The Pros And Cons Of The US Prison System

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Among civilized nations, American prisons have the highest incarceration rate—nearly 1% of Americans are in prison. Statistics show that American prisons and the justice system are in need of some serious work. In recent history, the most popular solutions to crime were longer sentences and increasingly harsh punishment of inmates while in prison—this approach is clearly not working. There are many issues surrounding the U.S. correctional system. Most, if not all of these issues have the potential to be corrected through more effective management of our prisons. Without intervention to address the shortfalls, the American prison system cannot be considered a success. Historically, penal objectives have been succinctly summarized by four…show more content…
Currently, prisons do perform the intended purpose of providing retribution and incapacitation, but they do not deter, nor do they educate or succeed in rehabilitating. American prisons are not performing their intended purpose and are in much need of reform. (Faults of the American Prison System) There is a lack of rehabilitation in the U.S. prison system—the system does not do enough to help prisoners turn their life around. Developed in the early twentieth century, the “medical model” of corrections was based on a treatment orientation, which combined the basic premises of physical medicine with those of the newly emerging discipline of psychology. By applying the medical profession’s creed of diagnosis, treatment, and cure to the perceived psychological, social, physical, educational, vocational, and moral inadequacies of offenders, the medical model promised to rehabilitate criminals through a process of diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. This diagnostic process resulted in the formulation of individualized treatment plans. It also formed the basis for assigning inmates to facilities and housing on the basis of perceived security risk. In the mid-1970s the treatment era ended, largely because of widespread dissatisfaction with the rehabilitation model. High recidivism rates were attributed to failures in…show more content…
correctional system is the most robust in the world—housing nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners within its walls. This system is, however, by no means a perfect system. With a system of this magnitude, there is bound to be problems. The U.S. must get a grasp on these problems and get back to the original function of prisons: retribution, incapacitation, deterrence and rehabilitation. Only then can we celebrate the successes of our correctional system. Bibliography Faults of the American Prison System. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec 5, 2010, from Yahoo!: Hicks, T. (2009, Jul 30). How the United States Prison System is a Failure. Retrieved Dec 5, 2010, from Prisons and Jails: Development of Prisons and Jails in the U.S. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec 6, 2010, from Free Legal Encyclopedia: Uhran, S. K. (2008, Feb 29). U.S. Prison Population Sets New Record. Retrieved Dec 5, 2010, from The Washington Post:

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