Corruption in American Prisons


Cavtalk Staff Member, writer

Prison; A place of confinement for those who break the law. Prisons were created to punish those that have done wrong. However, in America, we take punishment to a new level. People are held in prisons for extended periods of time, put in danger by fellow inmates and staff, and are suffering. Not only does America’s justice system give longer sentences, but they even incarcerate people before their trial.

I put emphasis on America’s prisons because we are leading at number 56 in crime rates across the world. America’s incarceration rates are almost ten times that of the Netherlands and Germany. This is because the Netherlands’ and Germany’s prisons are rehabilitation centers. In the Netherlands and Germany, they prepare those who are incarcerated to go back out into the community. In America, we take our prisoner’s rights away and keep them locked up for far longer amounts of time.

In theory, solitary confinement is used to punish inmates who have broken rules. However, solitary confinement has proven to be harmful to inmates’ mental health. Our crime rates are not improved by imprisonment because our prisons are drastically different from our communities. We do not prepare prisoners to go back into the real world. Instead of giving them a place to heal and work on themselves, we put them in a 6×9 foot cell.

When someone is locked up for so long with other dangerous, and often mentally ill individuals, they are forced to change to survive the environment they are in. In prisons, people are sexually victimized, beaten, and even killed. Inmates stay on high alert and may become violent if they feel the need to protect themselves. For this reason, when we release our inmates they are not used to the real world and often re-offend. America’s prisons are not being controlled as they should be, and our own people are suffering from this. America should change its prisons into rehabilitation facilities for those who desperately need them.