The Importance of Proper Treatment, Rehabilitation and Education in our Prison Systems

Topics: Prison, Crime, Punishment Pages: 3 (901 words) Published: February 20, 2014
When we think of prisoners, we often picture the worst possible people: murderers, rapists, and child molesters. But what about those being jailed for more minor crimes such as drugs or robbery; those who just made a bad decision and got mixed up with the wrong crowd? Without a proper education, the lack of rehabilitation services and limited every day human interaction, how can we expect these people to become contributing citizens of our communities after their sentences have been served and they are released back into society? "Since fewer than 10 percent of prisoners are sentenced to life, we can expect that more than 90 percent of prisoners will be released". (Abramsky 199) Right now, more than 60 percent of our prison's inmates are unable to read. (Illiteracy Statistics) What better place for them to learn than in jail, away from all of the outside influences and distractions. Malcolm X said it best when he wrote "Prison Studies", "Where else but in prison could I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?" (85) "Researchers found that inmates who participate in correctional education programs have a 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not." (RAND) The absence of decent academic and vocational programs in our prisons make this difficult. Employment levels were 13 percent higher for released prisoners who had completed an educational program than those who did not. (RAND) The lack of a job could end up forcing many of these people back into their criminal ways; having to resort to stealing just to eat and get by. (Abramsky 203) Within three years of release, two-thirds of prisoners reoffend, usually with a more serious and violent crime. (Gilligan) According to Sasha Abramsky, the author of, "When They Get Out", "People haven't become more anti-social; their infractions and bad habits are just being punished more ruthlessly." (195) Are our punishments...
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