Thursday, October 23, 2003

Criminals and the prison system Part 1

This blog is about the prison system and what should be done to streamline it. In the name of time and space I have made some generalizations, which I will try to point these out wherever applicable and support with links.

The prison system in America has some major issues.

As pointed out in this link, America has a disproportionate amount of criminals in fact, more than any other nation. The article did not qualify this statement, although I think that it should have. For example, does America have more prisoners than Australia? Australia's population is about 20 million people, and all of them are known criminals. The article is flawed, but has some have some good points.

The good news is that even though we have a large percentage of criminals, our crime rates have gone down as evidenced by this link, but has had unintended consequences. Such as cuts made in rehabilitation programs, as prison systems try to handle the new influx of prisoners.

According to the link, a significant percentage of criminals will repeat offend after they get out of prison. The more time that a person has been to jail, the more likely that person is to repeat offend. A major point of prison system is to keep people from coming back. Apparently, we are not doing a good job of that right now.

The purposes of prison are to put the very bad people away for a very long period of time (this is being done and done well I think). Secondly, to take the people who have committed small crimes off the street and rehabilitate them.

The second part of the second statement is where we are failing at, and I will suggest some methods for achieving this in the next post about prisons.


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