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Crime and Punishment and ways to make our prison system better - Essay Example

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This paper is about the role of education, poverty and race in prison overcrowding. The belief that stricter punishments discourage crimes and the resultant strict sentencing causes a corresponding increase in incarceration rates in the present day. This skyrocketing incarceration is responsible for the overcrowding in prisons…
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Crime and Punishment and ways to make our prison system better
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Download file to see previous pages This essay describes how hard it is for the imprisoned people to find their place in society after coming out. The Policy Information Report by the Educational Testing Service finds that the rate of black youths incarcerated has increased to the point that it “jeopardize(s) the achievement of broader social justice goals”. This is especially true for those who dropped out from school. This indicates that there is a gap in the educational opportunities of the Black youth as compared to the White youth. It is a matter of common knowledge that when people are not educated, they receive lesser opportunities for employment and, therefore, some of them turn to alternatives such as criminal activities to earn their living. Therefore, it can be construed that lack of education causes crime, which in turn increases the incarceration rates. Besides, research evidence suggests that “illiteracy” and the lack of mathematical skills are quite high in prisoners and a “half of all prisoners” do not possess any education at all. It is also seen that there is an increased trend of early dropout from schools, which can be attributed to drug use, lack of family support or the want of economic resources. Therefore, any reformations of prison systems must also encompass the concept of educating the prisoner through in house sources so that when they get released, they can engage in some productive employment. This will decrease the chances of recidivism and, thereby, eliminate the chances of their repeated incarceration. In the present day, the job market has become highly competitive and business entities have a wide variety of choices of people to hire. This means that people who do not possess adequate qualification, such as a college degree and professional skills, remain unemployed. In addition, the fact of being imprisoned casts the shadow of social stigma of ex-convicts and, usually, employers would not be interested in hiring them. This situation forces them to look for alternative sources of income and they end up relying on criminal activities for income and this ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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