Prisons are seen as harsh restrictive facilities that are meant toquash one’s freedom. Inmates all over the world are perceived asthe unwanted lot in the society who are violent, antisocial andhighly dangerous. As the government works towards ensuring the ruleof law, more people get convicted daily, thereby resulting inovercrowding in most prisons. Leon Neyfakh article “Serving Timein Overcrowded Prisons Makes Ex-Cons More Likely to Reoffend”reveals the overpopulation in prisons and claims that reoffending isthe primary cause.
According to Neyfakh, a Slate staff writer, overpopulated prisons maydouble the tendencies of violence of inmates due to the harsh livingconditions. The article terms overcrowding in prisons as a moral andpractical disaster. The overcrowding destabilizes the society andbrings upon more expenses, thus, misusing the taxpayers` money andall the while not doing much to lower the high crime rate.
Overcrowding converts prisons, which are supposed to offer properrehabilitation, into dreadful torture chambers. The article goes onto state that research has shown that overpopulated prisons causeformer convicts to violate their parole. This leads to futurearrests, thereby even spending more taxpayers` money on the samepeople without any positive impact even after the end of their prisonsentences. While most people find it difficult to sympathize withconvicts, the psychological stress caused by overpopulated prison mayresult in problems for the victims such as drug addiction and abuse,highly impulsive behaviors, and aggressive conduct. In some cases,the convicts tend to become worse criminals than they previouslywere.
The validity of that argument is contestable. While appreciating thefact that it points out the various limitations of overcrowding inprisons, it fails to emphasize on their importance to the society.The rule of law can only be practiced if repercussions are arisingfrom the failure of its adherence. Overpopulation in prisons resultsin many adverse effects on the inmates, but it is for the same reasonthat most people adhere to the law to avoid being imprisoned. Thisensures peace and stability in the society. There may be a fewwrongly convicted prisoners, but it is sometimes unavoidable whenenforcing the rule of law.
Furthermore, I believe that the government should build more prisonsto cater for the high population and try using different techniques,which are more efficient during rehabilitation of convicts.Investigations should be thorough after a crime is committed toensuring that those sent to prison are the real perpetrators. Thiswould ensure that prisons are occupied by those in dire need ofrehabilitation. The living conditions in prisons should be improvedso that convicts may stop viewing them as punishments and instead seethem as second chances. Some people resort to criminal activitiesbecause they feel neglected, unwanted, and unloved. This would serveas a new method of rehabilitation that might even prove moreeffective.
Putting prisoners in harsh living conditions confirms their fears.This makes them result in irrational behaviors that they would neverhave portrayed if they were treated differently in the first place.Instead, convicts should be addressed with love, care, andunderstanding to remind them of their importance in the community.The society would be more peaceful if everyone was treated equallywith affection and respect irrespective of where one is or what he orshe might have done.
Neyfakh, Leon. “Serving Time in Overcrowded Prisons Makes Ex-ConsMore Likely to
Reoffend.” The Slate Group, 2015. Web. 1 Apr. 2017<http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2015/11/overcrowded_prisons_may_increase_recidivism_rates.html>
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