Pros And Cons Of The Incarceration System

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With more than 2.3 million people locked away in our prisons, the system under which these are run is a major concern of society. A well-functioning incarceration system with motives of keeping citizens safe is key to maintaining peace and order in society. Correspondingly, a nation with a malfunctioning executive branch driven solely by economic greed is bound to fail the challenges of maintaining a safe and favorable environment. This is the state in which our nation’s prison system lies, in the hands of entrepreneurs whose only incentive is profit. The incarceration system in the United States has inflicted much damage on societal well-being, caused by privatization of prisons, war on drugs, and overcrowding of prison cells. Prisons in…show more content…
The demographic group most affected by the war on drugs and the incarceration boom are the juveniles. Youth who turn to drugs and alcohol abuse are faced with harsh reality at YSI Facilities, another branch of the private prison industry. Rather than being charged with fines appropriate to their offenses and being sent to rehabilitation or other forms of drug treatment, non-violent offenders are locked away with long, harsh sentences. This profit-driven war on drugs and other substance abuse ruins the lives of the inmates, turning them into harder criminals by exposing them to such environments. According to a project run by The Huffington Post, 40% of juvenile offenders sent to private prisons on account of drug related crimes are arrested and convicted of harsher crimes in less than a year from their release (Kirkham). Moreover, the concept of combating drugs with the threat of imprisonment is counterproductive. Imprisoning low level drug-dealers for long periods of time creates a gaping void in the market, quickly replaced by desperate individuals wanting to generate an income, and the number of potential “criminals” skyrockets. Thus, by locking away non-violent offenders with such long sentences, the incarceration boom is being promoted, and wrecking societal…show more content…
The influx of prisoners poses issues such as gang rivalries, and violent confrontations, not only among the prisoners themselves but also between them and the prison guards. At Corcoran State Prison, on “gladiator days” officers forced rival gang members to fight, and shot them both for entertainment(Schlosser). In private Juvenile detention centers such as YSI facilities, staff often choose to not report most assaults and major fights to avoid scrutiny for violating their contracts and the rules of the Department of Juvenile Justice. Overcrowding also leads to inconveniences such as double-bunking, which urges aggression, violence, and stress-induced mental disorders. The incarceration system in the United States has inflicted much damage on societal well-being, caused by privatization of prisons, war on drugs, and overcrowding of prison cells. The safety and well-being of society lies in the efficiency of prisons. The lack of a productive system will continue to harm the nation and further the deterioration of the lives of those affected. However, with a few reformations the problem can be solved and societal safety restored. Eradication of private prisons and promotion of drug rehab can benefit both society and the incarceration system and result in a more successful
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