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Social Issues in the US Prison System

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Jennifer Namer

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of Social Issues in the US Prison System

OVERCROWDING CAN RESULT IN
CRUEL CONDITIONS FOR INMATES Sources.
Types of Prison Rehabilitation | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8110542_types-prison-rehabilitation.html#ixzz2QVYzvb

Top 10 Modern Prison Programs
Www.listverse.com
Aug, 14 2008

Harvardmagazine.com/2013/03/theprisonproblem
The Prison Problem

NIJ Journal No. 268, October 2011 Over the last four decades, the rate of incarceration in the United States has risen at an unprecedented rate.
Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Plata (2011) CAN CREATE A CLIMATE OF VIOLENCE AND PUT THE SAFETY OF THE INMATES
AND THE STAFF AT RISK Gangs U. S Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report (September 2012)
- The increase in inmate population has affected the inmates negatively.
- Increased inmate misconduct, which negatively affects the safety and security of inmates and staff
-"If you start cramming more and more people into a confined space, you're going to create more tensions and problems," (Justice David Maurer, GAO Official ) It creates the possibility that someone's going to snap and have a violent incident."

-By October 2012, 14 federal prison workers had been assaulted with weapons and another 45 were assaulted by unarmed inmates (Huffington Post ) Why? Solitary Confinement Protection
Outside Affiliation
Benefits The Problem Violence
Criminal Activities
Unstable Environment
Increasing Effects of Prolonged Solitary Confinement Typical Cell 9x9
Cell doors are heavy gauge perforated metal
Designed to bock vision, light, and fresh air
Prisoners are confined at least 22 hours of the day
Most have no windows
Quaker Origin Considered a form of psychological torture:
Heightened sensitivity to stimuli
Hallucinations
Memory loss
Difficulty Thinking
Impulsiveness
Human Rights Council of United Nations
Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Statistics for 2013 (As of 15 April 2013) Observation of Supreme Court of the United States, 1890 A considerable number of the prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semifatuous condition, from which its was next to impossible to arouse them and others became violently insane; others still, committed suicide; while those who stood the ordeal better were not generally reformed, and in most cases did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community. Overcrowding also reduces the amount of resources for job training, education and drug treatment Privatization of Prisons The privatization of prisons by mega-corporations has turned the system into a profitable business that benefits from high prison populations.

Corrections Corp of America has proposed to prison officials in 48 states to let them buy and manage public prisons, claiming to save costs to the state in exchange for prisons containing 1000 beds and maintaining a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years.

More prisoners = More profit, so under the pretext of being tough on crime, private prisons can fill jail cells and make money Issues in the U.S. Prison System Chase Suzumoto
Jennifer Namer
Ty Tamagawa
Kimberly Itokazu
Adam Gunkel
Damien Hernandez Issues of Focus Overcrowding
Solitary Confinement
Gangs
Discrimination
Privatization
Rehabilitation Rehabilitation
-Definition: Punishment intended to reform a convict so that he/she can lead a productive life free from crime. According to the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons, 67% of former prisoners are re-arrested, and 52% are re-incarcerated. Our 5,000 prisons and jails cost taxpayers $60 billion a year. Forms of Rehabilitation Today: -Victim-offender mediation, is usually a face-to-face meeting, in the presence of a trained mediator, between the victim of a crime and the person who committed that crime.

-In the 1980s, boot camps as alternatives to juvenile prisons came in style.
--New Orleans parish opened the first one in 1984; within a few years, there were several hundred in thirty-three states.
--Those eligible were young non-violent offenders who were facing long prison terms.

-Classes or practices — including meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer or similar —that are offered at correctional institutions for inmates and prison staff.


* Stated benefits of this program – stress relief for inmates and staff Prison contemplative programs: Religious programs: - Seek to change inmates’ internal motivations as well as external behaviors.

*The biggest experiment in religious prison programs may be in Florida, which operates three “faith and character-based institutions” – entire prisons that provide religious programming aimed at rehabilitation. -From literacy to GED preparation to vocational education programs, prisons have historically attempted to offer at least some basic education to inmates in prison.

-A study by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons found: “The more educational programs successfully completed for each six months confined, the lower the recidivism rate.”
- Gives inmates several benefits, including a structured work day, the ability to practice positive team-building skills and receiving pay that helps them fund incidental living expenses behind bars.

-After release, this work experience can help inmates obtain jobs or help in providing paperwork to the court for receiving custody of children from foster care. Working within the prison: Second Chance Act: -Signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, funds rehabilitative services for prisoners, such as reentry programs, prison education, and drug treatment, as well as research on the effectiveness of those services.
-More than $250 million has been awarded under the act so far.
We need more Rehabilitative programs for prisoners.

Rehabilitation programs reduce recidivism if they incorporate proven principles and are targeted to specific offenders. -If we could implement effective programs, we could expect to reduce recidivism by 15 to 20 percent. - To put it in concrete terms: About 495,000 of the 750,000 prisoners who will be released this year are likely to be rearrested within three years.

-With effective programs, we could reduce the number of repeat offenders by nearly 100,000. Discrimination Discrimination within the US Prison System
Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, and sex
Possible Causes:
legislation and policy making
unequal enforcement
prosecution/sentences
Sexuality, race, ethnicity, gender, religion Internal and External Discrimination Effects of US Legislation and Policies Discrimination of Women 148,200 women in prison system, but 70% correctional officers male
powerless and humiliation
fear and retaliation
impunity with legislation and policies

Over 8 year period incarceration of African American women jumped 828%
African American women eight times more likely then white women to get incarcerated
Latina's experience four times likely to get incarcerated then white women

Discrimination based on sexuality
More likely for sexual abuse and longer sentences by jurors (3 times greater then race) National Law Journal 11/2/98
Millbrook v. United States Solitary Confinement Cell Solutions in late spring when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California must reduce its overcrowded prison system by 30,000 inmates. The court ruled 5-4 that the state's system was "incompatible with the concept of human dignity."
Impunity
US population against condemns racial discrimination

Importance of 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments
Color Blindness Principle
stipulates that institutions remain blind to a citizen's skin color and ethnic origin
Supreme Court Case against California Prison System
overcrowding, race based lock-ups, eighth amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) Roughly 2 million inmates in US prison system in federal, state, and local
Whites make up 64% of population, but 31% incarcerated
Blacks make up 14% of population, but 36% incarcerated
Hispanics make up 16% of population, but 20% of prison population

Imbalance of power between guards and inmates
"Remind them that this is our house!"
Structural Discrimination (1980's)

Importance of gangs highlighting discrimination (Outside sentiment) It's complicated... Requires rethinking the prison system
Those in control are exploiting it
Maintaining prisons is expensive!
Do private prisons actually save state money? Implement more rehabilitation programs
Rethink laws that enforce severe sentences for minor offenses
Enforce stricter legislation regarding inmate care at private prisons
Regulate taxpayer funding
Lighten the Sentences and/or combine with community service
Allow for Parole of some Federal Crimes
Day Report centers for some lower level offenders
Solitary Confinement Reforms
Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship exemplifies an organization who can focus on rehabilitation of inmates as they are released from prison Served in Federal Prison in 1976 and created the organization Pat Nolan head of Justice Reform after serving 25 months in Federal Prison
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