Criminals Essay Research Paper Do prisons teach

Criminals Essay, Research Paper Do prisons teach people to become worse criminals? Many people think that a prisoner is taught how to be a better criminal while in prison. Prisoners are

Criminals Essay, Research Paper

Do prisons teach people to become worse criminals? Many people think that a

prisoner is taught how to be a better criminal while in prison. Prisoners are

integrated with people that have committed worse crimes than the ones that they

have committed. The bigger and better criminals teach the others what they need

to learn to survive prison life. There are many other aspects of prison that can

make a prisoner worse than when he or she went in. Are prisons helping to stop

the crime wave? For starters, prisons around the United States are extremely

overcrowded. Wyoming is a good example of overcrowding in prisons. We have had

to send a number of prisoners to Colorado because we have run out of room to

keep them in Wyoming. The number of people sent to prisons were for drug

offences more than violent crimes(). Some people are saying that making some

drugs legal, such as marijuana, would decrease the number of prisoners

drastically. There are also evidence that even though they are in prison, they

can still buy and sell drugs. It has been found that 80% of drug offenders that

have received sentences in New York have never been convicted of a violent

felony or committed a violent crime. It was found that one in four drug

offenders in prison was convicted of simple possession (Human Rights Watch). Are

prisoners learning prejudice in prisons? There is evidence of this. Some civil

rights organizations are calling for renewed scrutiny of the segregation

policies of many state and federal prisons, charging that they inadvertently

promotes growth of hatred and serve as recruiting grounds for supremacist

groups. David Novak, a man who spent a year in a federal prison camp, said that

it left an imprint of racial intolerance on him. He said he felt compassion for

the three white murder suspects in the killing of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, TX.

Two of the three allegedly have made ties with white-supremacist gangs while

they were behind bars. Novak said, ?In prison it is easy to fall into such

groups (Prejudice in Prisons). Prison officials acknowledge that cell-blocks are

often segregated by race. Putting members of rival gangs together not only

endangers the prisoners, but also the lives of the guards and the very security

of the institution. Texas is the nation?s most integrated prison. In 1987, a

federal district court ruled to ban cell-block segregation in the state. Since

the ruling went into effect, prison murders have dropped by half to an average

of five per year (Prejudice in Prisons). There is argument that life in prison

isn?t actually all that hard. It?s more like a paid vacation than a

punishment. While in prison, everything you have is paid for by the government.

The food is free, the cable is free, the clothes are free, and you even get to

lift weights and work for money. If you want, you can even get an education

while in prison. Many prisons offer a chance to get your GED or even a college

education. Prisons are equipped with library?s that have computers that the

inmates can use. There are many issues concerning weightlifting in prison. These

are things such as inmates using size and strength gained from weightlifting as

a weapon against guards, other inmates, or the public upon their release. People

do not want their tax dollars being used to provide gymnasiums and new weight

rooms for felons. Weightlifting equipment could be used as a weapon against

guards or other inmates. Weightlifting equipment could be used as a tool to

escape. And most of all, prison is not supposed to be a ?nice place.? We do

not want them to come back again and again (Strengthtech). Some incidents have

occurred from weight lifting in prison. Such as, in a Ohio prison riot, inmates

used weightlifting bars to batter down a concrete wall protecting guards. One of

the guards was killed. In a New York prison, fifteen correctional officers and

ten inmates were injured in a gymnasium when a fight broke out between two

inmates (Strengthtec). It seems that by allowing prisoners to have these

luxuries, they are only making themselves stronger and making it easier for them

to escape. It may also be telling them that it is okay to go to prison. Another

bad thing about prisons is there is no segregation between HIV/Aids victims and

non HIV/Aids victims. Prisons around the world have grossly disproportionate

rates of HIV infection and of confirmed Aids cases. For example, in the United

States in 1994, there were 5.2 cases of Aids per 1,000 prisoners. This is nearly

six times the incidence found in the general adult population (Human Rights

Watch). Not only do people entering prison tend to have a relatively high

incidence of HIV, prisons provide a perfect breeding ground for transmission of

the virus. High risk behaviors, such as injecting-drug use and unprotected sex,

including coerced sex, are common in prisons around the word. Health care is

usually substandard and sometimes nonexistent. Rather than providing prisoners

with prevention tools, notably condoms for safe sex, and liquid bleach for

sterilizing needles and syringes, prison administrators frequently bar the entry

of these items. Even HIV/Aids education, which could help prisoners understand

their vulnerability to the virus, is rarely found in the world?s prisons

(Human Rights Watch). There is also the question of private prisons, and whether

they are worth having. With promises of big savings, private prisons seem to

offer a solution. But opponents of private prisons say that the truth lies where

the money is. For private corrections business, inmates equal dollars. When the

profit is being jeopardized when there aren?t enough inmates, private

facilities will take anyone from anywhere to ensure that their revenues exceed

their expenses, regardless of the inmate?s classification or whether or not

the facility and staff are prepared for them (Corrections.com). Some feel that

some issues are being ignored when comparing the costs of operating private

facilities and the costs of operating public facilities. These include the

amount spent on government monitoring of private operations which is conducted

by government personnel, unemployment benefits for former corrections officers

who lose their position as a result of the private takeover, the continued

reliance by private firms on government services to address issues such s public

health problems, riots, employee strikes, and chasing after escapees (Corrections.com).

Some private corrections firms may under represent projected costs and over

represent estimated savings to generate new business and beat out their

competition. So it seems, that prisons should not become private prisons after

all. The rise in the prison population in recent years Is remarkable given that

crime rates have been falling nationally since 1992. With less crime, one would

assume that fewer people would be sentenced to prison. This has been overridden

by the increasing impact of lengthy mandatory sentencing policies. Such as,

mandatory minimums, the ?three strikes? policies, and ?truth in

sentencing,? which requires certain offenders to serve 85% of their prison

sentence (Sentencingproject.com). Due to the fact that prisoners are starting to

serve more of their terms, they are getting tired of waiting around in prison.

There is overcrowding, causing uneasiness in prison gangs, because they are

having to integrate. Prisoners are being taught by other prisoners tricks of the

trade, and are coming out worse criminals than they were before. They are also

coming out bigger than they were before because they are allowed things such as

weight machines and gymnasiums. And why wouldn?t someone like to go to prison?

In prison everything is free, and it?s an easy life. Therefore, I don?t

believe that putting more people in prison for more and more crimes is the

answer. Prisons don?t deter people from committing crimes, they only teach

them better crimes.

http://www.mcc.org/ http://www.sentencingproject.org/ http://www.esva.net/

http://www.csmonitor.com/ http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/ http://www.ncjrs.org/homepage.htm

http://www.corrections.com/

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