they went in. The first clip wrongdoer who is arrested for burglary does non

belong in a prison where the lone thing he will larn is how to go a better

and more violent burglar. Alternatively, why non do him pay damages to the shop

proprietor whom he robbed? In my sentiment, if this signifier of penalty was initiated

for the lesser wrongdoer, our prisons will hold the vacancies to imprison the

Jeffery Dahmers of the universe in prison for life, alternatively of the ill-famed

“ 10 to twenty, out in five ” . Crime is the consequence of morally

responsible people doing incorrect moral determinations, for which they must be held

accountable. The merely and necessary response to such behaviour is punishment,

which may include damages for community service, stiff mulcts, or, in instances

where the wrongdoer is unsafe, prison. But allow & # 8217 ; s non pull the leg of ourselves any longer.

The prison was non designed to bring around the person ; it was made to lock him up.