A study showed that 67 percent of inmates released from state prison committed at least one crime within three years. (BUTTERFIELD) In that regard, a question could be asked, was living in jail a deterrent. The reduction of crime rates resulted from people being in prison is mostly a direct consequence of criminals being off the streets. At the same time, it is expected that Jails correct criminal behavior and rehabilitate as well. Nevertheless, prisons provide an environment where criminals share their experiences rather than regretting to push the criminals toward mastering their crimes and avoiding being caught.
Additionally, the abusive atmosphere in some jails, whether from inmates or guards, makes people come out of jail more violent and have anger on society, which is reflected in more crimes being committed. Finally, the justice system does not provide measures in which the most critical period after being released is controlled and managed. Putting prisoners in is not sufficient to make the society better, where life in jail is more of the period of meeting other criminals and being taken care of at taxpayers’ expense.
Life in jail might be considered a process where criminals should adjust their behavior to be better citizens. Omitting crimes that led to life sentences, it might be seen that it is precisely the opposite representing a miniature of the life outside of the prison with groups, communities, and gangs. Criminals from various backgrounds and different crimes are gathered together without any control. Although providing opportunities for the prisoners to engage in sports activities might distract them from criminal thoughts, in general, it can be said that such facilities make them physically stronger when they come out.
Without generalizing the point mentioned above, many prisoners intend to change their lives after coming out of jail. However, the atmosphere of abuse and violence in some prisons, with recorded facts of beatings, rape, and humiliation, do precisely the opposite. The prisoners come out of jail with thoughts of revenge and violence toward the society that made them go through such an experience. Accordingly, such ideas result in such individuals committing crimes again and going back to jail. Thus, there are issues to consider after the prisoner comes out.
Relying primarily on the outcome rather than on the causes, prisoners go out of jail with little control in that period. The authority on prisoners is not only confirming where they live but also helping them start their lives all over again. The psychological state of the prisoner is another issue to consider. Thus, without opportunities for a decent job, training program, and possibly being abused in jail, people do not find life out of jail worthy of the change they intended to take in their life. Such conditions might even justify the choice made in committing crime again, as an approach of stating that there were no other options to take. In that regard, life in prison could be the alternative they choose.
It can be concluded that for prisoners, life in jail should be similar to the period or re-assessment, rather than a place where the state is taking care of you using tax money. At the same time, you have been abused, taught how to avoid being caught next time, and left all alone after you were released. Taking the approach that criminals should be away from the streets might reduce the crime, but why should they be removed if they are as violent as before going in. Thus, putting criminals in jail requires additional efforts to make society better.
- BUTTERFIELD, FOX. “Prison Boom Has Not Deterred Crime, Report Suggests“. Three Hegemons. 2009. Web.
- Seabrook, Norman. “Prison Violence on the Rise”. 2005. USA today.