Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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A Heart Behind Bars As his adrenaline pumps through his body, his heart beat beings to race as he walks through the sin he is about to commit in his mind. Approaching the victim, his eyes glaze over and his heart freezes as his hand reaches out to touch the girl. Although his thoughts are spinning, the need for pleasure is dominating his actions. The minutes pass by as the screams intensify the pleasure into a struggle. The plan isn't going quite as he had thought. Just a few more seconds until there is silence, five, four, three, two, it is finally over. Now two choices come immediately into mind. Should he get rid of the evidence himself or should he rely on the drug he gave her earlier, and pray it kicks in. In his irrational state of mind, he took the easy way out. This commonly traveled road lead him straight to life in prison on charges of rape and murder.

This was the only option for his punishment, but is it his only way out of his problems? In Wilbert Rideau's "Why Prisons Don't Work," he presents the idea that prisons don't work because people go in and come out the same way, unchanged. He says that authorities think the best solution is to "get tougher" by cracking down on crime and locking away the criminals in prisons, but Rideau had first hand experience in one of those prisons and knows that the solution wasn't helping. People in prisons need to be punished, but also given a chance to change their ways. Although these criminals are usually psychos and beyond help, some might be reached with a little patience and time.

The movie, Dead Man Walking provides a perfect example of how someone in prison should...