UNIT 9 Final Essay
There are two primary goals of the United States corrections system. One of those goals is to punish offenders. The most common form of punishment is incarceration. There is also probation, house arrest, home electronic monitoring, and other less severe forms of punishment according to the crime committed. The second goal of corrections is to rehabilitate offenders. Some forms of rehabilitation can include job training, drug treatment, and counseling. Incarceration is the most expensive form of punishment. The cost to house offenders in the United States is over 60 billion dollars nationwide (Clearinghouse 2001). In 2009, there were over 2.2 million prisoners in U.S. jails with the daily cost averaging $40 . The types of crimes varied. Among non-violent crimes committed, people convicted of burglary served the longest average sentence of 14 years and three months (Nyden, P.J.2011, April 17). There is a general belief that the punishment should always fit the crime. Over 50% of the inmates incarcerated were non-violent offenders (Clearinghouse 2001). Most of these convicted offenders received lengthy mandatory sentences or fell under the “three strikes” laws, and the reduction of parole and early release. In 2010, more that 72% of all new prisoners were convicted of non-violent offenses. (Nyden, P.J. 2011, April17) Considering that the cost to keep offenders incarcerated is very expensive, I think that the majority of the money should be used to house violent offenders such as murderers, rapists, and child predators/molesters, for which there should be no parole or any kind of early release. There should be a time cap on appeals for those that are being considered for execution. In my opinion, non-violent offenders should be diverted to local treatment and training programs and money should be invested in probation and rehabilitation programs. By following this...
References: CityBusiness, S. (n.d). Commentary: Closing prisons the right move. New Orleans CityBusiness (LA), Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Nyden, P.J. (2011, April 17). W.VA No.2 in growing prison population. Charleston Gazette, The (WV). Retrieved from EBSCOhost
Drug Policy Clearinghouse (March 2001)
S. Belenko, “Research on drug courts: A critical review,” National Drug Court Institute Review, (1998)
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