The Flawed Prison System Of America

1292 words - 6 pages

The Unites States of America’s prison system is a flawed mess. To open the eyes of our government we must first take a stand against unlawful government decisions, and show support for the greater good of society. What are our own tax-dollars paying for, what are the flaws in the justice/prison system, why is overcrowding in prisons causing tension, and what are ways our society and government can rebuild the system that has been destroyed over the years? Most criminals in prisons are not a danger to our society because they commit crimes just to use jail as a shelter, causing the overcrowding of prisons and wasting away of what we really should be paying for.
Our government deceives our perspective, causing taxpayers to just give their hard-earned money to unconstitutional profits apart of the justice system. First step of change is to know what your tax-dollars and government money actually pays for. Arrestees are put in cells that cost anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000 to build and another $7,000 to $26,000 or so annually to maintain. In Alabama, to incarcerate a daily population of 26,758 is 462.5 million, of which 3.7% were costs outside of the corrections budget, The immense cost of confining so many people is draining vital resources from other public safety endeavors, including investigations and prosecutions.(Sifakis,65) This is your money. Reducing the number of non-violent offenders in our prisons and jails by half would lower the $75 billion bill by $16.9 billion a year.(Schmitt,1)
Therefore, step two to change is recognizing the flaws in the system. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 83% of children now 12 years old will become victims of actual or attempted violence if crime continues at its current rates. A violent crime is committed every five seconds. (Violence,1)Study after study reveals the neither the threat of punishment nor increased incarceration has any real impact on the crime rate. The three biggest flaws of the justice system are that they put too many people away for too long, it criminalizes acts that need not be criminalized, and it is unpredictable- many laws, especially federal ones, are so vaguely written that people cannot easily tell whether they have broken them. Rules concerning corporate governance or the environment are often impossible to understand, yet breaking them can land you in prison. When analysts at the Congressional Research Service tried to count the number of separate offenses on the books, they were forced to give up, exhausted. Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University once said, “Some criminals belong behind bars. When a habitual rapist is locked up, the streets are safer. But, the same is not necessarily true about petty drug dealers whose incarceration creates a vacancy for someone else to fill.” (Blumstein,1)He means that the flaws in our justice system cause an unnecessary increase in the overcrowding of jails and prisons.
Consequently, one of the biggest problem...

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