The Prison System (part 1)

Annett Tamayo, Staff Writer


It is time to take a good long look at our Prison system and a overview of some of the reasons why our prisons are packed. We should all be concerned about this because we are a part of this society and some of our taxes go to prisons or will eventually be going towards them.

Mass Incarceration:

The United States is home to 5% of the population but home to 25% of the prison population.(13th Film) That sure is a lot ! The United States spends over $80 billion dollars on incarceration each year (ACLU). The Local, State and federal government spend about $20,000 to 50,000 annually to keep an individual behind bars. Many people are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses.

Rehabilitation Programs:

Rehabilitation programs and services include: Education, job training, substance use disorder treatment, and anger management counseling. Rehabilitation programs are meant to prepare inmates for when they are released into society. The cost of these programs range from $1,800 to $7,000. However these programs need to get better and should be used much more when it comes to non violent crimes.

Punishments :

Some of the punishments that are used in prisons are:

1)Time in Solitary confinement, also known as “The Hole”

2)Removal of “good behavior time”

3)Transfer to a less desirable prison job

4)Confiscation of items

5)Transfer to another higher-security prison

What is wrong with the system?
The system we are running now incarcerates non-violent offenders and punishes them as if they committed violent offenses which only hurts the economy. However, it hurts the prisoners who are doing time for nonviolent offenses as well and us because our prison system is getting more out of control than ever.

Solutions ?

We need to find a better system in which people who run the risk of being imprisoned behind bars receive help when it comes to their drug addictions or anger management and mental health issues…etc instead of locking them up for a really long time.

In Conclusion:

We should spend more money towards rehabilitation programs because it is more beneficial and it is cheaper. Rehabilitation treatment can range from $1,800 to $7,000 vs $30,000 to $60,000 which is spent in prison per inmate.This will alleviate the packed prisons and decrease going back to prison.We should focus on repairing rather than punishing when it comes to non violent offenses.

Hopefully this article gives you the basics for what my next article will be revolved around. Stay tuned!