Prison Reform: The United States Prison System

Superior Essays
There is a humanitarian crisis happening in the United States right now and it is getting no coverage. Hundreds of thousands of people, some as young as 14, are having their rights and freedoms stripped away, and in some cases in no fault of their own. These people are then forced into places around the county where they are surrounded by violent people who will take advantage of them at every turn. If they ever get to leave those places they will on average leave with a damaged psyche and a bleak future. This is the United States prison system and it is broken. To save the lives of countless people things must change. To create a better prison system and in turn a better society, the United States must reform its laws, fund rehabilitation …show more content…
The United States must reform its laws when it comes to crime, as of now people are only being hurt, with juveniles taking the brunt of that harm. One major law in need of reform is the law pertaining to felony murder. This charge is responsible for putting thousands of youths into prison for decades or even for their entire lives. Those youths charged with felony murder include those “who did no harm, possessed no weapon and did not intend to hurt anyone.” (New York Daily News). The idea that someone who did nothing wrong in every sense of the word could be charged the same as the someone who actually committed the murder is an affront to justice. This law has forced thousands of teens into prisons …show more content…
There are several benefits to prioritizing rehabilitation, one major benefit is the amount of money to be saved. The imprisonment of nearly 3 million people has ran up a massive cost to the U.S. government and in turn the american people. Rehabilitation gives our country a chance to start moving forward in that respect. In San Francisco, a prison moved towards rehabilitation in dealing with its inmates and in turn this new program “ saved the taxpayers $4 for every $1 spent on it, since the lower reincarceration rate saved roughly $30,000 a year per person.” ( The New York Times). This massive savings could mean many new possibilities for our prison. More programs could be started in prisons and the existing programs could be improved on, and with how effective rehabilitation through therapy and educational programs have proven this is our best bet at curbing crime. The best reason to fund rehabilitation programs ;however, is still the fact that they are the number one force in combating recidivism. Currently the U.S. faces a massive uphill in battle, the amount of people who return to prison after being released from prison is staggering. According to one study, “Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.” (National Institute of Justice).

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