For example Elizabeth L. Angeli, Department of Psychology, State University.
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Sample Grant
Angeli, Department of English, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 55555
The Criminal Re-incarceration Problem in the US
The highest number incarcerations are in United States. It is estimated that about 2.2 million people are behind bars. It is a 500% increase over the past 30 years. This resulted in an overcrowding prisoners in the prison. The government is desperately dealing with expanding penal system. There is evidence that large scale incarcerations is not the solution. (America.aljazeera.com, n.d.).
One of the biggest reason of this re-incarceration problem is that Corporations that are interest in investing in prisons to gain profits. These corporations usually have very large contracts with the US government to maintain the prisons and provide them facilities. The more the prisoners and prisons means more profit for these organizations. This is a double edged sword because the tax payers in the United States end up paying. These prison profiteer corporations are the biggest hurdle in the evolution and improvement in this system therefore it is in their interest to keep the system that way (Noor, 2013).
Drug offending is the biggest cause of mass incarceration in the United States of America. Many researchers blame the drug policy and the incarceration of low level drug offenders. Incarceration of low-level drug offenders has criminogenic effects that increase the likelihood of recidivism and additional criminal behavior (Stevenson, 2011).
The story from the bird’s eye view is not very rosy either. The mass incarceration is on the rise. Billions of dollars are spent on incarcerations that can otherwise be spent on healthcare facilities, education, social well fare and other infrastructure development.
Criminal Problem in Potter, Pennsylvania and Correction
Potter is a county in Pennsylvania. The most threatening offense in Potter is “Property Offense” with 342 offenses taken place in the year 2013. This crime has 160 unresolved cases in this county in the same year.
Property offense is a crime that includes Car thefts, burglary, wallet or bag snatching etc. The psychologists tell us that one of the reasons to commit such crimes is that the criminal or the offender has a psychological urge to get rich quick.
In order to understand the other explanations for this massive re-incarceration problem that is getting bigger and draining the US economy of wealth. We look at other developed countries like Germany and Netherlands. Countries like Germany and Netherlands do not have incarceration and re-incarceration problems, at such a huge scale, as that of US. The reasons lies in their criminal justice system and how they handle crime cases.
A study done in Vera institute of Justice suggest that the reasons are both theoretical and practical. The “Re-socialization” and “Re-habilitation” is in the core of the criminal justice system in both afore mentioned European countries. The US system focuses on rehabilitation and social isolation. The psychologists tell us that when a healthy person is socially isolated for certain long periods of time, he or she starts showing signs of psychotic illnesses. This is very common in US prisons. This why there is concerns that US justice system is not only flawed but degenerative.
There are solitary confinements in Germany and Netherlands but they are very rare and they keep prisoners for very short periods of time. The solitary sentences in these countries are far less than in the US. The confinement of prisoners is no longer than four weeks in Germany and not more than two weeks in Netherlands per individual offender (Riggs, 2013).
The socialization and mingling provided to prisoners can prevent re-incarceration and at the same time prevent huge budget losses but most importantly it will give people a new productive life. It will give them a second chance to forget the mistake they made in the past and take a fresh start.
America.aljazeera.com. (n.d.). The incalculable cost of mass incarceration | al jazeera america. [online] Retrieved from: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/11/the-incalculablecostofmassincarceration.html [Accessed: 21 Feb 2014].
Noor, J. (2013). Corporations reap billions from mass incarceration. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/19583-corporations-reap-billions-from-mass-incarceration [Accessed: 21 Feb 2014].
Stevenson, B. (2011). [e-book] Working Paper Prepared for the First Meeting of the Commission Geneva. www.globalcommissionondrugs.org//Global_Com_Bryan_Stevenson.p [Accessed: 21 Feb 2014].
M. (2013). Why america has a mass incarceration problem, and why germany and the netherlands don't. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/11/why-america-has-mass-incarceration-problem-while-germany-and-netherlands-dont/7553/ [Accessed: 21 Feb 2014].