The Prison Situation in the United States Is a Growing Problem

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Why do we choose to break the law? It's socially accepted, most people break the law in a minor way, perhaps by speeding or J-walking. Unfortunately some people go to far and end up in prison. At that point society is divided, where is the line that separates us? What affects the outcome of what side of that line you are standing on? Education? Environment? Genetics? What would cause one subject to end up in prison while the other raises a family? Some researchers have concluded that it is in your genetic makeup. From the beginning of your life it's already decided if you will be a law respecting citizen. Though you can't deny the importance of the environment you were raised in. A majority of people currently imprisoned is there largely because of social situations they experienced as a child.

The prison situation in the United States is a growing problem. "Within five years (1986-1991) the prison percentage increased 58 percent" (Bureau of Justice statistics). Not only has the prison population increased but also the criminals now have a higher percentage of violent offences. Between 1995-2001 property, drug and public order crimes all dropped in the percentage of sentenced state inmates. Though at the same time general prison population rose slightly due to an increase in violent offenders. With this increase in the number of violent inmates it's inevitable that the amount of violence within prison will increase. The presence of increased violence will make it even harder to rehabilitate inmates to survive lawfully in the outside world. Prisons are so 1

overcrowded and under funded that they are decreasing sentences for inmates to free up space. The early release of inmates due to lack of funds results in more criminals out on the street, eventually this will be a problem for you, if not one you have already encountered. If more criminals are on the street before they are rehabilitated will cause an increase in crimes.

Aspects of a person's social...
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