Description People are often quick to criticize the US prison system. However, many people do not know why we have a prison system and what its goal is. For this discussion, think about your idea of the prison system and write a narrative, of no less than 400 words, on if you think the prison system is a vital part of our justice system or an archaic institution. Make sure and qualify your stance by relating your argument with the goals of corrections. You must also respond to two classmates’ post. post 1: My stance on this discussion is that I do believe we need the prison system, but a reformed version. In society we will always need a place to keep criminals away from the public and that place should be a prison. The way the criminals get treated inside the prison though, we need to look at that aspect and see how we can change it. Our current prison system holds so many people that could contribute to society but without the proper help they will just be tossed aside and only viewed as a criminal. Implementing more reform programs will give inmates the chance they deserve to be brought back into society instead of being forced away and kept in a prison. Staying on inmates specifically, “There is enormous variation in the way the world’s ten million prisoners are treated. Some young men do drill in military style boot camps while others are counselled in therapeutic communities. Prisoners deemed dangerous may be held in almost total isolation in the highest “supermax” conditions of security; low risk prisoners approaching their date of release go out to work during the day from open establishments. Some convicted prisoners can spend years in remote labor colonies, pre trial detainees a few weeks in city center lock ups or many years beyond legal guarantees and amongst sentenced prisoners.” “The experience of very many prisoners perhaps the majority continues routinely to involve often gross violations of basic human rights and seemingly makes scant contribution to either the rule of law or to the creation of safer communities. The failings of prisons often reflect chronic problems of maladministration, chiefly under resourcing in terms of buildings and staff, compounded by often severe overcrowding and weak management and accountability. In principle these are matters that can be put right. But there is an often unspoken question: How much are the obvious failings of imprisonment due to inherent flaws in the nature of institution itself rather than weaknesses in its practical elaboration?” “While much more attention needs to be paid to finding new ways of preventing and responding to crime, in the short term priorities would seem to include ensuring prison is used as a last resort and for the shortest possible time; minimizing the use of pre trial detention especially in Africa , South Asia and Latin America; modernizing national prison laws and rules which sometimes date from colonial times; and while applying existing international standards and working towards an updated and comprehensive framework of norms across the globe.” post 2: The United States prison system in my opinion began under some pretty barbaric circumstances. The goals of corrections include atonement and deterrence. The problem with many of the goals of corrections lies in the fact that the follow through is lacking in the areas that could actually be the most beneficial to those incarcerated. Putting more time, money, and resources into rehabilitating offenders versus just punishing them, would allow us to see a dramatic decrease in recidivism rates. After nearly four years of taking Criminology classes, the biggest thing I have gathered is that the United States prison system is just a modern day slavery in many ways. In this country, a country’s whose roots are so tightly wrapped in racism has carried into what is supposed to be our justice system. When slavery was outlawed we entered the Jim Crow era of separate but equal. Once we moved out of that, many people found a way to continue to control people of color and black United States citizens. The 13th amendment of the US Constitution makes a clear distinction into who can be slaves of the state. The 13th amendment allowed individuals to be slaves of the state only if they have committed a crime. Because of this, incarceration rates began to rise with the increasing need for labor after the outlaw of slavery. The majority of those arrested at the boom of mass incarceration were African Americans. The number of African American individuals who were being arrested only continued to rise during The War on Drugs. I think it’s hard to fix a system that is so deeply rooted in archaic ideology. It’s not as easy as just reforming the prison system as a whole. We have to take a step back and look at what is working, what is not working, what is rooted in racism, and what we can do to be better. A justice system is supposed to be just that, just, but the United States justice system is not. Allowing there to be more focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment could have a wonderful impact on the inmates currently being housed in state and federal prisons. I am in no way saying that people do not need to do the time for their crime, however the majority of people in prisons will be released one day, and we should want to provide them with the resources that will help them to be successful once they are back in the outside world.
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