Conditions in the US Prison System

Conditions In The United States Prison System And Programs Aimed To Reduce Recidivism. Relationship of Social Justice and the Operations of the Criminal Justice System. Federal and State Systems. The objective of the correctional agencies is to ensure that inmates are deterred from committing future crimes or violating the law. However, the prison programs have been faced constantly by significant challenges in ensuring that offenders do not revert to their criminal behavior, violate the terms of their release or commit new crimes. The federal and state prisons are faced by challenges in determining the effective rehabilitative program mixture that will ensure the rates of recidivism being minimized (PCS, 2011). An appropriate rehabilitative program will ensure that inmates are offered effective alternatives to their criminal pasts. This will reduce the rate of recidivism a great deal.

The deficiencies in the educational programs are critical contributors to the recidivism rates. The increasing number of repeat offenders in the federal and state prisons is a clear indicator of  ineffectiveness of the rehabilitative programs offered in the correctional facilities. I feel that the Federal Bureau of Prisons should tailor the changing trends in economic and technological applications into their rehabilitative programs. This will ensure that the inmates are compatible with the societal needs and requirements in the event of their release. The increased rate of prison returnees is a definite indicator of the failure to address changing societal needs and preferences.

I sense that the rate of recidivism is characterized by the strategic policy decisions implemented in determining the inmates to be incarcerated, i.e. for given periods of time, selection of inmates for release, supervision duration after release and the consequences of violating supervision. The social justice system requires policy decisions that reflect the dynamic changes in community needs. Therefore, social and probation officers require adequate training and skills to ensure the transition from prison into the society being efficient (PCS, 2011). They should ensure that prisoner follow up programs that are adhered to in stages for a stipulated time frame. This ensures that prisoners do not revert to their criminal actions or engage in new criminal activities. Hence, the federal and state prison systems require reengineering of their rehabilitative and educational programs to tailor the economical and social dynamics, while considering the inmates choice or skill in the programs. These are critical in the elimination of increasing recidivism trends.

Prison Life For Male And Female Offenders (Security, Issues, Incarceration And     Release). The disparity in offenses between male and female offenders is significant. Therefore, a degree of separation in sentencing and rehabilitation is evident. Male offenders are characterized by hard crimes. In most cases, the male prisoners are involved in violent crimes, in contrast to women as prisoners. The security levels in men’s prisons are higher in contrast to women’s prisons; given that a significant number of women as prisoners are incarcerated on drugs related offenses. The increase in inmates can be attributed to relapse in rehabilitation where after release they revert to drug use and dealing (Wilson, 2010). Women are incarcerated under the federal bureau of prisons; where the women correctional facilities are separated from the male prisons and are run independently to prevent cases of sexual abuse. The issues affecting women like pregnancy and drug rehabilitation are facilitated. The integration of social services to address issues of women incarcerated with children. The children are placed in foster care under social services until such a time that mothers are capable to provide for them in safe and healthy environment.

The rehabilitation of prisoners is critical to both men and women as inmates. Essential education on drug abuse, crime prevention and efficient assimilation into the community is a prerequisite of their release. Male prisoners require aggressive rehabilitation programs in contrast to women; hence their release is closely monitored in lieu of the rehabilitative programs being undertaken. The correctional facility attempt is to ensure that the policy and strategic management decisions in the rehabilitation programs and procedures are instrumental in creating law cognizant, respectful and obedient population (Seiter, 2011). The incarceration of offenders both men and women serves as a retribution to the society, the victims of the offense and a deterrence to the general population from committing crimes. However, this is not always the case as indicated by the increasing number of offenders in men’s and women’s prisons.

Cultural Diversity (Ethnic Groups, Class, Race, Gender). Prisons are an extension of the society and community. Therefore, they illustrate societal norms in associations, interactions and relationships. Prisons mimic the community social structures a great deal. Hence, they are characterized by defined cultural norms, expectations and morals. Prisons incorporate offenders across ethnic, class and racial structures. The characterization of social diversity in prisons is influenced a great deal by the external factors like visiting family, friends, media coverage and cultural upbringing of the individual (Worrall, 2008). Despite the benefits attributable to the prison population diversity; I sense that it is also a source of significant conflicts in prisons. Therefore, prisoner diversity can influence on the prison environment positively or negatively.

The political and religious influences towards prisoners’ perspectives in relation to their fellow inmates are determinants of prison social atmosphere. Differences in political and religious affiliation have constantly led to marginalization, seclusion and discrimination of inmates by their fellow inmates. The racial discrimination based on African American, Hispanic, Asian or Arabic profiles has influenced on prison social environments critically. These factors determine the hostility of prisoners towards each other. However, instances occur where a significant percentage is characterized by members of the same race or class. For instance, I sense that a significant number of the prison population comprise  African Americans and Hispanic populations in most states. Therefore, racial discrimination is illustrated in sentencing and imprisonment.

The segregation of classes is illustrated by prison groups. The inmates align themselves with individuals of the same class, economic and religious dispensation. These are illustrated by the formation of gangs and clusters in prison where each attempts to identify with inmates of similar identity either economically or socially, or in religious beliefs. Factors affecting the society and communities outside the prison walls are key in the determination of prison alignments, discrimination and social affiliations. I feel that events occurring outside like political atmosphere, security, social and economic activities affect prison behavior a great deal.

