The Incarceration Of Prison Incarceration Essay example

2039 Words Nov 19th, 2014 9 Pages
Crime rates in America peaked in the late 1990’s and have been on a decline since that time. However, during that same period, the rate of incarcerated individuals has increased dramatically. This increase in prison population has led to overcrowding in prisons which has caused prisons to have to spend more money on beds and living space instead of meaningful treatment for the inmates. What caused this increase in prison population and what effect does it have on the inmates within the prisons?
The greater American society no longer sees the goal of the prison system to be rehabilitation. According to Travis & Waul (2003) Americans justify imprisonment to incapacitate, contain, and inflict pain on wrongdoers (pg. 36). With this shift away from rehabilitation, there was a decrease in meaningful treatment provided to the inmates as well as a decrease in the available services for the inmates’ mental and physical health. Prison life itself is hard enough, but add on to an overcrowded population and you get an ineffective system.
Life in prison is much different than a life on the streets. You have little to no freedom to make your own choices and it is an environment of distrust. You have to look over your shoulder constantly, and try not to appear weak at any time. You easily become isolated, hostile, are forced to suppress your emotions and feelings, and engage in interactions that are not typical in normal society. Is it reasonable to expect anyone to be able to be…

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