Overcrowding in America's Prisons: Can Repeat Offenders Be Rehabilitated

Essay by cowboyjbUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2006

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Prisons in America are overcrowded, understaffed and I believe put very little emphasis on rehabilitation. American prison system was set up to rehabilitate prisoners so they can meld back into society as productive citizens. Instead, factors such 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. 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 upstanding citizens? They are being released with no marketable skills for life on the outside. This can lead to many of the people returning to a life of crime and thus, becoming one of the many repeat offenders.

In many cases of substance abusers, they are released without treatment for their addictions.

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. America's prison system has become extremely overcrowded and managing it has become a job of staggering proportions. In 2001, there were 1.4 million men and women incarcerated in state and federal correctional institutions. This overcrowding has increased the cost to operate prisons at alarming rates. Due to a high recidivism rate, many experts believe that lack of rehabilitation has played a great role in this...