Criminal and Social Justice Theories in Relation to the United States Constitution. Social justice is characterized by equitable opportunities in the society. People are availed equal treatment in accordance with their actions without discrimination on the basis of color, race, social or economic class. The United States Constitution is a contractual document between the government and the citizens. The constitution stipulates the code of behavior, responsibilities, relationship and attitudes between citizens and the state. The constitution safeguards equitable justice, freedoms, opportunities and rights of all the individuals while protecting the disadvantaged in the society. I sense that individual liberties are critical to the validity of social justice as stipulated by the constitution of the United States.

Criminal justice requires safeguarding against potential abuse by law enforcement agencies; therefore, the constitution of the United States stipulates equitable treatment to all suspected criminals under the law. Suspected offenders are protected under the fourth amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures. On the other hand, the sixth amendment provides for suspected criminals the right to legal representation by appointment of an attorney. These provisions in the execution of criminal justice are in alignment with social justice dictum of equitable opportunity under the law (Seiter, 2011). The constitution enforces individual rights in criminal justice by ensuring that the law protects all the individuals against unfair and biased prosecution. I feel that, without the provisions of burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the law would be adversely misrepresented to suit individual interpretations. Hence, the purpose of social justice in the society is defeated especially in criminal justice processes and procedures.

The United States constitution is critical in the distribution of resources in the community. The optimal allocations of resources like assignment of law enforcement agencies to areas of need, mitigation of criminal activities; allocation of funds to correctional facilities with an emphasis to preventive and rehabilitative strategies is crucial (PCS, 2011). Social justice requires commitment from both citizens and the government to ensure cohesion and stability that are realized in the society. The administrative role of the government is complimented by the citizens’ monitory and supervisory characteristics significantly in execution of criminal justice processes and procedures.

Punishment, Deterrence, Incapacitation, Rehabilitation, and Restitution Explained. The correction agencies are mandated to execute punishments on behalf of the people to sentenced criminal offenders. Punishment may be in the form of serving jail terms, executions or community service. Punishment is objectively administered to make the offender remorseful and seek forgiveness for crimes being committed. However, deterrence is characterized by programs or activities aimed at preventing the offender from repeating the crime once released. Deterrence also applies to the public; essentially the punishment of criminals through harsh sentencing and expedient execution of punishments should act as a deterrent to the members of the public who intend  knowingly to commit a crime (Wilson, 2010). Deterrence is the process that appeals to the offenders’ sense of responsibility towards themselves and the public, thus creating and preserving a law abiding mentality in the offender.

Despite the actions taken by law enforcement agencies, some criminal offenders are incapable of responding to correctional programs. They may be incapable of comprehending the gravity of their actions due to medical psychological and physiological conditions or they are unwilling to change their criminal behavior. The correctional agencies may result to incapacitation procedures like execution of death sentences, chemical therapies and institutionalization in mental health facilities. Incapacitation renders criminal offenders to be incapable of committing further crimes.

The rehabilitation of offenders is critical to their reentry into the society. Rehabilitation entails realigning an inmate’s perspectives from crime oriented perspective to a law abiding perspective (PCS, 2011). Rehabilitation is characterized by religious and educational programs, where the inmates are provided with information and knowledge on the potential repercussions of their actions to themselves and the society. The rehabilitation programs offer educational training providing inmates with essential skills to enable them to cope with economic challenges that they may be faced with release. However, restitution is where the victim is offered a sense of relief by the punishment or sentence imposed upon the offender. Restitution is critical to the victims of the crime in enabling them to cope and come to terms with the aftereffects of the crime committed against them.

Rehabilitative Programs (Life Skill Training, Anger Management, Reasoning Training). The significant objective of correctional facilities is to rehabilitate as many offenders as humanly possible ones. Therefore, the correctional agencies in conjunction with the government and the public focus groups attempt at ensuring the inmates are provided with effective and efficient rehabilitative programs. The reduction of recidivism is critical in the elimination of crime in the United States. Therefore, I feel that rehabilitation of prisoners should be conducted in  equitable manner, where every inmate is given an opportunity to acquire additional skills before being released to the general public (Wilson, 2010). An adequately rehabilitated inmate is less likely commit a crime after reentry into the community than an offender released without rehabilitation.

Rehabilitative programs like life skill training are essential in prevention of criminal activities of released offenders. I feel that, despite the correctional agencies efforts to provide life skill training, the inmates should have the opportunity to train in areas of interest and affinity. These will ensure that the inmates are not forced to train in skills that they have no interest in or incapable of sustaining themselves with the acquired skills. Life training skills should be tailored to suit the prevailing economic conditions. This will ensure that the life skills being acquired are relevant, applicable and readily acceptable in the society. I sense that, once these attributes are met, rehabilitative programs will succeed a great deal.

These programs require a receptive mentality and significant self control in the face of urges to commit a crime. Anger management and reasoning training is critical in this aspect. Mental deficiencies like the inability to control anger are a contributor to the increasing number of violent offenders in correctional facilities. However, the strategic management of underlying issues in offenders is crucial to keep them out of jail. Therefore, the rehabilitative programs should invest in psychological treatment and training of inmates. A comprehensive rehabilitative program tailored to suit all inmates’ needs has significant chances in mitigating increasing recidivism rates as characterized by excessive prison turnover rates.

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