The correctional facilities in America and other parts of the world are designed to ensure that society remains safe. This is achieved through separating persons who have committed offenses from the members of general public. Incarceration is a sanction that serves both as a form of punishment and rehabilitation. The other purposes of this sanction are to protect society and deterrence. The American society, just as other societies around the globe, has prioritized the safety of the members of society over the development of educative programs that enhance the individual growth of convicted people.
In my own opinion, the one role that correctional facilities should play in society is to educate inmates. In fact, education is one of the most important aspects that people who are incarcerated should receive. Not only could it equip inmates with sufficient skills required in the labor force, but also could go a long way in reducing crimes and the rates of recidivism (Siegel 326). In our contemporary society, no single individual can attain employment without having at least graduated from high school and spent hours in college, which is a fact that explains why the American prison populations have been increasing at alarming rates.
In our correctional facilities, inmates usually experience hard times in their attempt to receive adequate skills that could enhance their ability to acquire employment once they have served their jail term. As such, they find themselves in a situation that can be explained as being between a rock and a hard substance with regard to whether committing crimes again or suffering as a result of lack of employment. Any correctional facility with the intentions of rehabilitating and deterring criminal activities ought to ensure that inmates are offered educational programs that will bring positive change in their lives (Zoukis 3).
In the United States, prison overcrowding is the major problem that correctional facilities are facing today. Congestion in correctional facilities has been rated as the main factor that contributes to poor conditions in the prisons all over the globe. Its consequences not only hinder correctional facilities from achieving their goals and functions, but they threaten to jeopardize the lives and well-being of inmates.
Prison overcrowding causes a wide range of adverse impacts to the inmates, including radicalization, mental health issues, poor training if any, increase of self-harm and suicide, as well as an upsurge in rates of violence. Of note is the fact that prison overcrowding occurs as a result of policies developed by the criminal justice systems as opposed to the widely spread idea about the increase in criminal activities.
Conclusion: Solving Prison Overcrowding
Owing to the fact that prison overcrowding has a wide range of detrimental impacts not only to the inmates but also the prison staff, governments, and concerned stakeholders should look for ways of solving this issue, including investing in a criminal justice system that is non-custodial in nature during the trial and post sentencing period. Secondly, they should look for other ways of preventing minor cases to set them aside from the criminal justice. Additionally, the criminal justice system should develop and implement programs that equip inmates with sufficient skills to make them competitive in the labor force (Zoukis 4). This could go a long way in ensuring that the American society remains safe and the rates of recidivism drop to a degree.
Siegel, Larry J. Corrections Today. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2017. Print.
Zoukis, Christopher. College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons. 2014. Print.