Prisoner reform is defined as “a means of improving the prison system as well as providing for prisoners to be readjusted into society when they have served their time and are released (Answers.Ask.com). Prisoner reform is a controversial topic and most people have a firm stance on which side that they are on. Unfortunately regardless of how we may feel the fact of the matter is that one in every 100 adults in the United States is currently behind bars. It is safe to say that if the 2.3 million people behind bars today formed a city, it would be the fourth largest city in the country. These are facts we cannot ignore and the dollar signs behind these facts are that it is very expensive to keep these individuals incarcerated. The United States prison system costs our taxpayers 60 billion dollars a year and it is projected that costs will continue to go through the roof without the proper reforms implemented. Not only is cost an essential reason for these reforms, another significant factor is to ensure the safety and humane treatment of these correctional clients behind the prison walls. According to a report by the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “56% of state prisoners, 45% of federal prisoners, and 64% of jail inmates in the United States suffer from mental illness. Between 60 and 80 percent of individuals under supervision of the criminal justice system in the United States we either under the influence of alcohol or drugs while committing an offense, committed the offense to support a drug addiction, were charged with a drug related crime, or were using drugs or alcohol regularly” (Smart on Crime).
We need to focus more on figuring out the reasons why our jails and prisons are so overcrowded and there we will find the answer to our problem. They are busting at the seams because we worry more about punishment than we do about prevention and reform. We need to provide the classes and programs to educate these inmates as...
References: http://2009transition.org/criminaljustice/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27&Itemid=23 - October 29, 2008. Smart on Crime: Recommendations for the next Administration and Congress.
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