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Do prisons teach people to become worse criminals? Many people think that a prisoner is taught how to be a better criminal while in prison. Prisoners are integrated with people that have committed worse crimes than the ones that they have committed. The bigger and better criminals teach the others what they need to learn to survive prison life. There are many other aspects of prison that can make a prisoner worse than when he or she went in. Are prisons helping to stop the crime wave?
For starters, prisons around the United States are extremely overcrowded. Wyoming is a good example of overcrowding in prisons. We have had to send a number of prisoners to Colorado because we have run out of room to keep them in Wyoming. The number of people sent to prisons were for drug offences more than violent crimes(). Some people are saying that making some drugs legal, such as marijuana, would decrease the number of prisoners drastically. There are also evidence that even though they are in prison, they can still buy and sell drugs. It has been found that 80% of drug offenders that have received sentences in New York have never been convicted of a violent felony or committed a violent crime. It was found that one in four drug offenders in prison was convicted of simple possession (Human Rights Watch).
Are prisoners learning prejudice in prisons? There is evidence of this. Some civil rights organizations are calling for renewed scrutiny of the segregation policies of many state and federal prisons, charging that they inadvertently promotes growth of hatred and serve as recruiting grounds for supremacist groups. David Novak, a man who spent a year in a federal prison camp, said that it left an imprint of racial intolerance on him. He said he felt compassion for the three white murder suspects in the killing of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, TX. Two of the three allegedly have made ties with white-supremacist gangs while they were behind bars. Novak said, “In prison it is easy to fall into such groups (Prejudice in Prisons).
Prison officials acknowledge that cell-blocks are often segregated by race. Putting members of rival gangs together not only endangers the prisoners, but also the lives of the guards and the very security of the institution. Texas is the nation’s most integrated prison. In 1987, a federal district court ruled to ban cell-block segregation in the state. Since the ruling went into effect, prison murders have dropped by half
Names mentioned in this term paper
David Novak, James Byrd Jr.,
Organizations mentioned in this term paper
Human Rights Watch, government,
Locations included in this paper
United States, a good example, New York, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Jasper, TX,
Health Conditions referenced in this essay
Keywords mentioned in this essay
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