There has been an ineffective penal system for punishing criminals. The government should aim at getting tough on criminal activities to ensure that the society becomes safe and comfortable in a criminal free environment. However, there has been conflicting influences in the penal system that has proved to be inefficient in protecting people from crime. Law makers have tried to raise issues to solve the problems within the penal system but with less success because the criminals have always been given less punishments. For a penal system to be effective, it should focus on reasonable principles and should serve the purpose of bringing justice to the society. In addition to this the punishments should be in accordance to the crimes committed.
The penal system should purpose to offer an equal justice for law offenders so that the pay for their wrongdoings to the system and to come closer practically to repeating their criminal activities. Therefore, the price that the criminal pay should be considered as a debt paid to the society. To have reforms in the panel system needs critical international standards that should be implemented by governments.
There has been a big debate on whether the current prison system is effective, and if not, then what should be implemented to ensure that our prisons reform. This study focuses on the current prison systems and proposes prison reforms that should be adopted to make the prison system more effective. It is about inmate release and examines the role of state in the resettling of people who are leaving prisons and going back to their homes. The paper also focuses on how the current prison system can be improved to reach a better level of performance.
It is true that prison inmates can be reformed to some extent according to my own views. Reform, in this context, refers to the rehabilitation of the people who have committed a crime in the society. Ideally, the target is to rehabilitate an individual and bring them back to the level of productive individuals of society. While in prison, inmate’s gratification, Education, work skills, respecting of others, and self-discipline are emphasized. Younger people who have done less crime are likely to be successfully rehabilitated. Rehabilitation schools and counseling camps have been built at the prison to enable prisoners to access academic resources. These prisoners’ ends up being better people in the society since obtain knowledge and use it in their development (Donziger 150).
More so, prisons help to instill discipline to prisoners especially for individuals who are rude and a headache to the society. For instance, Inmates are forced to adhere to rules and regulation while in prison without questioning them. Some of them are usually exposed to corporal punishment to streamline their behaviors and possibly become better people in the society. Ideally, some prisons have curriculums which allow prisoners to be trained on fields they might be interested in, for instance, carpentry, building and construction, metal work among others. This prisoner, eventually, become skilled in various fields of their talent (Donziger 178). Similarly, inmates are trained on the basic life skills, as in, how to stay with other people socially without causing harm to them. Murderers are counseled by prison counselors whereby they are trained on humanity and social aspects of life. Ideally, most inmates get assessed to find out their degree of criminology. More so, the inmates are able to tell whether they are on the improving trend or not. Finally, prisoners enrolled in courses, in prison training centers, get assisted to obtain jobs of their own choice after they finish their prison sentence term (Donziger 278).
However, it is not obvious that all prisoners undergo reforms while in custody. For instance, some inmate becomes even worse while in custody. For instance, some inmates are introduced to drug abuse by other inmates who are hardened criminals and they end up using marijuana and cocaine. More so, some become major bandits when they get acquitted since they interact with hardened criminals in prison who force them into criminology. Furthermore, since some of them undergo unbearable hardships in the prison, they swear to retaliate once they are acquitted, and, in fact, some of them indulge even in greater crime than before. Since some prisons are sophisticated, with better living conditions, some inmates prefer staying in prisons to getting released. They would rather commit a major crime, and go back to prison than staying out, and lead a miserable life (Donziger 359).
Prisoner’s preparedness to face hurdle in the society
It calls for the Attorney General, in conjunction with the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, to find out an inmate reentry organization to prepare inmates for release and successful resettling into the society. For instance, the U.S court directors to assist prisoners in obtaining identification documents like national identification card, birth certificates and social security cards before to release from prison. More so, there are changes of the regulations and procedures of the Department of Justice for transition of offenders into the community (Durham 234).
Additionally, the director plans for reentry procedures to offer prisoners with information on health condition, employment, and education to enable them settle back to the community. It also requires the adoption of performance measures and targets for reentry and recidivism suppressing programs of the Bureau of Prisons (Carlson and Garrett, 143). Furthermore, Prisons should ensure that inmates can access facilities like to medical care. More so, Individuals who have gone against the terms of release are supposed to be punished thoroughly. I would say that prisoners are have prepared to meet the societal hurdles in that most of the inmates are usually armed with skills in various field .For instance, there are those who train in various jobs like carpentry and metal work. These skills help them get jobs in their corresponding fields of training after serving there prison sentence. This actually aids in reducing the number of unemployed ex-inmates (Durham 350).
Getting a stable employment is paramount in finding out a lifestyle that may keep a prisoner away from illegal activities individuals re-establish ties with family and friends, they re-form important parts of their identity by connecting with employers and institutions. After their release, prisoners find ties with their homes and friends. Actually, prisoners rebuild their identity by connecting with employers and public institutions. More so, they begin searching for resources and support, from their relatives and friends. They eventually re-unite their homes and their communities. The first period is charged with creating opportunities, developing feelings of self-efficacy, and making the conditions for a healthy and productive environment. It is important to note that, the release time is paramount in suggesting whether a prisoner can risk participating in a crime and eventually get back to prison (Durham 379).
However, some inmates are unable to fit back into the society, since some of them are homeless. Incarcerated people are forced to take steps towards the road to employment, better family relationships, a stable crime-free life, and abstinence from drugs. Since their history hinders them from getting employment, they resolve participate in any activity that will earn them income for their survival. Note that inmates may not be rehabilitated as much as the present prison system makes an environment which enhances their reformation. Many who get imprisoned for petty mistakes end up getting influenced towards criminal behavior, and find few opportunities to break the cycle (Durham 409).
