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Jail Doesn’t Work

I am visiting my sister who is taking an online class concerning the criminal justice system and thought I would share a thought or two. Though the United States makes up only 5 percent of the world population, we have more than a quarter(25%) of the worlds prisoners. Does that mean the United States is full of the worst people or does it signify the need for a massive change in our justice system?? The company line on this topic is that prison is there for rehabilitation, to prepare the inmates to re-enter society at a later date, more morally right people than before. Sadly, this is not the case and we all know it. Prisons are ripe with corruption, drug dealing and violence where the worst of our society waste our money being kept caged like the proverbial animal. I would say that most people who spend any significant time in a real prison come out far worse than they were before and it seems many reoffend. What this means to me is that the system, like so many others in our country, is completely and utterly broken. Like a fish lying on a shore gasping for air, the correctional and judicial system is suffocating, unable to breathe the air of functionality.

What was supposed to help people has in turn become nothing but a black hole sucking up the money of people who don’t have it, to literally just suspend the lives of criminals, letting them free when they are no more than older versions of their criminal selves. Gangs have infiltrated, infected and control a massive drug trade that runs through the entire system. It has gotten bad enough that the gang members aren’t even concerned with going to a prison, it has become an almost alternate yet accepted reality for them.

Complicating this problem even further is the fact that the judicial aspect of the system is equally bad if not worse. Race, money and celebrity all play a major role in the uneven behavior and results of the system, skewing the public’s respect for the system as well as the dispersal of actual justice. If this is true, then how can the word “justice” even be attached to this system? In the current state, it is nothing more than temporary herding of misbehaving humans that doesn’t do anything but forcefully keep them from committing more crime….at least until a few years later when they get out and again break the law willingly.

The death penalty, a punishment that is supposed to exact an equal punishment on a person for a horrific crime, is just another broken piece of the broken puzzle. People are sentenced to death, then sit in prison for 20 years?? What? The flipside to this illogical system is the fact that, we have then the times where a person who was innocent is executed, we have a serious problem. A human life has enough value that as a supposedly advanced race there should never be a situation where an innocent person is robbed of his life for something he didn’t do. If even one person dies this way this system cannot continue. If we can land rovers on Mars, we should be intelligent enough to not be accidentally kill innocent people.

 

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