What is a prison? A prison is a building in which people are held legally as punishment for a crime they commited. The purpose of prisons are broke down in four different ways, retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Retribution is giving people punishment for their criminal act. Taking freedom away from criminals is a way for them to pay back to society for their offense. Incapacitation is taking criminals off the street away from society so they are no longer able to harm innocent people. Deterrence is when one discourages future crimes by instilling fear or doubt of consequences. And lastly, rehabilitation refers to restoring someone’s mental or physical health through activities.
Over 2.2 million people in the United States are incarcerated, that is 25% of the world’s prison population, while only home to 5% of the world’s population. ? of released inmates are incarcerated within three years with an even worse crime. There are over 5,000 jails and prisons spread across the country. There is one main difference in jails and prison. Jails hold people who have a short sentence or are awaiting their trial, while prisons hold inmates that are incarcerated long term.
What is the purpose of prisons?
The current US prison system is not what it is supposed to be. The purpose of prison is to rehabilitate criminals so they can be reintroduced into society as a better person, but the US seems to put punishment before rehabilitation. Stripping criminals from their freedom is a way of making them pay their debts to society. Incapacitation ensures the safety of innocent people by removing criminals from the society. The hope for prison is that it provides a warning to those thinking of committing a crime, and could possibly discourage them from breaking the law. Prisons are supposed to provide their inmates rehabilitation activities, which are meant to change them into law abiding citizens. Some of these activities include, educational courses, teaching skills they need for a job, and counselling with a psychologist. Getting a college degree in prison is the only thing that has been 100% effective for decades in preventing reincarnation. But the offenders leaving prison now are more likely to have fairly long criminal records, lengthy histories of alcohol and drug abuse, significant periods of unemployment and homelessness, and a physical or mental disability. In California, less than $3,000 per inmate per year was spent on rehabilitation. 50% of prisoners released the year before had not participated in a single program.
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