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Social Problems, Prison Reform

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Social Problems, Prison Reform

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  • November 2008
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Social Problems - Prison Reform

Is it time to give up on rehabilitating criminals? Nearly one in every one hundred adults in the United States is in jail or prison today. With such a high number of Americans going to prison and eventually trying to re-enter society with a chance of becoming law abiding citizens they must be prepared for life on the outside. Survival is one of the key elements of human nature. People will do whatever they feel necessary to survive; due to the lack of programs to help prisoners make the transition from incarceration to society living most “free” prisoners are not really free. They are faced with extremely difficult obstacles with little resources to assist them. The lack of jobs for ex-offenders and prisoners being discharged with no place to go, no money and no job, the chances of them becoming repeat offenders are high. This begs the question “Are correction facilities really correcting the problem or creating a new issue?” Essentially they are being set up to fail and it’s time for the Federal Government to take a hard look at prison reform to truly rehabilitate those who have been lost in the system. The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and total documented prison population in the world. 1 in 100 Americans were incarcerated at the beginning of the 2008 year which means that 737 people are imprisoned per 100,000 persons (Hartney, 2006).The United States has come to rely on imprisonment as it’s response to all types of crime and some feel that the high levels of incarcerated people is due to the long sentencing which is mandated under America’s laws (Hatrney, 2006). Prison spending is now the fastest growing item on most state budgets and given that prisons themselves can serve as a breeding ground for criminals. Families are suffering, being ripped apart, perpetuating racial and income inequality, and as studies show that excessive incarceration can actually increase crime...

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