Incarceration vs. Rehabilitation: Where the Line Should Be Drawn

1691 Words7 Pages
Incarceration vs. Rehabilitation: Where the Line Should Be Drawn All over the United States, prisons are filling up with an unbelievable number of offenders. There were 1.6 million incarcerated convicts in the country as of 2011, and statistics show that this number will continue to grow exponentially if America stays on its current track (Portero). In California, prisoners are so cramped in overcrowded confinement that the prisons have been classified by the U.S. Supreme Court as cruel and unusual punishment (Liptak). Why are prisons bursting at the seams? According to Joe Romaine of the International Business Times, it is because of America’s “insane drug laws,” which are doing more harm than good (Romaine). Many people may argue that drug offenders are getting what’s coming to them— they broke the law, and therefore it is part of their consequence to suffer through the overcrowded “cruel and unusual” incarceration. Individuals who argue this point are mistaken because although criminals should indeed receive punishment for their actions, there comes a time when a line of propriety is crossed. The ‘war on drugs’ has become a harsh and unnecessary measure that frankly costs American taxpayers far too much money. If the type of imprisonment suffered by nonviolent offenders is now deemed cruel and unusual, does the punishment really fit the crime? This is the question American citizens must ask themselves as they consider how far they must go in order to keep drug use and abuse under control. One of the many effects of the severe penalties for drug use is unjust incarceration. The average citizen may correctly point out that everyone has the right to due process and therefore innocent people are not simply sentenced to prison. What these people overlook in this statement is the very real issue of racial profiling. Although studies have continuously

More about Incarceration vs. Rehabilitation: Where the Line Should Be Drawn

Open Document