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Prison System

  • Date Submitted: 03/20/2013 04:36 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.7 
  • Words: 1914
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William Lanthier
2/23/11
Mr. Goman
Writing 121
Prison punishes more than just criminals
I come from a very large extended family and have numerous cousins, many of them much older than I. One of my older cousins, whom I did not know particularly well, was sent to prison several years ago when he was caught smuggling drugs across the border of the Unites States and Mexico. This is somewhat of a sore spot in our family and although I was young and did not know him very well I was curious to learn about his experience. Unfortunately, whenever I would bring up the issue my parents and other family members were hesitant to discuss the matter. Eventually I learned a lot of the minor details relating to his incarceration and found out that my cousin had gone to prison, been released after a short time, then almost immediately sent back after getting caught committing a similar crime. As I grew older and was able to better understand the situation I wondered how and why my cousin would repeat his mistakes. Wasn’t prison supposed to clean his act up and send him out into the world rehabilitated with the skills and resources necessary to make an honest living? This personal story led me to question if the U.S. prison system is doing its job. Are prisons rehabilitating criminals and in turn stunting crime?
The American Prison system is a subject that many people would rather not know about. It is a subject that hits very close to home for some and has no relation to many others. For many people the only way you would become interested or at least aware of the issue would be if a friend or relative were sent to prison. In addition to my cousin’s incident the most informative sources I had come across regarding this issue were popular television shows such as “Lockdown” on the National Geographic channel or “The Wire”, a popular HBO series. “Lockdown”, a documentary series, gives a behind the scenes look at the American prison system while “The Wire” is a fictionalized...

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