Is the prison system set up to rehabilitate or destroy individuals?


The actual agenda of the prison system has been in question for quite some time now, making citizens wonder is prison actually put in place to rehabilitate criminals for their past mistakes or make it easier for them to revert back to those past mistakes. Prison is advertised as a place that punishes criminals for their crimes but also is supposed to be a place for criminals to think about those mistakes that they made and learn a better way to navigate through life but that is not always the case.

Most prisons are controlled by corrupt wardens with their own personal agendas and run by guards who treat prisoners like animals and not the humans that they still are. With these obstacles in place prisoners find ways to be just as corrupt as the people running the prison. Quite naturally if prisoners are only seeing corruptness in the place that is supposed to rehabilitate them, then they will carry that same corruptness to the free world when they are released, and this creates a revolving cycle landing them back in jail. Prisons should promote self-growth, behavioral control, and be a blueprint for past offenders to live life in a legit manner, but instead it perpetuates violence, inhumane treatment, and gives past offenders no choice but to revert back to a life of crime.

According to , “Unfortunately, research has consistently shown that time spent in prison does not successfully rehabilitate most inmates, and the majority of criminals return to a life of crime almost immediately. Many argue that most prisoners will actually learn new and better ways to commit crimes while they are locked up with their fellow convicts. They can also make connections and become more deeply involved in the criminal world.” The prison system must be held accountable for not rehabilitating its prisoners. All of the blame can not fall at the feet of the offenders. If prisons are put in place to help groom offenders into great citizens then a new approach must be put into place. Prisons should provide a facility that improves the mentality of prisoners which preps them to be released and change their lives making them the best citizens that they can possibly be.

Another problem with the prison system is that it puts a variety of holds on prisoners once they are released such as a limitation in jobs that they can obtain, receiving federal cash assistance, and not being allowed to live in public housing. With those obstacles in their way to achieve a better life how can one not go back to the only way they knew how to survive in the world. This revolving cycle keeps people in and out of jail preventing them from ever progressing in life making them a liability to their community.

According to , “One of the most frequently cited and dispiriting statistics about the American criminal justice system is that more than half of state prisoners end up returning to prison within five years of their release.” These numbers come from a study conducted by the federal government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, in which researchers tracked about 400,000 people from around the country who were released from state prisons in 2005. The strong implication of the findings is that people who are incarcerated are extremely likely to reoffend once they’re free and that most of them spend their lives in and out of correctional facilities.” Prisons will not change this revolving cycle until positive policies are put in place and wardens are held more accountable to provide a better facility for prisoners to strive in.