At times, the criminal record that returning prisoners’ posses are a hurdle to attaining employment. This is due to the fact that their standards of education among the prison population have normal ramifications for reducing the job options of former prisoners going back to the community. Furthermore, some inmates are usually deeply into criminology after they have been introduced into the same while in prison. The societies view such inmates as the outcasts, even though some may have reformed. Some inmates indulge in drug abuse like excessive drinking of alcohol and trading illegal drugs like cocaine. The society views such prison characters as wrong figures in the community. Finally, incarceration of young individuals interferes with the entry into stable career jobs with strong earnings growth (Durham 423).
4.0 How can lawmakers entice corporations to hire felons?
The lawyers should talk on behalf of the felonies. They should convince the companies that felonies can be productive, and that they can help in the development of a nation. This is because some of them have proficient skills in certain fields. Similarly, they shouldn’t be looked at as felonies alone, but they should, actually, be given priorities to participate in the development of a nation like other people.
The lawmakers should strike an agreement with companies, and felonies. Felonies should always acknowledge that they have once been imprisoned because of a specific crime. This will help companies know the nature of people they are employing and will help companies monitor the felonies at the work place. On the other hand, companies should at least keep some percentage of job vacancies specifically for felonies. Also, lawmakers should advice the companies not to shun felonies who have been convicted for violent criminal since they are like other people (Bacon 220).
On the other hand, lawmaker should encourage felonies to get small jobs, do some volunteer in some circumstance. They should try to work their way back up to this world. Felonies should convince employers that they've served for several years in prison and should specify the skills they possess currently. In so doing, they will get better jobs. Besides that, felonies should console themselves by imagining that they are not the only unemployed people in the society. They should consider the number of law abiding Individuals with great educations backgrounds who are also on a job search just them. This will make them look similar to other lawful people in the society since none of them have been employed. Actually, the question is that, why would felonies pass them over when they have worked so hard to not break the law? (Bacon, 245).
Changes to make the current system of reform more effective
There should be a provision for urgent relief of overcrowding in prisons, as in, the re-opening of formerly closed prison facilities should be encouraged by the state. Additionally, there should be renovations in present facilities to provide adequate space for reformation programs. Similarly, temporary housing structures should be constructed within existing facilities; and work together with communities in the vicinity to the site and build new facilities. These are re-entry facilities, facilities for physically and mentally sick prisoners, and security facilities among others (Bacon 267).
To allow parole individuals to concentrate on offenders who are dangerous, there should be a risk assessment tool that is utilized consistently throughout. More so, there should be provision of meaningful charges for inmates, with local re-entry facilities and probation centers to promote reformations (Bacon 300).
For instance, to reduce California future prison population, the state should establish a sentencing committee and build a plan to place right offenders in cheap prison substitute programs (DeLacy 356). More so, they should conduct a research of any proposed changes to criminal law. Ideally, prisons should ensure that prisoners with good behaviors are awarded for real participation in reformation programs (Bacon 345).
Additionally, prisons should ensure that a well-trained professional staff is hired to enhance efficiency. Furthermore, there should be an existing Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training to look over and improve officer training (Bacon 348). Finally, Prisons should attract and retain qualified rehabilitation officers, which ensure available competition in compensation and benefits package (Osborne 343).
However, there are numerous of factors that have contributed to the deterioration of prisons. These factors render the current prison systems ineffective. For instance, like for the case of the California’s public safety infrastructure. The limited space in prisons and the disciplinary staff, at the local, as well as government, levels are one of the factors contributing to deterioration of prisons. More so, hiring qualified personnel may at times be expensive (DeLacy 478).Even, though, there could be rehabilitation programs, and the programs may be less effective in terms of the reformation for the inmates and parolees (Osborne 346).
Additionally, parole agents may at times be reluctant to guard offender who may pose danger to others, despite their possession of countrywide risk assessment tools and applications. More so, the risk assessment tools together with the corresponding databases could miss, thereby rendering the agents ineffective in carrying out their duties (Osborne 498).
The current system of prison reforms cannot work, because despite the reformations that have been put in practice, there are burning issues concerning the prison systems structure. For instance, many prisons are still overpopulated despite the efforts of prisons to reduce the population of its inmate. The re-opening of formerly closed prisons has had very little impact on cutting down the population of inmates in prisons.
Reforming the penal system is not possible without considering the human rights of an individual (Othmani, 24). Priorities should be set to make the penal system achieve some reforms such as correcting the criminal policy and restructuring the grounds for the application of penalties and measures to provide a base for altering imprisonment. Changes in the structure of the penal institutions including training of the personnel to be highly professional and have the ability of gaining positive attitude to the requirements of international standards in dealing with convicts. The procedural and the penal legislation should be humanized in order to create conditions penal regulations that provides for social and legal protection of law breakers to safe guard their constitutional rights, health protection, personal safety and property rights, this should also include the restructuring industrial sector of the penal system.
Bacon, C. Prison Reform .New York: General Books LLC, 2009
Carlson, Peter M.; Garrett, Judith Simon, Prison and Jail Administration: Practice and Theory, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1999.
David Denborough, Beyond the Prison: Gathering Dreams of Freedom, Adelaide, South Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications, 1996.
DeLacy, Margaret. Prison reform in Lancashire, 1700-1850: a study in local administration. Manchester: Manchester University Press ND, 1986
Donziger, S. The Real War on Crime: The Report of National Criminal justice Commission. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1996.
Durham, A. Crisis and Reform: Current Issues in American Punishment .New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 1994.
Osborne, T. Prisons and Common Sense. New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1924
Othmani, Ahmed. Beyond Prisons; The Fight to Reform Prison Systems Around the World, Berghahn Books, 2008.