Words of Wisdom:

"I know I am but what are you?" - Diane

An Alternative for Prison

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.4 
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America's prisons have been called "graduate schools for crime."   It

stands to reason:   Take a group of people, strip them of possessions and

privacy, expose them to constant threats of violence, overcrowd their


block, deprive them of meaningful work, and the result is an embittered

underclass more intent on getting even with society than contributing to


Prisons take the nonviolent offender and make him live by violence.   They

take the nonviolent offender and make him a hardened killer.   America has

to wake up and realize that the current structure of our penal system is

failing terribly.   The government has to devise new ways to punish the

guilty, and still manage to keep American citizens satisfied that our


system is still effective.

Americans pay a great deal for prisons to fail so badly.   Like all big

government solutions, they are expensive.   In the course of my studies

dealing with the criminal justice system, I have learned that   the

government spends approximately eighty-thousand dollars to build one cell,

and $28,000 per year to keep a prisoner locked up.   That's about the same

as the cost of sending a student to Harvard.   Because of overcrowding, it


estimated that more than ten-billion dollars in construction is needed to

create sufficient space for just the current prison population.   The plain

truth is that the very nature of prison, no matter how humane society

attempts to make it, produces an environment that is inevitably


to its residents.   Even if their release is delayed by longer sentences,


residents inevitably return to damage the community, and we are paying

top dollar to make this possible.

Why should tax payers be forced to pay   amounts to keep

nonviolent criminals sitting in prison cells...


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