Rehabilitation: The Answer, Not The Option.

1240 Words5 Pages
2.22.11 Ms. Sutton AP English & Comp. Rehabilitation: The Answer, Not the Option. To ask if rehabilitation is possibly for felony offenders, is a simply question enough. But the answer, however, is not so clear-cut. Should there be a chance of rehabilitation? Why yes, I believe so. Then yet another question comes to mind: What type of felony offender are they? Was it a non-violent act? In my opinion James Gilligan - Harvard University criminologist - says it best: "It's really clear that the most effective way to turn a nonviolent person into a violent one is to send them to prison." The American prison system takes nonviolent offenders and makes them live side-by-side with hardened killers. The very nature of prison, no matter people view it, produces an environment that is inevitably harmful to its residents. America locks up five times more of its' population than any other nation in the world. Due to prison overcrowding, prisoners are currently sleeping on floors, in tents, in converted broom closets and gymnasiums, or even in double or triple bunks in cells, which were designed for one inmate. Why is this happening? The U.S. Judicial System has become so succumbed to the ideal that Imprisonment is the most visibly form of punishment. The current structure of this system is failing terribly. To take people, strip them of their possessions and privacy, expose them to violence on a daily basis, restrict their quality of life to a five by seven-foot cell, and deprive them of any meaning to live. This scenario is a standard form of punishment for violent offenders, although not suitable for nonviolent offenders. Today, almost 70% of all prisoners are serving time for nonviolent offenses. U.S. States are spending an average of a hundred million dollars per year on new prisons and all U.S. taxpayers front the bill for a system that is not working. Why should

More about Rehabilitation: The Answer, Not The Option.

Open Document