“The United States now locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. The more than 2.7 million people who are incarcerated today make up roughly eight times the number since 1975. Moreover, those in prison are disproportionately African-Americans and much of the increase in prison population over the last decade and a half has been driven by those sentenced for non-violent drug or property crime. Jacobson argues for change in probation and parole agency operations, reduction in punitive sentencing, and the creation of drug treatment programs in lieu of prison sentences for low-level drug offenders,” (Delaney,2005).
While the government seems to believe that imprisonment is the answer to putting a stop to crime, I must beg the differ. Based on my own experience as a Correctional Officer, I have first hand knowledge that many offenders that are incarcerated are not receiving the rehabilitative help that is needed in order for them to enter back into society with a different attitude on life. Unless they have the much needed counseling and educational programs required for them to help change their way of thinking, society will continuously be in for rude awakenings.
Today, Judges send people to prison where there is no rehabilitation, just warehousing offenders. This cost the taxpayers at least $48,000 a year per offender. More than 30 percent of offenders need some type of help, such as drug treatment centers for addictions. The younger generation of African-Americans is targeted because of lack of education. Once incarcerated, they are not encouraged to attend school or take advantage of educational/ vocational programs and when they are released, they have a tendency to go back to what they know best, “crime” and again they return back to the prison. It becomes a vicious cycle.
I believe another reason the prisons are so over populated is because once the offenders are released from a...