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Prison Life, Before and After - Research Paper Example

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Prison Life, Before and After Abstract USA has one of the largest numbers of prison population in the world as the tough sentencing laws and high crime rates along with record numbers of drug offenders make American prisons overcrowded. Overcrowding has a negative effect on inmate’s mental and general health, and excess stress can trigger a person to commit suicide…
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Download file to see previous pages Recidivism also jeopardizes the social security. The prison industry is now the fastest growing industry in US, where inmates are working for various industries for a pittance which leads to a new form of inhumane exploitation. Educational programs such as vocational training and employment services programs, social programs dealing with poverty, urban development, education, child and health care, faith based programs, and community corrections programs could play an important role in the reduction of recidivism, and helps them to lead good life in future. Introduction The growth of inmates in America’s prisons witnessed an increasing trend during the past three decades as a recent study reported that one in 100 American adults were behind bars, and one in 31 adults were either incarcerated or on probation or parole (Jennifer Laudano, 2001). Incarceration is one of the main forms of punishment or rehabilitation for committing crimes in United States. In total more than 2.2 million people were in jail in U.S.A., while China ranks second, followed by Russia with 870,000 inmates were in prison. United States has one of the largest prison populations and the highest rate of incarceration in the world thanks to the tough sentencing laws, high crime rates and record numbers of drug offenders (James Vicini, 2006). Adding, arrest rate of offenders has been rising faster than the numbers of prisoners who have been released. The United States’ population is 5% of the world's population, but its incarcerated population is 25 %. Ryan King, who is advocating sentencing reform, in an interview said that United States has more punitive criminal justice system than any other countries, and more people were imprisoned for drug law violations than other countries. While providing statistics, he said that drug offenders account for more than 2 million of the 8 million inmates in prison. To cope with this trend, states were spending more than $60 billion on prisons which make it the second fastest growing area of state budgets, trailing behind Medicaid. Prisons are the most expensive option available for authorities to punish offenders as it costs an average of $80 per day to keep an inmate locked up, which is more than 20 times the cost of a day on probation (Marcie, 2010). Prison conditions: As per U.S. bureau of prisons report, along with prison population, violence in prisons also increased which worsens the condition most. Even in the high security prisons, there was an increasing report of violence in recent years, which prompted to push congress last year for more funds by prison authorities to hire more guards to improve prison conditions. Numbers of serious assaults have been decreased in high security jails, but cases of homicides have been increased amongst prisoners (Marcie M, 2010). Higher rate of violent crimes, harsher sentencing practices, particularly for drug and property offenses, mandatory and determinate sentencing, restrictions on judicial discretion are some of the factors responsible for overcrowding in US prisons. Overcrowding has negative effects on inmate’s mental and general health, and on the other hand, excess stress can trigger a person to commit suicide ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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