Does Prisons Really Work

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Dymond McCoy
2/25/13
English 102

Lesson Never Learned

It is often said “prisons work” but does it actually teach the inmates a lesson? Or does it just give criminals a holding place until their sentence is up? These questions come up often because of the security issues inside the prisons, the percentage rates of the inmates that end up back in prison, and taxes that affect the citizens of the community surrounded. In prison movies, the actors in the movies usually are thugs in prison for murder or drugs. But in reality there are two different types of prisoners and the reason they serve prison time is not only because of murder or drugs. Terrie Moffitt published a paper in Psychological Review that stated how there are two types of prisoners: The Adolescent-Limited and Lifelong Persistent. The Adolescent-Limited are young, primarily men who commit crimes to support themselves, commit a crime for fun or was a part of a gang. But eventually they settle down and get married, giving up the life style that was committing to their criminality. The Lifelong Persistent also known as “career criminals,” are people who commit crimes often moving through the criminal justice system. Committing a cycle of crime, arrest, conviction, incarceration, and release and then starting over again and never breaking out of the cycle (Kanazawa). The reason why both of these people end up in prison could be poor education, drug addiction, racism, mental health difficulties (rarely if given attention they deserve) and of course drugs or murdering someone. (Smart Justice).

In most prisons there are issues with security. Gangs forming inside the prisons are one of the major reasons behind the death rate within the prison. Twenty percent of inmates are a part of a gang who are responsible for the majority of assaults against other inmates or staff members inside the prisons. Inmates make weapons or send gang member’s messages in order to complete their assault tasks. They find...
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