Finnish vs. U.S. Prison System
I found this a very hard compare and contrast assignment. First, the different cultures, as mentioned in the article, play a huge role. Also, there is no mention of whether the Finnish system is privatized as the U.S. system is, another factor that would change my opinions. That being said, I think the Finnish system is brilliant, and would love for our system to mimic it almost entirely. The issue is, I don’t think the Finnish system would work in the United States. A huge issue with United States Correctional Facilities stems from the number of privately owned prisons. There are many states that couldn’t house all of their prisoners without the aid of privately owned prisons. The issue with these prisons should be obvious. They are run for profit, and nothing else matters.
The Finnish system is designed to rehabilitate prisoners to once again become a part of society; the U.S. system is designed to remove prisoners from society. I believe the Finnish system to be morally superior, but I cannot say whether adopting it is worthwhile. In the 1960-80’s, 70’s especially, the U.S. correctional system made a push towards rehabilitation versus punishment. It failed miserably. Obviously the culture has changed in the U.S. since then, and we have tried many different law enforcement techniques, all of which have directly affected the prison population, and therefore system as a whole. It may be worth another try, but going back to privately owned prisons, would require more legislation to regulate the private prisons. Without these regulations the privately owned prisons would be using a different system than state and federally run prisons, making the change pointless.
Another very important aspect is the almost opposite cultural values. As stated in the article, the system works because Finland is dominated by a Scandinavian belief system that promotes socialism and trust in the state. In the...