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prison system in america

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Kristen Truskowski

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of prison system in america

Rachel Moyer
Kristen Truskowski The Prison System Background Overcrowding Due to unreasonable cost of living per person, the questionable treatment of the inmates and overcrowding in various prisons, the justice system needs to be reformed with more fair sentencing as well as alternative sentences. Each week, the Nation must add more than 1,100 prison beds to keep up with the rapidly growing inmate population.
The spread of dangerous diseases
The two real causes of overcrowding
Will building more prisons help the vast cases of overcrowding?
Overcrowded prisons statistically only enlarges the prison population Treatment of Inmates We have a harsh prison culture because of the rapid rise of incarceration and the shift of demographics in the country
The increase prison population causes less opportunities and services.
Increase tension between prisoners
These prisons become increasingly more difficult to manage and guards are forced to turn to harsher treatment. Poor Healthcare Inmates are at a high risk for many serious diseases and mental illnesses.
Diseases can spread in 3 main ways
Risks are growing more each year
Window of Opportunity Inhumane Treatment "...U.S. prison inmates have been beaten...by the officers whose job is to guard them... Some have died..."
The isolation, lack of activities, and few chances of rehab sometimes cause inmates to become more violent than when they arrived.
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1966 3% of the total population is in prison on any given day
Highest growth rate in the world
In the early years of American colonization, there were no formal prisons.
Shortly after the American Revolution, the first prison was established (around 1790) in Philadelphia. By the early 1800s, most states had begun building large and secure penitentiaries. typical sights of overcrowding Prison vs. Princeton Typical Prison Cells Unreasonable Cost of Living Not only way to fight crime
Often cost inefficient
Government spending has increased by 600% and consumed 5% of the commonwealth's spending at everyone's expense
Spending on incarceration exploded from $7 billion in 1980 to about $45 billion today.
Texas education relationship to prisons California One of the largest penal systems in the world
Incarceration v. Education costs
In 1978, there were only 21,325 inmates in California but by 1993 at least 100,000.
The budget for Corrections
All of the new construction was $2.6 billion dollars.
In California, guards make over $55,000 a year, much more than school teachers at the time. Ways to Reform Improved training of prison guards
Higher enforcement of standards
Free and often access of independent human rights monitors to the prisons
Values and attitudes would need changing
Thorough overhaul of the harsh sentencing laws and policies. Supermax Prisons Supermax prisons are "about as restrictive and monotonous as human minds can design- and, perhaps, as human minds can tolerate."
America's supermaxes have been denounced as inhumane by the UN.
New cases of illness or psychosis
Prisoners are not prepared for release
Quote from inmate: "If a person paroles, he's now a human time bomb waiting to release all that anger and hate, waiting to explode."
The SHU example The Justice System Alternative Sentencing Rehabilitation "Rehabilitation has historically been an important motive underlying reform efforts that increased the humanity of the correctional system." Used to be a very popular method
Based on life skills
Social skills
Drug programs
Educational/Vocational Training "An expanded range of sentencing options give judges greater latitude to exercise discretion in selecting punishments." Options: Community service
Financial restitution
Halfway houses
Intensive supervision probation for nonviolent criminals
Intermediate sanctions Monetary fine
An offender may have to pay both fines and restitution. Allows the offender to live at home
Required to do community service, meet with their probation officer or attend school or treatment programs. Community Service Generally work for government or nonprofit organizations.
Alone or used with other programs Intensive Supervision Probation Restitution Alt. Sentencing Cont. Intermediate Sanctions More cost effective
Harsh consequences
Nonviolent, low risk criminals
Enrolling in drug/alcohol programs Video "It costs about $23 million to jail 94 people for a year"
("Building More Prisons Is Not Cost-Effective.") "Although the criminal justice system deals with only a fraction of the crime that is committed, the public mistakenly looks to the criminal justice system to eliminate the crime problem. Better public understanding of both the causes of crime and the important, but limited, role that the criminal justice system plays in its control is essential to meaningful change in our approach to the crime problem."

. The United States has the longest prison sentences in the entire Western world and are even growing longer.
Punish as many people as now but for less time War on Drugs
Health and social welfare problem.

Society needs to become aware of problem
Reform views

Change sentencing time for nonviolent drug offenders Inconsistent and inappropriate justice decisions
Offenders may be placed in the wrong programs
Mandatory minimums
Statutory requirements for harsh sentences for certain offenses
"Three-strikes" laws
Abolition of parole in many states

Racial statistics for youth
Black, Asian and Latino youths combined were 2.8 times more live likely to be arrested for a violent crime, 6.2 times more likely to end up in court as an adult, and 7 times more likely to be sent to prison over white youths. Solutions The Eastern State Penitentiary Sketch of the Eastern State Penitentiary Group Therapy Session at the SHU Prisoners doing Community Service in New Orleans RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM Johnson v. California KT KT Gary Johnson was being admitted into California's Department of Corrections and for his holding cell at the reception center he was placed due to his race
Afterward he would be able to have a cellmate of any race
30% of cells are racially integrated
He challenged this "equal but separate housing" and the court's legitimized the "separate but equal" standard. KT KT KT KT "Prison Policy" "The Prison System Does Not Work"
"Building More Prisons Is Not Cost-Effective" "Building More Prisons Will Not Solve Prison Overcrowding"
"The Prison System Does Not Work" "US Prisons are not Humane" "Inmate Healthcare Must be Improved" "US Prisons are not Humane" "Super Maximum Security Prisons are Cruel and Inhumane" "Building More Prisons Will Not Solve Prison Overcrowding" "Sentencing Reform Can Reduce Prison Overcrowding." "Building More Prisons Will Not Solve Prison Overcrowding."
"Building More Prisons Is Not Cost-Effective." "Locked Away and Forgotten: We're going to have to face up to it--the prison system doesn't work." "Foreword: 'separate but equal' in prison: Johnson v.
California and common sense racism." "Sentencing Reform Can Reduce Prison Overcrowding."
"Locked Away and Forgotten: We're going to have to face up to it--the prison system doesn't work." "Alternative Sentencing Can Succeed."
"Sentencing Reform Can Reduce Prison Overcrowding." "Prisons Should Rehabilitate Inmates." "Alternative Sentencing Can Succeed." RM
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