Overcrowding in America's Prisons: Can rehabilitation help lower the growing numbers of repeat offenders?

Essay by kebishopUniversity, Master'sA-, April 2003

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Overcrowding in America's Prisons:

Can Repeat Offenders Be Rehabilitated

Thesis Statement and Hypothesis:

Prisons in America are overcrowded, understaffed and I believe put very little emphasis on rehabilitation.

Introduction:

The American prison system was set up to rehabilitate prisoners so they can meld back into society as productive citizens. Instead, factors as high crime rate and of course, mandatory sentences have caused an increased over-crowding of our jails. This has also caused and increased budget deficit. Where is the rehabilitation that once was used, it has all but disappeared in the prison system today.

Statement of the Problem:

Anyone who watches television or even reads a newspaper has seen examples of the lack of justice in America. Our jails and prisons have become warehouses for criminals. Many who are repeat offenders or substance abusers. Are these people receiving the rehabilitation that they need to become an upstanding citizen? They are being released with no marketable skills for life on the outside.

This can lead to many of the people returning the life of crime and thus, becoming one of the many repeat offenders. In many cases of substance abusers, they are released with not treatment for the addictions. Instead they are courts ordered to seek the treatment themselves.

Proposed Solution:

If the prison system could be reformed to rehabilitate and treat prisoners to better cope with their lives, I believe the number of repeat offenders could be reduced. We need to see that substance abuse is a disease and we need to treat the disease, until we treat the disease the problem will continue to reoccur.

Scope:

In this paper I will look at why our prisons seem to fail at rehabilitation. I will look at what programs are in place and how they perform. It's my hope to find...